What leads me is what moves me. Whether appetite or necessity or interest, what is in front of me or occupies my mind will determine the next step I take. In faith, what is meant to lead the Christian is Jesus/the Spirit of God in the believer. However, what is meant to lead me and what actually leads me is unfortunately not always consistent which offers evidence to free will or offers evidence to my sinfulness.
In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the shepherd and describes his followers as sheep. He gives his sheep credit as the ones that know His voice. The sheep follow the one they are familiar with. They are moved by the one they trust. Jesus is the shepherd, and he is also the door. Jesus is the one we enter and exit by. Our going in and going out, each of our steps are dictated by Jesus.
Jesus states his purpose in John 10:10, “I came that they(us) may have life and have it abundantly.” He also states the how, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
For every sheep that the shepherd leads, there are those other species and thieves that exist in the world that level attacks on both shepherd and sheep. Jesus endures accusations that he is possessed by a demon, he endures the doubts about who he is.
Then Jesus states in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” That statement almost gets Jesus killed. Blasphemy is worthy of death, but in the case of Jesus, truth eventually gets him killed.
Jesus says he lays down his life of his own accord and like any great leader, he has a clear goal in mind. He leads the ones he loves into both abundant life and sacrificial service. He demonstrates that our fullness comes in our willingness to lose everything for the sake of Jesus. Yet the metaphor Jesus uses is so not glamorous.
Who actually wants to lead sheep? Who actually wants to be compared to sheep? But that is what I am. I am a sheep. I am a weird-looking, furry creature that bends his head to eat grass and mosey around looking for something to do. I am a sheep that is not sure how much of an impact or significance my life actually bears, yet I understand that God himself has me accounted for. I recognize the baaa’s of others and usually the voice of the shepherd. I recognize that the Shepherd is good…
But I also recognize my wandering. I recognize my inconsistency. I recognize my denseness. I recognize my propensity towards getting lost. I can only be found in Jesus Christ. I can only find purpose in my relation to the Holy Spirit. Which is why at the end of the day I’m okay with being a sheep as long as the Lord is my Shepherd.