Christians, it is the time of year when we celebrate the power and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! Hallelujah! All Glory, Honor, Power, and Praise to Jesus who sits on the throne, He is our Resurrected King NOW and FOREVER! The tomb is empty, the power of death is gone, He has paid it all, redeemed it all, and now we sit victorious with Him in heavenly places! I pray that you see the resurrection power working in your daily life and that we give proper honor and praise to Him who is worthy, Jesus Christ!
It is also that time of year when the Churches have an influx of people in services. It is the time when the CEO’s come out. Christmas and Easter Only Christians. They claim Jesus, they believe they are saved, but they only feel it necessary to come to Church twice a year, and with the exception of a wedding or funeral. I am not making fun of these Christians, by any means. If you are one of these Christians, please keep reading, as I want to explain what God was showing me, The POWER of the FLOCK.
In the Bible we (Christians) are most commonly referred to as SHEEP and Jesus our Lord and Savior is most commonly known as the Good Shepherd. I was recently Googling something about sheep lying down (Psalm 23) and I clicked on one of those pre-generated questions that said ‘How do sheep defend themselves?’ The answer was: “Safety in numbers – After fleeing, sheep will reform their group and look at the predator. They use their natural herding instinct to band together for safety. A sheep that is by itself is vulnerable to attack.”(credit – Sheep101.info). As I read those words, it was as if God highlighted all of the verses in the Bible regarding the Shepherd and sheep, it overwhelmed me.
First of all, this is why God says to not forsake the assembling together. We are in danger when we are alone. CEO Christians are in danger 363 days of the year, that is a scary thought to think about. Secondly, it is why Jesus told the parable about leaving the 99 to find the one. I never understood that before, He is protecting the 99 sheep and He LEAVES them, to go find 1 that wandered off. The 99 are safe because they are together, the one is in danger because it is alone. He rejoices when He finds it, because He can protect them again, they are safe now, He returns them to the flock and now the 100 are safe, not just the 99!
What is the danger? The enemy! He is described as roaming around like a lion, seeking whom he MAY devour. The enemy has a harder time attacking the group, because we band together, we look right at him, and we pray. We actually, as a herd of sheep, can drive off the enemy, through our prayers. As we herd together, and pray our prayers, it is like the bleating of sheep, that tell our Shepherd, we are focused on the enemy in this direction, because he is trying to to attack us. The Shepherd is faithful to protect us.
I don’t know if you are a sheep that has been avoiding the flock, or maybe you just get busy and Church is not a priority on Sundays, but God has protection, safety, goodness, and power in His flock. Maybe you are a regular attender, but you know someone that is a CEO. Would you go after them, reach out to them, tell them that they need to come to Church more regularly, not out of religious obligation, but because it is where they are the safest, most protected?
I think this revelation touched me in such a deep way because I have been the 1. I grew up in the Church, I attended regularly, and when I graduated and went to college, I strayed. I thought I knew better, I thought I would find my own path, I was independent. I didn’t need the Church, I was saved, had my ticket to heaven, so why attend each week? But God came after me, He found me, in my mess, in my loneliness, in my vulnerability, and He picked me up, put me on His shoulders, and returned me to the flock. I repented, I turned from my old path, my old lifestyle, and I have been faithful to maintain my closeness to the herd. I struggled for many years because I was alone, on my own, I didn’t have the support of a local Church. It does not mean it wasn’t AVAILABLE, I just chose not to seek it out.
I leave you with this, Psalm 23, the original thing I was Googling. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows;he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid,for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 NLT)
Lord, I pray today that all the strays would return, that you would round up those who are lost, who are alone, I pray you would return them to the flock. I pray you would use us to help accomplish this, lead us to them, and let us help guide them back. I pray that we would feel your presence, your protection, your love, and your power in our flocks. That we would band together, face the enemy straight on, and declare your Glory in our lives, in Jesus name, Amen!
Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (AMP)
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? Luke 15:4 (NLT)
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8 (NLT)
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded. John 10:11-18 (NLT)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2018