The Lord says,“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.”
Have you ever thought about the stark contrast between these two animals (sheep and mules)? They are both mentioned in the Bible, and each one symbolizes a certain type of attitude towards God.
“Stubborn as a mule” is a frequently used expression. While mules are useful animals, they have a reputation for being stubborn and strong-willed. Getting one to cooperate may require serious coercion. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that relate to God this way. They only follow His commandments after they’ve suffered the consequences of disobedience.
Sheep have the opposite nature. They naturally follow the shepherd—they need only hear his voice to follow. They tend to follow only their shepherd, ignoring the voice of others. A sheep may not always follow perfectly (they do get lost or go astray), but their essential nature is to follow.
I’ve played both roles in my life (I think we all have). I’ve been a stubborn mule towards God and experienced the complete absence of peace and joy that comes with such an attitude. When I followed His instructions I found perfect peace—even when I didn’t completely understand why the Lord was asking me to do something. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend the rest of my life being one of His sheep. I would rather live a life of submission rather than stubborn self-will.
Are you living like a sheep or a mule? Think about it.
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