In his daily devotional book, The Believer’s Code, O.S. Hawkins offers an excellent word about sheep. He writes:
Have you ever been to a circus? If so, you probably saw an array of trained animals. Huge elephants can be trained to stand on their back legs atop tiny stools. Monkeys can be trained to ride bicycles. Lions can be trained to jump through rings of fire. But have you ever seen a trained sheep? No. Why? Because sheep are not that smart. Sheep cannot be trained to do anything. They tend to just wander around. Focused as they are on the ground — on food — they walk with their heads down and frequently get lost. No wonder the prophet says, “All we like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).
I especially agree with the assessment that we, like sheep, tend to just wander around. Are there truly evil people in this world? Absolutely. But there are far more people who are just out there wandering around. When it comes time for work, they wander to their place of employment. When the workday is finished, they wander back home. When they need groceries, they wander to the grocery store. When they need clothes, they wander to the mall. When they want to eat out, they wander to the restaurant. When they have an off day or some spare time, they wander to the site of something they like to do. When it is time for a vacation, they wander to the beach or the mountains.
No praying goes into any of these wanderings. God’s will isn’t sought concerning anything. The only “afterlife” these folks think about is retirement, which consists of all the imagined things they will do when they don’t have to work anymore. Ask any one of these people, “What is your purpose in being on this earth?” and you won’t get much of an answer. They just go about their business, day in and day out, like sheep with their heads down, each of them focusing only upon the next blade of grass.
The contrast to such a life is a life like David lived. In Acts 13:36, the Bible says that he “served his own generation by the will of God” (N.K.J.V.). Wow, what a concept, serving your generation, and doing it according to God’s will! Some people want to serve, but they want to pick their own area of service. Other people claim to want God’s will done, but those claims never translate into genuine commitment. David, however, had both sides of the issue covered. Not only did he serve his generation, he did it in the places and in the ways that God had planned for him.
Of course we know that David wasn’t perfect. His affair with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of Uriah prove that conclusively. Still, though, when it came time for God to write the epitaph on David’s scriptural tombstone, He wrote, “He served his own generation by the will of God.”
That’s a pretty lofty word of praise, certainly not one that a dumb sheep could achieve by just wandering its way through life. And the great news is that you can have that same epitaph written on your tombstone, little sheep, if you will come under the shepherding of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and seek His will in all matters. Why keep wandering aimlessly through life when Jesus offers you direction, guidance, and purpose (to say nothing of rewards in eternity)? So if you have never embraced Him as Savior and Shepherd, let me encourage you to do so right now. And if you have, take a moment to lift up your head and ask, “Jesus, am I truly serving my generation by your will?”