“The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. . . . The sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3, NLT).
We all need guidance for decisions in life. Yet, in a world as chaotic as ours, getting good guidance isn’t always simple or easy. Jesus says it is different for Christians. He makes it clear in the above passage that His followers—“His own sheep”—know His voice and “come to Him.” The picture is of a Good Shepherd providing His sheep with all the oversight and care they need.
Does that suffice for the hard decisions we all have to make? Each of us has serious matters to decide: “Whom do I marry? What vocation should I pursue? What is my purpose in life?” These decisions can be fraught with tension, especially if we regret poor decisions made in the past. My life has been immensely blessed by God, but I don’t want my children or grandchildren to make the mistakes I’ve made. Like any parent, I want to be able to give them the best guidance possible.
The good news is that we have a Shepherd who is a faithful guide to us in all things, no matter how faulty our decisions. He has the authority to guide us into an amazingly blessed life, regardless of our failures. Indeed, He says that is His purpose in guiding our lives: “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT).
We all know it is important to follow a quality guide. Think about the big life decisions you’ve made: Who was guiding you? What was their experience? What skill and knowledge did they use in getting you to where you wanted to go?
Some guides in life have the knowledge to get us through some troubling dilemmas. But do they also have the knowledge to carry us to the abundant life Jesus promises? As our Lord, Jesus is up to more than just guidance—He is forming a relationship. He wants us to know more than just when and where to go. He wants us to have the rich blessing of knowing Him personally in every area of life. So while we’re busy looking for an instruction manual, He’s saying very simply, “Follow Me.”