Friday, 3 December 2021

Water the Sheep

 Scripture: Genesis 29 v 7 - 8: "And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. 

8  And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep."

Why are we called sheep by Jesus?  It is because sheep are docile, obedient and easily led.  They follow their shepherd and are loyal to him because they know his voice and do not heed the voice of strangers.

Jesus says that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit out of our belly, our innermost being, shall flow rivers of living water.  This is the waters of the river of life that flows through us from Heaven. 

Revelation 22 v 1 - 2: "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

In John 4 Jesus said that whoever drinks of the living water He gives shall thirst no more.  What He means is that the living water satisfies our soul completely so we need search no further for righteousness and truth.  Jesus is the sum of perfection.  Once He is alive in our hearts we are complete in Him and all yearning and emptiness is swept away from us.

We need to gather the flocks around our well and remove the heavy rock that covers it.  This is the hard part.  That rock represents all our barriers, excuses, reasons, arguments, philosophies, false teachings, religious traditions and stubbornness to do the Lord's bidding.  It's our will against His will, and He will never force us.  He will lead us to the well, the rock and the flocks but we must remove the rock that covers it.

He has all His hidden treasures in our wells.  We must faithfully let down our buckets and fill them with what God sees as the true needs of His sheep.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit flowing forth from us when we are ready to reach out to others and water them with His Word, healing, deliverance, salvation.

When Jesus had just been baptized by John in the Jordan River the heavens opened over Him and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and settled upon Him. This was the beginning of His ministry of truth, healing and deliverance.  His well was open and remains open for each one of us to receive and to water His sheep.  I often wonder if His baptism was on the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, because that means "when the heavens are opened".

If we don't have the power of the Holy Spirit we cannot begin to move the rock from the well.  He gives us the power to be witnesses and without it we are dry and withered.  Without the true power we have to create or manufacture our own experiences with God to keep the sheep coming to the well.   Some are very successful entertainers, but sadly the sheep are not watered by this, they start to search other more exotic pleasures and wander away.

Jeremiah 23 v 1 - 4: "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
3  And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD."

The Lord will round up those who have wandered and gather them back into a flock to be watered by those sincere and caring pastors, or shepherds, who will remove the rock and water the sheep with the water of life.  When the sheep are well watered they should be able to remove the rock to draw water for the lambs to strengthen, encourage and share with them the mighty love of Jesus.

Let the Word of God, the scriptures, so fill our lives that the power of the Word strengthens us, and then we can speak the Word confidently to those who need it.  We will walk in the grace of the Word and be the Bible those on the outside seldom read.

I am reminded of a mountaineer who went to climb Everest.  I was not aware of his climb but the Lord laid on my heart to pray for someone lost upon a mountain.  A few weeks later Mark phoned me.  He found my number in the Yellow Pages (BG...Before Google).

He told me he had had an experience with Jesus when he was lost in a storm on Everest.  He was an atheist but had decided to take a Bible with him on his climb.  He knew he was being led out of the storm back to base camp.  He became a believer on the mountain.  He called me out of the blue because he needed help publishing the book he was writing.  I told him about my function to pray for someone lost on a mountain and we believed it was for him.  He was so amazed and even more that he had picked my name out of the Yellow Pages.  It just takes obedience and Jesus does the rest. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have warned us repeatedly of the dangers of deception and false teachings yet many still follow their own understanding and remain lost.  We ask forgiveness if we have not opened our well and watered the sheep around us.  We repent of this error and will obey this instruction promptly.  Lord be glorified in all we do for You.  In Jesus' name. Amen.