On the Saturday night of the Last Reformation Kickstart Workshop in my town (05.08.17) I went for prayer because of migraines that I had been suffering from since around the time I started blogging. I have never been a person who suffers from migraines and I knew that it was something spiritual against me.
Whilst I was getting prayed for I saw a vision of our Lord Jesus Christ standing in the ocean with the water level around his waist. He was holding a sheep in his arms. On the shore I saw hundreds of sheep watching and waiting on him. It was wonderful to receive this vision and it really encouraged me. I struck me that God really, really, I mean REALLY loves all his sheep.
I have been listening to Francois Botes lately, a south african prophet living in Germany. He explained how God uses dreams to communicate with his people (warning, instruction), and how he uses visions to reveal Himself, or reveal His character. I do believe that Jesus was stressing the shepherd side of Himself to me here in this vision.
The Scriptures reveal Jesus as the Good and True Shepherd. When Jesus is our Shepherd and we allow Him to lead us, every step of the way, we shall not want, i.e he will provide for each and every one of our needs in His wisdom and in His time.
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
Jesus also shares this parable of the lost sheep with His disciples in the New Testament, to make them understand what a victory it is when a sinner repents and comes to Christ, that they may understand that every-single-sheep is precious. This lesson was very important because He was going to leave them soon and leave them the to take care of his sheep.
Luke 15:3-7 (NKJV)
3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
In the first week of September, as I was praying before I slept, I had a vision. In this vision I was standing on a rocky mountain. I saw a sheep-pen filled with sheep. I received a word of knowledge that the sheep were being held captive. I noticed a farm house not far from the sheep pen, just a little bit higher from where I was standing. There were no lights on in the house, all was quiet. I set about opening the gate and setting the sheep free. The whole time I was doing this I was praying in tongues. I led the sheep out and started to lead them away from that place. Suddenly, the door of the farm house banged open and I saw a dark figure standing at the doorway. I turned to face the house and intensified my prayer. Within a flash, the dark figure was standing right in front of me. I did not see much, only a figure that was cloaked with a dark cape from head to toe. It eminated a menace that I could feel from where I stood. I held up my shepherds rod in front of me and kept praying. Nothing happened. It seemed as if there was some kind of border that the figure could not cross to get to me. It could only stand there and stare. Once I understood that I was safe, I turned my attention back to the sheep and led them as fast as possible away from there. After wallking for some time, I came to a flattened-out area of the mountain, and there I saw something wondrous. I saw shepherds coming from many directions, all leading a flock of sheep, all going in one direction, the same direction that I was heading in. Somewhere and beyond on the other side there was Something that was drawing us near, we were all heading there; we were all being led by one Spirit, who was guiding us along the way. I felt so relieved to see the other shepherds, and I knew that they too must have had to fight some kind of spiritual battle against the enemy, maybe an even bigger one then mine, in order to rescue the sheep that they were now leading. I felt peace rush over me, and joy to have found like minded people.
Now that was an incredible vision and I now understand now how it ties in with the first vision of the shepherd Jesus that I received on the 5th of August, almost exactly a month earlier. Being a shepherd was an important occupation in the Bible. It was not only a time-consuming job, as shepherds had to spend a lot of time out in the fields looking for good pasture for their sheep to graze on but also a dangerous one, as shepherds had to protect their sheep from predators. We know that King David often had to fight wolves, lions and bears with his own hands in order to protect his sheep.
In order to be a good shepherd you have to
- LOVE the sheep
- lead them
- feed them
- protect them
- treasure them.
- Be patient with them
More about the life of a shepherd here: The Shepherd Life
The topic of shepherds seems to have followed me over the last few weeks. Two weeks after the Kickstart event, I heard a sermon about Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is quantitative and refers to chronological time which we can measure i.e minutes, hours and seconds. Kairos is qualitative and refers to particular moments in time, more specifically the moment. The pastor gave examples in the Bible of how Moses was a shepherd for 40 years in the desert before God called him to go and speak to the Pharoah of Egypt to release the Israelites from slavery. The burning bush was his kairos moment. Abraham too was a shepherd many years before God made a covenant with him. Before David’s kairos moment came where Samuel annointed him as the next King of Israel after Saul, he was a shepherd over his family’s sheep whilst his brothers were soldiers in saul’s army. Shepherds were some of the first people who got to see Jesus just after He was born. There seems to be a characteristic that shepherds have that God really likes and can really use 😉
I want to encourage everyone who is in some kind of leadership position, whether it be a Bible-Study group, a congregation, a youth club or even if your ministry is online, I would like to encourage you with these prophetic words:
The Lord your God and Shepherd walks before you, He will never leave you nor forsake you, do not fear and do not be discouraged. He will guide your ways all the days of your life and make your crooked paths straight. He will open doors in your life which no man can shut and shut doors which no man can open. The Lord Himself has called you by name into the ministry and leadership position you are in, to shepherd his sheep into the new covenant. He has handed you the shepherd’s rod which gives you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions, to break down strongholds and every arguement that sets itself up against the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. Although you may be surrounded by wolves, the Lord Himself will give you discernment in abundance, that you can root out all the falsehoods of the enemy and walk only in truth and in light. The Lord will shine His light into your life to penetrate and remove every darkness within, until His light radiates from you, that many sheep will hear you and follow you, as you yourself hear the voice of the Good and True Shepherd and follow Him.
John 10 (NKJV)
Jesus the True Shepherd
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”
21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
The Shepherd Knows His Sheep
22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.[b] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
See also: Quick Read: The Five-Fold Ministry