As part of being in FORM, we have a rotation of FORMees who share reflections publically with the staff at Grace Gathering and the rest of the FORMees. It was Derek’s turn recently and he shared the following thoughts:
“A month or two ago, my FORM brothers and I were discussing what we sense God wants to speak to us. Unexpectedly, really, I sensed the Spirit impressing upon my heart the idea of the fear of the Lord. I had thought back to a couple of encounters I have had with the Lord where I was left in deep awe of him. It seemed the Lord wanted to reawaken a holy fear of Him inside of me, like a grizzly bear that has been in hibernation for the winter. He was inviting me to receive fresh revelation of who he is.
I have spent some time meditating on Psalm 86:11,
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth;
Unite my heart to fear your name.”
A friend told me of how shepherds would deal with wayward sheep. If a particular sheep kept going astray from the flock, the shepherd would break the sheep’s legs. Yep…. He would then carry the sheep on its shoulders everyday until the sheep’s legs are healed and it can walk again. After that the sheep never leaves that shepherd’s side.
This can remind us of our own walk with Christ. When we keep trying to do things our own way in life, the Lord our shepherd can “make [us] lie down” and have to depend on him. To me, it sounds abusive for the shepherd to literally break the sheep’s bones. In actuality, he is saving the sheep’s life. A sheep is not meant to be without a shepherd, and it can face life-threatening dangers it has no clue about if it goes off on its own.
This sheep example has different layers to it, but I want you to imagine being this sheep. The first time you go astray you think, “I don’t like my shepherd right now, and want to experience independence. So long, flock!” Then imagine facing the consequences and the long healing process. Not only was your life spared, but you experienced constant nurture from your shepherd and a particular closeness with him during that time. You are convinced of the shepherd’s kindness and desire to stay in his flock always. Now imagine a few months after that, you start to forget that reality. You have a bad day and think, “I don’t like my shepherd right now, and want to experience independence.” BUT, even if not because of his kindness, you will not leave the flock since you know the shepherd has the power to punish you, to break you. “Nope, not gettin’ my legs broken again!””
Honestly at this point I struggled to keep following what Derek said. The idea of the justice of God is not something I spend much time meditating on. Thankfully we can come back tomorrow to see how he developed his thoughts even while we take some time to absorb what he’s said so far…
- Ben :D