THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Scripture: John 10:1-6
In John 10:1-6, Jesus outlines the key characteristics of a good shepherd. He says, “’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. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.” One of the primary characteristics of shepherding is the willingness to pioneer by walking ahead of others. It is the willingness to go where God says to go so that what we teach comes from experience. God does not tolerate hypocrisy. True shepherding means living on the cutting edge of God’s truth and following the leadership of the Spirit. Shepherding for a prophet means fully releasing what we are hearing even though we know it is going to create division. Compromise comes when we diminish a message (Deuteronomy 12:32, Jeremiah 26:2) in order to gain a following and finance what we want to do. Those who said yes to the Spirit in the early 1900’s paid the price of persecution. The early Pentecostal’s had to pioneer something that was not well accepted. For them, it was costly. But they learned something about pioneering with the Lord. Persecution is the seedbed of advancing the Kingdom. If we, in faith, step out and follow Him, He will advance the Kingdom. True shepherds are pioneers and they are willing to pay the price to pioneer in the Spirit regardless of whether anybody follows or not. Let’s pray for the restoration of the spirit of the pioneer for everyone of the five-fold ministry. It is desperately needed.