BIBLE READING: ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10; PROVERBS 11:14; EXODUS 18:13-26; JOHN 10:1-30
“The selfish man quarrels against every sound principle of conduct by demanding his own way.” Proverbs 18:1 (TLB).
Anyone who is rich in relationships is rich indeed. One of the surest pathways to burnout and stagnation is what is called “the lone ranger syndrome.” Moses the Lawgiver was overwhelmed with the daily needs of the myriads of Israelites and cried out to the Lord in frustration: “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now–if I have found favour in Your Sight–and do not let me see my wretchedness.” (Num.11:14-15). There is only so much a person can achieve in isolation. Besides, it is much more productive to put ten men to work than to do the work of ten men.
The Lord God Almighty created man for two primary reasons:
- Relationships: This has a dual application: First of all, man was designed to have constant fellowship with God (upreach or worship) which reinforces our Relationship with Him (see Gen.1:26). Secondly, man was designed to interact and relate with fellow man i.e., both inreach and outreach.
- Dominion: This involves exercising authority over every sphere of influence on His Behalf (see Ps.115:16). However, you can never fully represent the interests of a person you don’t really know, hence, the preeminence of relationship over dominion (see Mk.3:14-15).
The Bible makes it clear to us that Lord is our Shepherd (see Ps. 23:1a) and this Truth is seen all over the Scriptures. The Lord Jesus made a remarkable comment on this issue: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My Voice; and there will be one flock and One Shepherd.” (Jn.10:16).
Unlike other animals with inbuilt defense mechanisms, the sheep is largely vulnerable and helpless. In other words, the security of every sheep lies in two key factors i.e., the shepherd and the sheepfold (see Lk.15:3-7). The devil’s strategy has never changed over the years: He first of all seeks to isolate believers from the fortress of both the shepherd and sheepfold through factors such as offense, ignorance, rebellion, etc. Once he has succeeded, he proceeds to destroy his victims. The onus lies upon us to stay under covering and remain planted in the company of the saints (see Acts 4:23-37).
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Faithfulness towards us and for providing a Covering of Security for us. O Lord, please empower us with the grace and discipline to stay on course and not stray away from Your Presence in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.