Updated: Mar 31, 2022
'Lost, naked, poor and blind'. Those were the words Yeshua used to describe the character of Israel. Israel had become impotent and the light that they should have been to the nations had dimmed. The result of turning away from God’s words, places the people in an exilic state, separated from God. This exile, can become comfortable — so comfortable that the people will not realise that they have become enslaved.
3:16 So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust]. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have prospered and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked [without hope and in great need], 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold that has been heated red hot and refined by fire so that you may become truly rich; and white clothes [representing righteousness] to clothe yourself so that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and healing salve to put on your eyes so that you may see.
So He replied, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
Turning away from God’s word brings forth a malady and renders one useless, fragile and weak. The words spoken by Yeshua tell us this categorically. The response by all should be to fan the flame and let the light shine; to go to the wretched, blind and lame. That is the commission given to us. The terms Yeshua uses are directed at Israel and to the lost sheep of His flock. All believers are part of this flock.
The regathering of the house of Jacob, we are told, was the reason why Yeshua came. He passed the baton on to those who would become His disciples. ‘Greater works’, He said they would do.
The message in Rev 3:17, directs our attention to a group who see themselves as having prospered and in need of nothing. These are a deluded group and Yeshua tells them, ‘do you not see’, a reference to their blindness. They have exchanged their garments from the robes of righteousness for the latest trend. Instead of investing in and building God’s house, they have built their own houses and corrupted the word for their own benefit.
What they have done, reveals an outward appearance of godliness but Yeshua sees through these garments to their nakedness.
In the last few days, the Lord revealed to me a symptom which has manifest among the various flocks of sheep I see around the nearby hills and fields.
Limping sheep continue to roam amongst the grassland, and recently during lambing time, I spotted another mother raising herself from her new born twins.
Her left hind leg raised high into her underbelly, she limped away from my approach. I have seen many such sheep over time.
As I always do when matters of farming concern me, I rang my farmer friend and asked whether there was a specific reason that sheep limp. Could it be that they have hurt themselves, fallen into a ditch or just that they get pins and needles after sitting for so long on one side.
As he relayed his answer to me, I felt the Lord also relay an image and a word for us at this time.
My friend also told me that two days prior to my call he had had to take in two newly born lambs. Their mother had become blind and could not look after them. So with an alternative mixture of milk he fed the suckling pair. The following day, the lambs had died. My friend, now perplexed, wondered why. Through investigation, he found that the mixture that he had fed to the lambs was too rich, and that they were unable to digest it. Returning to the mother, I found out that the lameness comes from the way the sheep are reared. Long periods in the grass can produce a foot rot and render the animal lame. In addition, pregnant ewes can also develop ‘toxemia’.
A veterinary manual describes this condition thus:
Pregnancy toxemia affects ewes and does during late gestation and is characterised by partial anorexia and depression, often with neurologic signs, progressing to recumbency and death. It is seen more often in animals carrying multiple foetuses. Generally, clinically affected animals have other risk factors, at either the individual or flock/herd level.
Epidemiology and Pathogenesis:
The primary predisposing cause of pregnancy toxemia is inadequate nutrition during late gestation, usually because of insufficient energy density of the ration and decreased rumen capacity as a result of foetal growth.
Putting all this into a nutshell, we have the malady of lameness, blindness, nutritional deficiency and toxicity.
The Lord has said, ‘My people are not living the lives that they should’.
The sheep represent the people in a field of plenty. Their food is at the end of their noses. They neither search for it nor work for it, and thus their times in the field make them lame and weak. Their feet and legs have not become hardy from walking upon the hard ground and the stubble in their search for food, and so the food has become toxic and they have been unable to intake the necessary nutrition. This has also caused a blindness and they have not been able to attend to the weaker and more needy ones among them.
The food has been fed from the pulpit and from other wells of information and the people have not looked into the word for themselves, depending on others to spoon feed them. This leads to a toxicity where the instruction of the word is not discerned.
This causes the people to live their lives in comfort instead of on the highways and the byways.
Dear reader, this covid pandemic has become a chain around God’s people, fencing them in into the comfort of their own homes. The commission has been halted by the work of the enemy and the church has become enclosed within invisible boundaries and the teachers of the word have become virtual — untouchable in that sense. Friends, the commission must touch people tangibly and become more than sound vibrations through a screen. God’s people must touch people, but the pandemic protocols stopped all of that.
The Lord is asking us to draw closer to him and repent of our idleness and pride. Please be encouraged to seek to find a way in which you can break out from beyond your comfort zone. Look to the word of God and find out for yourselves what He is speaking to you. Make it a challenge to read the word for a week or a month without opening up a ministry subscription email, or reading a commentary. The Lord is doing a new thing, and so I encourage you to join with others and glean what the Spirit is saying among your brothers and sisters and ask the Lord to show you the way in which you can reach out. Don’t be like so many sheep who walk among their food. Your strength will come in your search.
Finally, after sharing this word among my group, I was blessed to hear from my friends across the pond in the USA.
I pray their message will bless you too.
The Rest Stop
The soft, cool ground feels so good under my feet
compared to the hard surface of the road I have been walking on.
I lie on my back in the lush grass and contemplate
the pleasant fences that keep out unwanted worries.
The shade tree provides ease and comfort from the bright light.
It is so relaxing here that I decide to stay awhile,
and soon I am quite at home with the beautiful vistas and the
other travellers that leave the road for something that feels better to them too.
There are fewer travellers on the road now, even though the road is straight, it is harder to walk there. How nice to have fences that keep us safe in this pleasant place, so different from the trials of the road.
One day, a traveler called to us, and said there was a better place up ahead on the road. We liked the sound of that, but when we stood up, we could not walk because the soft ground had weakened our feet and legs. We could strike out with him, but we would have to endure the hardship of the walk on our weak feet and legs, so it seemed much better to stay and enjoy what we had.
The warning of this story is that the enemy is trying to pin us down on our backs, to quiet us, to make us lame in our spiritual walk through deception and distraction.
We must stay on the Holy Highway and find the refreshment and nourishment of our souls from Jesus. He is our shepherd and will lead us in His strength if we listen to His voice and keep Him in view. We can see the prize and it is not far off. Let us pray that we will not be deceived or deluded on the journey.
This little story was inspired from the Word the LORD gave to Grant regarding the lame sheep.