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Sheep or Subcontractor?

Paul: beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, robbed, stoned and naked and still putting himself in harms way. What makes a guy like that keep going? Paul could have pulled over at any point and lived the rest of his life like a “normal” person. Heck, he could have settled for merely extraordinary and pastored one of his more popular churches into his sunset years. However, Paul understood something about the Christian life that I often forget. Christianity is about following Jesus — nothing more and nothing less.

I sometimes fall into an independent subcontractor mentality with Jesus. Jesus wants me to do, say or be “x,” and when I do, my job is done. Once my job is done, the independent part kicks in and I am free to do what I want until I become aware of the next thing, the next “x” that needs doing.

Paul took to heart the words of Jesus in John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Paul was on the ship that got wrecked because he was following Jesus to Rome. Paul was imprisoned because he followed Jesus to Philippi. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” it may not always be comfortable, but Jesus wants to lead us all the time, not just when we happen to notice Him, and transform us from subcontractors to sheep.


  • Has there ever been a time when you felt more able to hear the voice of Jesus than you are now? What changed?
  • Does the concept of being “led by the Spirit” make you want to run away? Why?
  • Do you automatically assume that you didn’t hear the voice of God when you land in adverse circumstances?

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