Jesus warned His sheep, all other potential guides were to be evaluated for fruit, their words sifted and actions weighed. Strong caution was advised!
When my children were small it was easy to warn them, telling them when and how to be on guard. But as they grew, I had to trust their own judgement skills and instincts, praying what their dad and I taught had stuck.
The same went for spiritual training. We told them all we knew to be true, every treasure we personally had discovered, and The greatest Joy we’d ever found- Jesus! But even in being as vulnerable as possible, our little flock had to decide who they were going to follow.
Independent thinkers. Experimental – Adventurers. Compassionate sometimes to a fault, each one (now a young adult) has taken their own route to seek out what life has to offer.
So I pray… our sheep –raised for God– will not listen to any stranger’s words, if it conflicts with the Truth. That they’ll truly know the Voice of the Lord in the crowd. And they’ll never be snatched away and deceived by robbers.
Among the world’s many poor guides, there is only One Good Shepherd. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. So I ask God to help our fold recognize anyone trying to get around the One and only Door to the pen.
“No imposters, no pretenders!”
1 “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.
5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognize the stranger’s voice.”
10:8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” –Jesus