Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An Apt Description of the Church Today!

The Minor Prophets Speak To Today

Wandering like Lost Sheep

Attacked because They have no Shepherd

Zechariah 10:1-2NLT


My people are wandering like lost sheep;
they are attacked because they have no shepherd.


Let's get one thing straight. If God has said and is still saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it" [Jeremiah 6:16 NLT], then the existence of the Church's many divisions, denominations, and diverging standards of belief pictures a church that is not walking in the Way, but wandering like lost sheep. 

The sad thing is that all we wanderers think we are the ones walking in the way. The best we can hope is that we are wandering in the same pasture, but that is highly unlikely. Sheep wandering around in the same pasture are not lost. Or so we hope. Yet, God describes us as being like lost sheep.

And you see, there is one other problem with the picture of sheep wandering in the same pasture. God said this is the way - not the pasture. Along the way, he sometimes makes us lie down in green pastures. Sometimes he leads us beside the still waters. But the very word "way" is a call to follow a God who is on the move.

Those who wandering around in the pasture are not walking in the way. Not on the move. And, therefore, are not the Church in Triumphant Procession.

Live Wool Walking


Because the wandering sheep have no shepherd. Now, the wayward will say to you, "We have a shepherd, Jesus is the Good Shepherd!" And to a degree, we can say that is true. But when we are not walking with the Shepherd, in the way of the Shepherd, then, while he may own us, we have no shepherd with us.

One of the great false beliefs among Christians is that when we leave the Way to walk after our own understanding [that is the reason for so much division isn't it?] Jesus remains with us. No. Jesus does not follow us. He does not walk with us there.

Yes, he knows where we are and what we are doing. Yes, he calls out for us to turn from walking in the way of our own understanding and that of the other sheep in our group and to return to him and walk in his way. [In case you did not notice, that is the biblical definition of repentance.]

But because he speaks does not mean we are okay. We are not under his protecting arm. That is why the church is under attack today.

(It is important here to note that sometimes we come under attack because God is testing us to show the world that we are his and we are one in Christ Jesus. This is not the attack God is speaking of in this prophecy.)


When God called out to us at various points in history, “Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls," We replied, "No, that’s not the road we want!"

Sometimes it was leaders who made that decision and we followed. Sometimes our group had been following the way of their own understanding for so many generations, even centuries, that we thought the Holy Spirit must be talking to those other people, we are in "the way."

But far to often the people started to listen to other voices. Voices that do not belong to the Great Shepherd. The voices of our household gods like money, cherished ancestors, individualism, family traditions, unredeemed cultural expectations, fashion, etc. We hold tight to many, many household gods. But our household gods give worthless advice. They are not God. To our own peril, we substitute their advice for seeking God's advice.

The experts - fortune tellers - we turn to for advice and instructions predict only lies. The financial gurus are just that wealth building gurus, not God. The health and wealth prophets are just that - fortune tellers who predict lies. If they were true prophets, everyone who consults them would be as financial and physically well off as the prophets themselves.

Give it a little thought. You can name many experts we follow to determine our individual and corporate ways. Oh, they sound wise. Yes, sometimes they produce the result they claim. But the ways into which their predictions lead are not God's ways. We choose to follow them and fail to ask for wisdom from God. God's direction, when we do ask, is not the road we want. Still, over time, the experts find out that what they believed was not true, sometimes not even partially true. What they predicted does not happen or cannot be sustained. They, in essence, have predicted lies.

We have big dreams. Often we have nationalist dreams. In America, we call it the American Dream and it shapes our life more than God's way. In Russia, the people have their own national dream. In nearly every nation this is true. Those people who follow Islam, have great dreams too. But few of us go back and check with the one true God to see what he has to say. We are led captive by our leaders or other men who interpret these dreams for us.

These interpreters of dreams are just that - only men, only interpreters. And so it comes about as God clearly spoke through his prophets, the interpreters of dreams pronounce falsehoods that give no comfort.


Its name is repentance.

Photo Credits: 
Truth Abides by Wayne Anson, all rights reserved
Live Wool Walking by Dennis Wilkinson, some rights reserved

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