A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweed.

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Are we truly Jesus’ sheep…or are we still acting like goats? Ask a Christian that question and his response will probably be “Of course I am a sheep!” But do our actions belie that answer? And just what does it really mean to be one of Jesus’ sheep?

Sheep are among the most naïve of all animals. They blindly trust the shepherd to protect them and lead them to green pastures. They do not question the leading of the shepherd and are content to just follow him wherever he takes them. They place their security and future in his caring hands.

Goats, on the other hand, are among the most stubborn and belligerent of all animals. They tend to go their own way, choosing their own instincts over submission to any shepherd. They rely more on themselves than on the one assigned to lead and protect them.

If we are honest with ourselves as Christians, we would admit that every one of us is a goat at some times. We stray from the shepherd and think we are better equipped to blaze our own trail rather than completely trusting a shepherd to lead and care for us. We rely on our own earthly wisdom rather than blindly submitting to the shepherd. But when we find trouble, we cry out to the shepherd expecting him to rescue us. When he arrives a little later than we would like, we get angry at the shepherd for not protecting us.

Our human pride and stubbornness just will not allow us to blindly submit to our shepherd, Jesus Christ. Oh, we have our moments when we walk closely with Him, but we usually end up straying away from him and finding trouble. We learn for a while that this was stupid and commit ourselves to never straying again. But in our human nature of sin and pride, we usually end up straying once again, only to repeat this cycle of spiritual insanity.

Father God, this morning we pray together as your children—that we would find the peace and security to follow you blindly, no matter where you may lead us. Lord God, that we finally learn that the safest place we can be is in your arms and that we stop straying and relying on our own earthly wisdom. Jesus, that we would know your voice and trust in you in all things. Break us of our human pride and arrogance of thinking we can actually abide without you. Lord, take us and mold us into your perfect vessels. Break us of our arrogance and self dependence. May we one day soon realize that every breath we take is totally dependent on you.