GUIDANCE – OUR SHEPHERD
Jesus was Holy – Holiness is WHOLENESS and we can be WHOLE and HOLY because JESUS was and is.
SO TODAY … CORPORATE GUIDANCE… what does it even mean?
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep – its a group project.
John 10 – I AM THE GOOD SHEPPARD – its a group project… He leads us – TOGETHER. Yes he sees us individually – but its a WE not a ME. Our lives effect each other – other faith builds up each other – our decisions will effect each other – our words can encourage one another – our worship is necessary together.
John 10:11-16 NLT
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
‘The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds. This is the fundamental secret of caring for our souls. Our part in thus practicing the presence of God is to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him. In the early time of our “practicing” we may well be challenged by our burdensome habits of dwelling on things less than God. But these are habits—not the law of gravity—and can be broken. A new, grace-filled habit will replace the former ones as we take intentional steps toward keeping God before us. Soon our minds will return to God as the needle of a compass constantly returns to the north. If God is the great longing of our souls, He will become the pole star of our inward beings.’ – Dallas Willard
…there has also been teaching—good teaching—on the exceptional means of guidance: angels, visions, dreams, signs, and more. But we have heard little about how God leads through his people, the body of Christ. On that subject there is profound silence.
For this reason I have chosen to list guidance among the Corporate Disciplines and to stress its communal side. God does guide the individual, but he also guides groups of people and can instruct the individual through the group experience.
With all our modern methods of missionary recruitment we could profit by giving serious attention to this example of corporate guidance. We would be well advised to encourage groups of people to fast, pray, and worship together until they have discerned the mind of the Lord.
Under corporate guidance the early Church faced and resolved its most explosive issue (Acts 15). Some free-lance Christians had gone up to Antioch and had begun preaching the necessity of circumcision for all Christians. The issue was far from trivial. Paul saw at once that it was tantamount to the Jewish cultural captivity of the Church.
Appointed elders and apostles gathered in the power of the Lord not to jockey for position or to play one side against another, but to hear the mind of the Spirit.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE GATHERED TODAY JUST TO BE UNIFIED UNDER THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
This is not the norm – this is not cultural – this is KINGDOM. As Chris Hall (Professor of Theology at Eastern University) would say its the UPSIDE DOWN KINGDOM.
He saw that the gifts of the Spirit were given by the Spirit to the body in such a way that interdependence was ensured. No one person possessed everything. Even the most mature needed the help of others. The most insignificant had something to contribute. No one could hear the whole counsel of God in isolation
76% of Americans view themselves as christians (as people who believe in God)
But only 8% would say they are FOLLOWERS of Christ’s teachings.
WHEN YOU COME IN – SPOON FEEDING AND JUST SITTING THERE IS OUT OF THE PICTURE.
It is possible for business decisions to be made under a sense of the corporate leading of the Holy Spirit. Business meetings should be viewed as worship services. Available facts can be presented and discussed, all with a view to listening to the voice of Christ. Facts are only one aspect of the decision-making process and in themselves are not conclusive. The Spirit can lead contrary to or in accord with the available facts. God will implant a spirit of unity when the right path has been chosen and trouble us with restlessness when we have not heard correctly. Unity rather than majority rule is the principle of corporate guidance. Spirit-given unity goes beyond mere agreement. It is the perception that we have heard the Kol Yahweh, the voice of God.
As a people they had decided to live under the direct rulership of the Spirit. They had rejected both human totalitarianism and anarchy. They had even rejected democracy, that is, majority rule. They had dared to live on the basis of Spirit-rule; no 51%. vote, no compromises, but Spirit-directed unity. And it worked.=`
I once attended a business session of some two hundred people in which an issue had been earnestly debated. Though there was a sharp difference of opinion, each of the members sincerely desired to hear and obey the will of God. After a considerable period of time, a united sense of direction began to emerge among all except a few people. Finally, one person stood and said, “I do not feel right about this course of action, but I hope that the rest of you will love me enough to labor with me until I have the same sense of God’s leading as the rest of you or until God opens another way to us.”
As an outside observer, I was touched by how tenderly the group responded to that appeal. All over the auditorium little groups began gathering to share, to listen, to pray. By the time they had broken through to a united decision, I had received a far greater appreciation for the way in which Christians are to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Such expressions of the central function of corporate guidance are among the most healthy signs of spiritual vitality today. – RICHARD FOSTER
Do you have a Spiritual Guide / Mentor or Director…?
Proverbs 12:15 – Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Jesus is our guide… both individual and corporate. He is the leader, the Shepherd, the boss, the king.
We CAN TOGETHER be lead TOGETHER under the authority of Jesus.
When Jesus talks about being our Shepherd – it was something they would understand, it was a cultural yet a brilliant metaphor. But Shepherd don’t just watch A sheep… its a collective. One effects the other.