On my way to do some errands yesterday, I watched a large group of birds flying to and fro. I find it fascinating to watch them as they seem to suddenly turn en mass this direction and then that. Then a small group would break off from the larger group and head out in their own direction only to return and meld back into the large group. It appeared as if they didn’t know who they should follow and the entire group really didn’t “go” anywhere. Seriously, what is that all about?
I wondered if God watches us behave a bit like that flock of birds. Never quite sure who, or what, we should, or even ARE, following. Tossed to and fro chasing after who knows what, getting nowhere quickly. There have certainly been days (even seasons) of my life that felt like that!
Our culture makes it very easy to get lost amid the myriad of “experts” that are far too willing to help us “help ourselves” at just the right price; the fitness industry, the weight loss industry, the educational system, the financial industry, the fast food industry (to make feeding our families quick and easy in our overly booked schedules), etc. Just watch any 3 commercials and you’ll see exactly what I mean. We are so busy chasing ________ (fill it in yourself – the American dream, the perfect body, the best mom/wife/career woman of the year award – whatever), that sometimes we even forget what we are chasing and why. Working hard, out of energy and emotionally drained.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
And listen to that still small voice.
Of the One who knows. Who knows us. Who knows what we need. Who knows what is best.
God has given us His Holy Word to guide us so that we avoid getting into the rat race (or flock flight) that leads to death. Priorities given to us by God for our benefit. Learning to be God’s kind of person, partner, parent, parishioner, provider and player.
4) Church Family
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:4
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Learning to listen to the voice of our Shepherd and to tune out the other voices that want us to follow down different paths is difficult. It requires that we spend time in prayer and in studying and reading the Bible so that we know God’s voice. Sometimes it requires that we seek godly counsel to affirm, or deny, what we believe God is telling us. It requires that we learn to say no to good things that aren’t His things.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
God has a plan for me. It is the BEST plan for me. So I will follow Him alone.
Prune away the unnecessary so there is room for the necessary. Simplify. Focus.
I know whom I will follow; I know His voice. I hope you do too. It will mean that we will fly separately from the flock that is still searching elsewhere. Maybe some of the others will follow us. Be encouraged. Press on.