Summary: An inductive sermon on spiritual guiance and decision making.
THE Cs OF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE
INTRODUCTION… Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers
A young pilot had just passed the point of no return when the weather changed for the worse. Visibility dropped to a matter of feet as fog descended to the earth. Putting total trust in the cockpit instruments was a new experience to him, for the ink was still wet on the certificate verifying that he was qualified for instrument flying.
The landing worried him the most. His destination was a crowded metropolitan airport he wasn’t familiar with. In a few minutes he would be in radio contact with the tower. Until then, he was alone with his thoughts. His instructor had practically forced him to memorize the rulebook. He didn’t care for it at the time, but now he was thankful.
Finally he heard the voice of the air traffic controller. "I’m going to put you on a holding pattern," the controller radioed. Great! thought the pilot. However, he knew that his safe landing was in the hands of this person. He had to draw upon his previous instructions and training, and trust the voice of an air traffic controller he couldn’t see. Aware that this was no time for pride, he informed the controller, "This is not a seasoned pro up here. I would appreciate any help you could give me."
"You’ve got it!" he heard back.
For the next 45 minutes, the controller gently guided the pilot through the blinding fog. As course and altitude corrections came periodically, the young pilot realized the controller was guiding him around obstacles and away from potential collisions. With the words of the rulebook firmly placed in his mind, and with the gentle voice of the controller, he landed safely at last.
The Holy Spirit guides us through the maze of life much like that air traffic controller. The controller assumed that the young pilot understood the instructions of the flight manual. His guidance was based on that. Such is the case with the Holy Spirit: He can guide us if we have a knowledge of God’s Word and His will established in our minds.
READ JOHN 10:1-6
Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the shepherd is a passage of Scripture full of meaning. As I looked at this passage, I found four or five messages just in these few verses. This is a teaching full of meaning. Each of these verses is well worth your time in personal study. I would like, today, to look at this passage in terms of its perspective on guidance.
In this wonderful passage, Jesus sets up a figure of speech for us to understand. Once you fully understand the figure of speech, the rest of the parable falls into place. The disciples, as we read in verse 6, did not understand the figure of speech. Jesus gives us this picture, it is a spiritual picture, of He and His followers. Jesus identifies Himself as the shepherd and us as the sheep.
Why does Jesus say He’s a shepherd? What is He implying and trying to get across about Himself? How does this parable apply to our life? A shepherd, we have to understand, was 100% responsible for: keeping the flock together, protecting the sheep against predators, leading them to fresh water and pasture, and watching out for the sick and the young. The job description would make it clear the role of a shepherd is a demanding one. He would be with his sheep around the clock in all sorts of weather and would leading them over difficult terrain under the heat of the sun and would listen in the dark for the sounds of danger.
Does that sound like a career you would choose for yourself? I doubt many of us had shepherd at the top of our job lists when we were younger. How much would they have to pay you to become a shepherd? Could you do the job well?
Jesus states clearly that He is the shepherd. What does that mean? It means He is in charge and knows where we are going and what life is all about. God is in charge. God is the caretaker of your soul. God takes you where you need to go.
Why does Jesus identify us as sheep? What is He implying and trying to get across about us and our relationship with Him? How does this parable apply to our life? If you were going to describe yourself as an animal, what sort of creature would you pick? I don’t think you would say sheep. In the Psalms, David describes himself as a sheep, dependent upon the care of another for health, for safety, for life. David confesses over and over again that he has a great and abiding need for God. The details of the shepherd’s job description take on great importance when we realize they are there to meet the needs of the sheep.