I really like the image of God as shepherd, walking with us, his sheep. I like the image because I find myself so often like a sheep that has wandered away from the shepherd, following my own nose and ending up in peril because of it. I like to do my own thing, create opportunities, make things happen. None of those things are bad traits, in fact they’re all wonderful if they are the natural outflow of life connected to God. The problem is when they are the result of me thinking I can do it all on my own.
Walking in faith is no passive activity. It’s not like closing your eyes blindly to the world around you and acting like you don’t have a care in the world. No, faith is confronting those fears and anxieties face to face, which takes quite a bit of courage. And because faith is a daily journey, it’s new every day. When I wake up in the morning, and I’m reading some particular passage of Scripture, I have to come face to face with faith and ask myself, “do i really believe THIS?”
1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” So this is the verse I read this morning, and as I read it I thought, my goodness, do I really believe this? Do I really believe that we don’t know what love is until we’ve sacrificed something for it? This verse could either be a really nice spiritual thought for the day, or it could end up being a radical, transformative message for how I live my life THIS day.
And really, isn’t our interaction with God, and with Scripture, supposed to be like that every day? What am I going to do with what this says? How does this change me? What does this require of me? Faith! Is that what faith looks like? Scanning even the most mundane parts of our lives and finding out that God is there too, wanting to make us more like him?
Do I believe this? It’s such a disrupting question. Faith is disruptive. It’s unpredictable. It requires much of me. Thank goodness my Shepherd is right there with me.