Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” – John 10:14
My husband, who’s been known to say things like “and so what’s the point,” and “let’s just get this done, OK,” will occasionally remind me of what he says is the K.I.S.S. principle: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” He insists that the “stupid” at the end isn’t referring to me. (“I didn’t make it up, hon, It’s just part of the expression…”) Hmmm.
Regardless, when I hear it, I receive it more as criticism than as permission to relax and take it easy.
When I walk in the door at 7:45pm, for example, and start pulling out pots and pans to make pasta with roasted vegetables and grilled chicken in a pesto cream sauce, he’ll say, “let’s just keep it simple.” He knows, as do I, that if we don’t, we’ll be eating dinner at 9:30. So instead, we pull out the leftovers (again).
Keeping it simple is also a principle we can also apply to our faith in Jesus. I’ll confess that I sometimes feel like, to be a good Christian, I need to go into work mode: spend forty minutes a day studying, memorizing scripture, and contemplating the Trinity. But I’m never able to. Who is?
Thankfully, we don’t have to. As the foundation of our relationship, Jesus simply asks us to “Come and follow me” (Matthew 4:19).
When I spiral into this “earning my salvation” mode, I’ve found it helpful to remember that Jesus asks us to look upon Him as our “good shepherd.” If we see Jesus as our shepherd, then we, as his sheep, allow ourselves to become totally reliant on Him. This greatly simplifies our relationship with Him, because, when you think about it, what do sheep really need?
Sheep need to know their shepherd’s voice. We get to know Jesus’ voice by inviting Him into our busy days. Before your feet hit the ground in the morning, you can simply say, “Jesus lead me through this day. I will follow you.” Then you can walk and talk with Him all day long. When your 3pm alarm sounds, thank Jesus for being right there with you. Spending everyday life together is a simple and sure way of staying close to your good shepherd.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. – John 10:27
Sheep need daily protection. The enemy sets up many distractions, detours, and dead ends trying to move you off God’s good path. But if you stick close with your good shepherd and ask for His help, He will fend off the enemy and guide your steps around the traps.
The LORD is my shepherd, He guides me along the right paths. – Psalm 23:3
Lastly, sheep need food and rest. The good shepherd knows what depletes you and what fills you up. He leads you to be still in His presence and reminds you that He is your faithful provider. Your soul is nurtured by remembering God’s good and His grace.
The LORD is my shepherd, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. – Psalm 23:2-3
The next time you’re tempted to complicate your faith in Jesus, just remember “keep it simple.” Jesus is your good shepherd, simply follow Him.
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