We were all created with the need for a Shepherd. In Eden, man communed regularly with God and they were in a perfect state of dependence on their Shepherd. When man fell, it was due to the fact that they wanted to become shepherds and gods unto themselves. God let them have their way in this and they effectively became independent of God.
We Still Need A Shepherd
That didn’t change the way they were wired though. And the way we are wired has not changed either, though we have had thousands of years to come up with ways to be happy without our original Shepherd. The question is, what does man do with that deep need to be cared for and guided like helpless sheep?
I’ve discovered simply through observation that we tend to fall into one or several of three categories when it comes to our reaction to the need within us for a Shepherd.
Our Ways Of Ignoring Our Need
In the first of these categories, you find people who are obviously insecure and scared as they try to pick their way through life. They make no bones about the fact that they do not have it together and are not self-sufficient. Most communicate this either through their words or their actions. They are the very picture of sheep milling about. Perhaps because of a storm or because of a predator prowling amongst them. Most will find an external shepherd from somewhere, whether good or evil.
The second category is made up of people who like everyone else, sense an insufficiency within themselves. However, they might have extraordinary talents in various areas—or charisma, or charm, or brashness. Perhaps they make a decision at some point that though they sense an insufficiency, they will use whatever is at their disposal to keep others and even themselves from fully knowing the truth. So they bandage their void with their natural abilities until it is practically invisible to the natural eye. They are shepherds unto themselves and are very proud of it. They will attempt to fake it until they make it.
Returning To The True Shepherd
In the third category, you will find people who have a background in one or both of the first two categories. These are the ones who have cast aside all pride and pretentions and have submitted to the true Shepherd. Those from the first category might have gone through many fake or abusive human leaders. But they had too much pride to first submit to the Lord. If they look to man, at least they can feel some level of control as to whose influence they are receiving. And they can continue to entertain their pet sins. But after having someone fail them one time too many, they finally turn to the Lord and submit to Him. And also then to the human authorities He puts in their lives.
Those who came from the second category many times need to have their bandages peeled off one by one. Finally, there is enough exposure of their insufficiency to convince them to surrender to One who is all sufficient.
Whatever our background, we all need a true Shepherd. And the sooner we realize it and surrender to Jesus, the sooner we can get on a path of peace and purpose.