As I was having my quiet time this morning I thought about cattle ranches. I’ve never worked a ranch but I’ve watched lots of movies about them. The scenes where they are cutting cattle are amazing. The historic reminders of days gone by are amazing. Those cowboys who separated cattle from the herd required the highest level of skill and rode specially skilled “cutting” horses, trained to follow the movements of cattle, capable of stopping and turning faster than other horses. Once cattle were sorted, most cowboys were required to rope young calves and restrain them to be branded.
That’s when God spoke to my heart: The enemy is specially trained to cut you out of the herd. He’s no amateur that you can avoid. He has, as the Word says, “a cunningly devised plan”. He will also cut you away from the Word. He wants you separated from the fellowship of faith and He wants you separated from the Word of God. He will then rope you up in your misery and brand you. His brands are humiliated, unbeliever, defenseless, outcast, weakling, loner. These brands only stay permanent as long as we believe them. We cannot get ourselves loose from the enemy’s rope.
God spoke to my heart again: God is your Shepherd. Unlike the enemy who wants to cut you down, cut you off and tie you up helpless, God’s ways are loving, kind, merciful and generous. God wants to separate you from the world’s way of thinking. He wants to put you in the right herd, teach you how to live and untie you from all sins and all weaknesses. God’s desire is for you to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might. He wants you to know the Word thoroughly so you don’t get separated by the enemy. He has sent Jesus to round you up, give you a new life, set your feet securely and give you green pasture to live in all the days of your life.
Oh beloved, you must be certain of who is driving your life, who is in the saddle and who you are letting call the shots. God’s love will never constrain you, humiliate you, strand you or cut you out from fellowship. You can know whether it is God’s doing or the enemy trying to get to you by viewing your circumstances by God’s Word. Never resort to your own strength for stamina. Never let others bind you with endless wrangling about things that don’t matter. Your troubles may want to tie you up in knots, but Jesus sets you free. Your heartaches may want to brand you weakling, but God’s Word says that your strength will rise as you wait on Him. Your senses may say impossible, but Jesus says all things are possible.
We are not cattle, but sheep who have a Shepherd to show us the way, save us from death, guard us from the enemy, give us His plan, make our way blessed, strengthen our days and teach us how to be like Him. God loves you and He’s for you always, giving you freedom to grow in grace and knowledge of Him all the days of your life.
Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Psalm 121:8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
(for more about Julie Chen’s Art go to http://www.lifeversedesign.com/ )