So You Want to be a Sheep?
By Maureen Hager
Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than any other animal; symbolically they refer to God’s people. All the sheep that belong to the shepherd are of one flock.
God has many names; each one describes an attribute of His character. A favorite name is Yahweh-Rohi – The Lord, Our Shepherd. Here is the description of the relationship our God wants with us. The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want (Psalm 23:1).
What a beautiful picture of the rest we have in Him. Are you stressed today? Find rest in the green pastures of His finished work. Find hope and restoration as He restores your soul.
The Lord tells us in Isaiah 53:6 that most sheep will go astray and follow their own way. Are you a stubborn sheep, straying on the wrong path and in need of guidance and correction?
A shepherd’s rod redirects and corrects the sheep. The staff is used to lift and restore the sheep. Trust and hope in the Good Shepherd to lead you out of the pit of despair.
I once traveled on the wrong path. This misguided search led me into a painful journey of drug addiction and life in a motorcycle gang. I was that stubborn sheep that got caught up in a violent gang war and became a broken victim. Crippling bullets forever changed my life.
Eventually, I encountered the hope and healing of God’s transforming love. A victorious life in Him is meant to be lived on the paths of righteousness and not in the past.
So why would you want to be a sheep? Like sheep, we need only to trust the Lord and follow Him. We need Jesus, our Good Shepherd to lead and guide us, to care for us, and to protect us from the enemy. What contentment and sufficiency we can have in Him.
Yahweh-Rohi leads us home. He lovingly rubs the healing oil on our broken and wounded hearts. The Shepherd knows our needs. He will restore us when we are broken, pick us up when we fall, and strengthen us in our weakness. Now that is a love I can trust!
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28 (NJKV)
Maureen Hager is an author, speaker, and blogger. Her passion lies in empowering women to receive hope and healing from their brokenness through the love of God. Her testimony of deliverance and restoration has impacted women of all ages. Her book, Love’s Bullet is available Fall, 2017. Website: www.MaureenHager.com Blog: www.OutoftheBrokenness.com
They say don’t judge a book by the cover. In this case, you should judge my cover of Relentless Pursuit–God’s Love of Outsiders Including the Outsider in All of Us.
I took this book poolside thinking I’d read on the deck while our daughter swam. But its been consistently in the 90’s or higher, I have a cast on my arm, so I thought I’d keep reading in the pool. I got a mattress, laid my arms against it, and kept reading. And reading.
Ken Gire writes about the marginalized and the ostracized; the sinner and the loner; you, me…and Jesus. He writes about being an outsider thanks to red hair and warts. A few years later he had to move, his dad had a heart attack, his mom went to work, and all he thought he could count on was his dog. His dog was hit by a car and died. It was one thing after another. While writing the book he returned to where much of those things happened, and he broke down.
Relentless Pursuit shares more than his moving story. I learned the history behind Francis Thompson, author of The Hound of Heaven. The poem captured many, and showed readers how personal God is, and to what ends He will go to pursue us. The book wraps itself around his story, the Hound of Heaven, authors like C.S. Lewis and Henri Nouwen, and outsiders from the Bible like Abraham, Mary, and the holiest outsider of us all–Jesus.
It sounds like this jumps around, but it doesn’t. Between the Prologue and chapters Relentless Pursuit is broken down into: Leaving Home, The Pursuit, The Pursuer, The Nature of the Pursuit, The Part of Us That is Lost, God’s Passion for the Outsider, God’s Provision for the Outsider, Jesus’ Mission to the Outsider, God’s Mandate to the Insider, The Part of Me that was Found, Coming Home, and in the Appendix, The Hound of Heaven. There are also discussion questions for individual or group use.
This is a topic close to my heart and I believe many people who feel they are on the outside of the glass looking in might do a double take when they realize they aren’t alone. God loves the outsider most of all. For me, I love the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus pursues not as a stalker, but as a good shepherd and friend. Ken Gire provides a great source of encouragement, comfort, food for thought, and Biblical guide in a book that I devoured cover to cover.
To purchase Relentless Pursuit, click here.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.