Day 10/21: Stranger Danger

Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!

January 23, 2019

Good morning Jesus,

This morning the line that struck me in John 10:1 where you talk about someone who wants to get to the sheep in the sheep pen, but does not walk through the gate. Instead of opening the door to the fold, he climbs over the wall. This is never the behaviour of the godly – skulking around, slipping in through the side door, coming late, leaving early so as to go undetected. You then talk about how You enter through the gate, Your sheep know Your voice, they follow You out and You take them to safe places. All in the light. You are the good shepherd; You lay Your life down for Your sheep. You will not abandon them, as others would.

You say that Your sheep would not follow the stranger who climbs over the wall. Your sheep know You have come to bring life to the full versus the stranger who comes to steal and kill and destroy.

As I observe the sheep, I get concerned. I see things that should be a “stranger danger” warning but somehow this thing, or this belief or this practice is not alarming. There are many sheep who do not pick out that the voice they are listening to is not Yours. They do not feel the chill of warning when they come close to a way of thinking that is not Yours. They put things in their houses they shouldn’t, they put their belief in the power of things that hold no power, they absorb bits from other beliefs and practices they shouldn’t be practicing…not if they want to walk the way of the Shepherd.

Maybe we are just not looking. Maybe we are just not listening. Maybe some are Your sheep in name but not in a born-again belief. I don’t know…

When something does climb over the walls of my life do I quickly recognize what is “of You” and what is not? You call us to this discernment and say You will help us discern.

During these 21 Days, I have been experiencing extra “wall breaches.”  Here I am enjoying You and Your good words and ways, praying for so many things. Believing in faith for so many things and I have had The Stranger coming alongside and speaking untruth to me. I hate it. Discouraging things. Defeating things. Just the right things at the right time to really flatten me. Stirring up things I really don’t want to have to wrestle with. I know it isn’t Your voice. Clearly they are not Your words because they are tinged with condemnation and hopelessness.

How have I been handling this? Sometimes I can just walk away. I flick The Stranger off like he is a mosquito. Maybe that day it is easy. But other days it is not so easy. I have had a few wrestling days that have been very draining and these I never feel as good about – I think, “Next time I should…” employ a better tactic.

In verse 17 You remind me that You have all authority. You laid Your life down with that authority and You took it up again with authority. In verse 27 You say “My sheep listen to My voice; I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

Things easily get snatched out of my hand (or lost because I set them down and can’t remember where), but not Yours. I am in Your hand, and nothing can snatch me away. Today I am praying that You would help me battle. Help me battle the things that the Stranger brings. Lord I wish that I could remember, in the moment, that You are mighty in battle! Psalm 24:8 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”

 Next time in the thick of it, when I can’t even think, I am just going to say Your name over and over; will You remind me? I will block the darkness with the light of Your Name. I will be reminded. I will walk in Your authority.

 Thanks Lord…I am still alive…and You are making me Come Alive more and more, not less and less.

Keep me green.