Let’s face it; we can’t go through life without someone or something guiding us. It may be the position of the stars, or the superstitions we heard as youngsters. None can lead us to God’s salvation and eternal home with Him.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
I once took a trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Our guide, an experienced, young outdoorsman, led ten of us across lakes and portages in Minnesota and Canada. We trusted him to keep us from losing our way. His experience, skill and knowledge got us safely to our destination and back.
Another time, I hiked with some friends to a northern Wisconsin waterfall. The leader hadn’t walked our trail for over 20 years. The woods had changed so much, it didn’t take long before he began to lead us in circles. We became lost for hours. His intentions were good, but he lacked the updated knowledge necessary to find the waterfall he had visited as a youngster.
We all need guidance as we decide what to do and how to do it. Parents, teachers, spouses, pastors and others all contribute toward our mature decisions. Trouble is, we sometimes choose the wrong guide.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our best guide for traveling our life path. As His “sheep,” we are promised a full life of peace and joy, among many other blessings. “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice ….” (John 10:14-16)
Jews and Gentiles alike can be part of His flock, but we’re required to recognize His voice. We must be able to distinguish His from other voices. The only way to discern a counterfeit is to know the original personally. However, we may decide to follow someone who focuses only on God’s love and grace but says nothing about His holiness and justice. Or we may listen to a guide who tells us that eternal life with God is received by our good works alone. Many other counterfeit, spiritual guides exist, all of whom we must avoid.
When we follow our Guide, Jesus, we know there are certain things we must do. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and our neighbor as ourselves. God will guide us through His Word. When we meditate on it daily, we can’t help but recognize His voice as the one to follow.
Lord, thank You for being our Good Shepherd who guides us. Help us focus on You and Your Word so we can hear Your voice above all others. In Jesus’ name, amen.