Folds & Flocks

God placed the beautiful image of a flock of grazing sheep in green pastures in my path this morning. He also showed me the difference between a flock and a fold. He knows I’m a visual leaner, and the images He provided were just what I needed to help me understand the important differences between the two. A sheepfold is a pen or an enclosure for sheep, but the folds come together to form a flock that grazes together in the pasture. Christ makes it clear in John 10:16 that He has many folds that all belong to the same flock. He is the good Shepherd who laid down His life to bring His folds together.

God is about oneness, and Jesus is one with God. Pens are necessary for sheep just as churches are necessary for Christians. It’s important to gather together and enjoy sweet Christian fellowship, but the point must always be to glorify God. Being one glorifies God; Jesus came so we could be one with Him as He is one with God. I don’t understand how His message of unity causes division; but it did then, and it does now. We are one flock with one Shepherd, and we must move from thinking from of living in a fold to loving in a flock.

Jesus says it beautifully in John 10:14-20

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father. A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”NASB

This beautiful scripture is a wonderful example of irony. Christ’s attempt to get the folds to be one flock and embrace the oneness of God causes division. I would laugh if it weren’t so very sad. Heaven is oneness in its purest form, and walking in God’s kingdom here must involve the same oneness. I’m finding that some folks cling to the fold and don’t like it when I don’t do the same. I thank God that there are many more who welcome the notion of oneness even if it is unfamiliar. As God is calling me to leave one fold and join another, I am challenged myself to maintain relationships while making new ones. The lessons of late have been tough as I navigate the unknown, but God continues to give me His peace and place passages such as John 10 in my path to encourage me to stay the course He’s set before me. I know there will be challenges along the way because the world loves division

Unity must come to my own heart first, and that is a process that will continue as long as I am in this world. Atonement is, as Oswald Chambers says, at-one-ment. Being one with God through His Son and Spirit allows me to be one with His flock. I also must see the fold for what it is and not get it confused with the flock. There is one Shepherd and many wonderful messengers who feed God’s flock. I am blessed to know and love so many faithful messengers who feed faithfully in beautifully different ways.

Folds are never to be in competition with one another. God wants us to come together as one wonderful flock. When that happens, God’s kingdom comes, and His will is done in a way that will send Satan running for shelter. The image of a beautiful flock of sheep peacefully grazing together is the image God has for all His children.

Fold of Sheep by David Wyatt

David Wyatt Sheep Fold Flock of Sheep

6 thoughts on “Folds & Flocks

  1. This is one of the most clarifying pictures of the most egregious error we make as humans that I have ever seen and read, especially the beautiful John 10 reference. I am not speaking just of the spiritual ramifications, but of all of the artificial boundaries and labels that we apply all over our world, and how those boundaries and labels then prohibit us from getting to know the possibilities…this was beautiful, Kathy. God bless you as you continue your journey and clarify your path. I know He will. Love you.

    1. Thank you Regina. The image was very vivid, and God’s message was clear. The boundaries are not His, and they do indeed keep us from His possibilities. His ways are much higher than ours, and His patience is infinite. Thank goodness:) God bless you dear friend!

  2. His ways are SO MUCH HIGHER than ours that we cannot even comprehend the mind of God and His thought process, yet we mere humans try and usurp that authority all the time. I have thought of that often with country boundaries and wondered how we justify them when we are supposedly primarily a Christian nation? I know that there must be laws, rules, regulations in order to keep order, prevent chaos…but my brain also goes further to think about how those same laws, etc., have compelled so much brokenness and that was not their intent….and that currently are used to be as anti-Christian as anything I have ever imagined. God never said that it was ok for us to share our blessings only with those with whom we wish to share… I guess I am getting too far out there in my musings. Thank you so much for sharing. The visual and discussion has helped me tremendously.

    1. Your musings are right on track, but we are human and think we know what’s best. Knowing who God is means knowing we aren’t Him. That’s hard to swallow in a world that tells us to be independent, strong, and take charge of our lives. The only thing we can do is love and pray that His kingdom come and will be done. Glad you enjoyed the post:)

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