Chelsea Hurst’s breakdown of scripture invites us all in the sit at the table as we remember that Jesus is our great shepherd. In the process of following our leader that can be trusted, we find security and the longing to know our God more. An inspiring role model and a leading voice for millions of young adults around the globe, she writes with incredible grace and undeniable truth. It’s a joy to welcome Chelsea to the farm’s front porch today…
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and
my sheep know me—just as the Father knows
me and I know the Father—and I lay down my
life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not
of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They
too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one
flock and one shepherd. John 10:14–16
I used to believe that all the passages in scripture about sheep were a little off.
I asked myself often, “Why does the Bible talk so much about sheep?”
Until I did a little research online about the qualities and habits of these puffy cotton balls, I was clueless.
Now I know how intentional God was to use these animals the way He did.
You and I are more like sheep than we realize.
Which is why Jesus intentionally refers to us as sheep in John 10.
Sheep are some of the most defenseless animals on earth. For example, these fluffy guys will get dehydrated if they are not led to water, because they’re totally unaware of their surroundings.
The intriguing thing is that sheep have a natural desire to follow a shepherd. They can’t do too many things without guidance.
Similarly, Jesus is our good shepherd. He leads us to all the places we need to go.
Trusting His leadership means you may not know ahead of time all the places (both physical and emotional) you’ll end up; it requires faith and trust that you’ll be led where you need to be at the right time.
When you stay close enough to God to hear His voice and listen to His guiding words, you also take the most important step toward loving God with all your heart and seeing His love for you.
Trusting a leader is a much simpler choice when you have confidence that they know you inside and out.
This is true with the God we serve.
Since we are made in His image, and He made us Himself, we can trust He knows what He’s doing.
In the verse above, Jesus says He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him, just as the Father knows Him and He knows the Father.
Whew. Read that line a few more times.
Just as intimately as the Lord knows His Son, He knows us!
We are fully known by the God of the universe because we are His beloved creation.
At the beginning of time, He saw the world and all that He had made, and He deemed it all “good,” but He didn’t call it “very good” until it included us.
Isn’t that wild? I want to encourage us to not only see Jesus as our leader but for us to come into the awareness that we don’t need to know the path He’s taking us on if we trust Him.
That awareness for me has changed everything.
I’m not riddled with anxiety or asking everyone I know to calm me down.
It is simple trust, and this trust is only formed in relationship and stillness with our Shepherd.
I’d love to give you a challenge for today as I’m not someone who just likes to write with no practicality. Here we go!
Ask the Lord to change and shape you into the person you were created to be: someone who trusts in Him for everything.
It might not make sense to the world, but loving God with our all takes spending time with Him.
This doesn’t always mean sitting on your bed in your room deciphering the Bible.
Sometimes it’s praying in the car, running in your neighborhood with awareness of the beauty around you, or taking a break from your phone and work to spend time with those you love.
The more time you spend with Him, the better you will know Him as He knows you.
Rest in Him today, and He will draw near to you.
Her latest devotional: Above All Else: 60 Devotions for Young Women is honest, personal, and filled with hope. This devotional just might be what young women need to hear most in their lives right now. Chelsea speaks to women, whether they are experiencing their brightest or darkest moments, inspiring readers to overcome challenges, celebrate the beauty of life, and pursue God above all else. Whether it’s body image issues or bullying, beauty and fashion or family and friendship, Chelsea’s got your back to help you put your best self forward in truth.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]