Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.” So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do. Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. Please help me welcome a passionate follower of Jesus, and a very wise woman, Sammie– as she shares one of my favorite faith-based illustrations.
Have you ever heard a sermon that just impressed you so much it stayed with you for a long time? You know the kind I mean, where the Pastor waxes bold on the efficacy of following The Shepherd – “I am the Shepherd and my sheep know my voice.” (John 10:27)
That’s an interesting concept; One that catches our imagination on Sunday mornings and provokes our minds to aspirations of walking the walk as well as talking the talk. But if you are like me, as well intended as I may be, my week gets busy, the days fly by – there’s so much to do. I’m stressed about this and/or that and before I know it my devotions are off schedule. The Wheels of my Spiritual Life seem to roll along with one side a little flat. Or worse, I become stalled altogether. I ponder… “Now, what did the Pastor say about the Shepherd and His sheep? Wish I could remember the details!”
One morning, during a busy season of my life, my Pastor gave us a wonderful story that has stayed with me 35 years!! It has helped me stop and pray through many a “flat wheel moments” or when I can’t seem to hear My Shepherd’s Voice. It has helped me part the veil of confusion reigning in my heart and see with clarity the spiritual battle that is happening at those times. (Eph. 6:10-18)
I’d like to share that story with you, with the prayer that you too will be helped by its simplicity but great message.
There once was a small congregation in England who had a wonderful Pastor who guided and nurtured them. He taught them well from God’s word. One day, as a congregation, they all decided to visit Israel. While flying to their destination, their Pastor encouraged them to pay particular attention when they saw a Shepherd, with staff in hand and guiding his flock; how the sheep would docilely follow him here and there – bleating softly – happily following him wherever he would lead. This, of course, is an example of how our personal walk should be with our Shepherd.
One day, outside a small village, they saw a man with his sheep. However, the sheep were stressed, frantic in behavior, running here and there, panting and scurrying as he drove them from behind, prodding unkindly with his staff.
The little congregation was confused! They went to their pastor and said… “We thought you said the sheep were calm and happy and willingly followed their Shepherd!? Why was he behind them? Why were they frantic and stressed?” The Pastor was just as perplexed, so he asked their guide for clarification, as this was contrary to all he had read of how shepherd’s herded their flocks.
The Pastor approached the guide and posed the question: “Why, after all we have learned and been taught about shepherding here in Israel, is the flock of sheep so harried and discontented when interacting with their shepherd?”
Without miss a beat, the guide replied: “Oh, that’s NOT the Shepherd… That is the BUTCHER!”
(1. Peter 5:8)
Beloved sisters in Christ, when you are feeling harried, stressed, frantic, depressed, anxious, fearful, undone, scattered, or unsure which direction to go: ask yourself this question… Am I following the Shepherd who leads me OR… Am I being driven forward by The Butcher?!
I pray this little sermonette stays with you for years to come too. Be blessed, know His voice, and stay close to THE SHEPHERD.
Dear, sweet readers– take a quick peek at your heart today… Are you being driven forward by the Shepherd or the Butcher? Join the conversation and leave a comment.
Suzanne (Sammie) Gray has been a Bible Study leader with PWOC, International Women’s Club, and Campus Crusade for Christ ministries for over 42 years. Her passion is teaching women how to walk in victory in their knowledge of our Jesus Christ. Her hearts calling and personal ministry Scripture is Is. 61; 1-3 helping women to discover Christ’s Divine Design and calling on their lives.
She has two children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She spent 15 years in the Corporate world, has owned/operated three businesses, and traveled the world extensively. Her hobbies are gardening, music, and studying Paleo-Biblical Hebrew interpretation of Scripture.