John 10:3 Voice, “The guard who is posted to protect the sheep opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
This morning as I read this beautiful passage, I saw our pastor as the guard who was posted to protect the sheep and open the gate for the shepherd. In turn, I saw sheep (God’s people) knowing His voice, following the leading of the Holy Spirit. So many sheep just want to do their own thing, come and go as they please and not submit to the gates and guards that are there to keep them safe. They wander into the world like Red Riding hood, unaware the old woman they’ve met is really a wolf trying to eat them up. They’re all good with dating that wolf, even marrying that wolf, with or without their pastor’s blessing, but the minute that wolf steps out of his disguise, they run back to the sheepfold expecting the guard to open the gate and fix all their problems.
Gates and gatekeepers are designed for protection and guarding of precious things. They do more then just preach a good message on Sunday morning, they keep watch, making sure that there are no breaches in the fence where foxes can get in and do harm to the sheep. We need to trust the gatekeeper to do his job!
When the Shepherd arrives, He calls them by name and His sheep know His voice and He leads them out. There’s something we’ve been missing here and it’s allowing the gatekeeper to open the gate for the Shepherd. Sometimes we think we’ve heard from God and want to go out and do it with no covering or blessing from our gatekeeper. We come to him or her with a word from the Lord and expect them to leap up and tell us, “Go! Do it!” but they’ve been trained by the Lord to wait, double check credentials, make sure it’s legitimate before putting on their stamp of approval. So next time you meet someone who you’re sure is the right someone for you, bring them into the sheepfold so the gatekeeper can know them and see how well they submit and hear the Shepherd before you allow them to put a ring on your finger and sleep in your bed.
Father, thank you for our pastor’s who know you and work for you keeping the sheep safe. I so appreciate their deep love for You and their obedience to Your Word. They’re not afraid to admit they’ve made mistakes. They are trustworthy and caring. Father I speak blessings over their lives, their homes, their finances and their ministries. Protect them as they’ve protected us. See to their needs and keep them in a safe place, surrounded by your angels day and night. May they not grow weary doing what you’ve called them to do. It’s in Jesus’ Name I ask this, Amen