“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.” – Ezekiel 34:11-14
Ever tried flipping pancakes without a spatula? Tried screwing a screw without a screwdriver? Worked on a car without the right wrenches? That is what life is like outside of God’s pasture. Nothing is ever quite right and the results of our efforts disappoint us. We can even get to the point where we avoid situations that require those “tools” so that we lessen our exposure to failure. God is not in the business of mediocrity or complacency.
There is only one pasture that will give us all of the safety, sustenance and stability we need to grow into the people of God. Unfortunately there are a number of imitation pastures for us to choose from – politics, religion, power, status, control, relationships and the list goes on. We can fool ourselves into thinking that our pasture is safe, sustaining and stable, but the reality is that we are scattered, lost and broken. We are flipping pancakes without a spatula.
For example: politics, especially of late, has become increasingly divisive and polarizing. There are strong feelings in all directions and it can pull us in through our passions and patriotism. However, there is a point at which our politics becomes the defining element in our view of the world. We become more influenced by pundits and party politics than we are by scripture or our prayer life. We become scattered, broken sheep in a political pasture. This certainly does not mean that Christians should not be involved in politics; far from it. It means that our life in Christ, in the pasture, should be what defines our politics instead of the other way around – and the same goes for anything else that draws from His pasture to another.
God calls us to live in His pasture because it changes who we are, how we see the world around us and gives us all we need to live for His glory and honor. We become a different kind of sheep, perfectly fit for the work we are called to do.