“Wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep” is a quote that crossed my mind today. Generally, I’ve heard it said that the meaning of this quote is: spend less time worrying about what others think. I’ll approach it from a different angle. Both wolves and shepherds love sheep to death – the difference is this: one will take the sheep’s life while the other will give his life for the sheep. Assume the wolf here is the enemy and the sheep is the Christian. The Bible in Psalm 100:3 says, we are the sheep of His pasture.
Why are we sheep? God created us as social beings and like sheep we tend to flock and follow. The flocking and following instinct of sheep is so strong that it caused the death of 400 sheep in 2006 in eastern Turkey. The sheep plunged to their death after one of the sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine, and the rest of the flock followed. Apart from being docile and meek, interestingly, sheep are notoriously noted for going astray. They get lost easily. We too can get lost at the drop of a hat and we have no ability to find ourselves. Did you ever get lost and couldn’t find yourself? Isaiah 53:6 says, We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. That is how we were without Christ. We were helpless.
The first biblical comparison of the people to sheep without a shepherd comes in the book of Numbers 27:16-18, it is from the prayer of Moses as he begs the Lord to appoint a leader for the people after his death. Listen: May the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh provide a man, that may be over this multitude: And may go out and in before them, and may lead them out, or bring them in: lest the people of the Lord be as sheep without a shepherd. In answer to his petition, the Lord appointed Joshua the son of Nun to guide the people into the land of the promise.
Sheep are passive creatures, and can do little for themselves: so can believers in the work of their salvation. They have not of themselves more knowledge of the saving way than sheep, and so cannot walk but as they are taught and led. Sheep are the most dependent creatures in the world. All their happiness is in the goodness, care, and wisdom of their shepherd. This ought to give us an idea of how God wants us to lead our lives as Christians. We ought to depend on Jesus who is our Shepherd. In the Old Testament sheep were raised for sacrifice. All of them were raised for death. We are raised for life! In the Old Testament the sheep died for the sins of the shepherd; in the New Testament, the Shepherd has died for the sins of the sheep!
The free online dictionary defines opinion as a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. I dare say, then, no wonder the wolf will not lose any sleep over it. We, the sheep, need something more tangible than just an opinion. Opinions lets others know just how limited you are. Every opinion has a limit. Usually it is tied to ones five senses. In other words, opinions have nothing to do with faith. Faith is not limited. Faith is not dependent on feelings or on our senses. Your faith in what God has spoken is what silences the enemy. The wolf will lose sleep over your unshakeable faith is the infallible Word of God!
Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew 7:15. To me, this is a challenge to be alert.
Some shepherds might look very appealing on the outside, but in reality they are corrupt wolves. Yes, they love the sheep but for their own selfish gain. They will not lose any sleep over your pain or hurt. They won’t care that you hunger or thirst. They’re on the lookout for what’s in it for them. Jesus expects His sheep to be watchful so that they can easily identify these wolves. Sheep deserve shepherds with Christlike characters. (Jeremiah 3:15). We need pastors who love their flock with the love of Christ. If you can’t stand the smell (problems, issues etc) of sheep, you really shouldn’t be a shepherd.
One of the ways we can identify the wolves is this:
Are their predictions true? A true prophet will predict things and those things will come to pass. A wolf will only guess. Many times their prophecies are false and they will give explanations for it then reset the whole charade with new dates. Here’s what the Bible says, But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’ – when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. – Deuteronomy 18:20-22
To state other ways briefly, in addition to the above, if their predictions are not Biblically sound – that is a wolf. If their testimony isn’t Christlike – that is a wolf. If their prophecies are geared toward their personal financial gain – that is a wolf. If they are opportunists; only showing up where they can prey versus pray fleece versus feed – that is a wolf.
When sheep are armed with this knowledge rather than just opinion then the wolves will indeed lose sleep!