Getting Back Off Your Back

DOWNCASTThere are many ways that we can end up flat on our backs. We can be knocked down, weighed down or worn down.

And when our spirits are downcast,  we feel pinned down. We feel as though we can’t get up. It seems impossible for us to move.

When we lie there with our backs on the pasture grass, our perspective is altered. The only thing we can see is the dark cloud hanging over us. And the longer we stare into the black cloud, the less we’re able to come up with a reason to move.

The enemy loves to see us in this spiritual posture, and so he’s always up for a game of sheep-tipping.  He’ll use many different strategies to get us off of our feet and onto our backs. And when we’re down, he’ll whisper lies to us in order to keep us down.

I’ve logged quite a few hours on my back. So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about things like how I got there and how I can get back up again.

The first thing we sheep must remember is that we have a Shepherd.

He warns us about the sheep-tipper, and tells us not to fall asleep. If we stay alert, we can stay on our feet. But when we doze off–only to wake up on our backs–the Shepherd is there to right us again. Truth is His Shepherd’s crook. If we’re attentive to the Shepherd, He’ll use it to pull us up again.

By the way, truth is also His rod of protection. Whenever we reject enemy lies and affirm truth, the sheep-whisperer takes one on the noggin.

One of the ways the Shepherd likes to lift up the downcast is through a good supporting cast.  He pulls us upright by reaching out His crook through other sheep who speak truth to us. The great thing about this arrangement is that we can help each other stay alert, attentive, and on our feet.

When you get tipped over, do you have someone who helps you get off your back?

5 thoughts on “Getting Back Off Your Back

  1. Ah, the deadly game of sheep-tipping. I’ve lost quite a few rounds of those. Truth be told, I lost a 7-year round of that game. (But that is another story, Dave.) Here’s the amazing truth I learned: We may get tipped, but the Shepherd never calls the game. He never clears the field, leaving us on our backs, declaring the sheep-tipper the winner.

    • Thanks for sharing the amazing truth you learned! Yes, I would have lost the match on points a long time ago if the Shepherd called the game. I’ve been tipped, knocked, tripped, pushed and pulled down. For a long season I just stayed down. (But that’s another story, Beth.) It took me a while to realize that I was cooperating with the tipper instead of cooperating with the Shepherd. I had to learn that I can either participate in my tipping or my uplifting. There’s no neutral position, no passive role to play.

      • Okay, Beth and Dave – I want to hear your “another stories.” I really do. I’m just recovering from an 8 year tipping and I think hearing others’ experience would be helpful and hopeful. Beth, any chance this is the story you’re telling in three parts on your blog? Dave, any chance you have plans to tell your story?

        Laughed out loud at “I’ve logged quite a few hours on my back.” Me too, just watching those dark clouds go by and feeling so sorry for myself. Wasn’t funny then, happy it is right now. 🙂

  2. Dave you described the feeling after being tipped so spot on. Been there. More times than I’d care to admit. Pinned down, often by the thoughts and words whispering around in my head. My focus is in the wrong place.

    God has been so faithful to place people in my life who speak the Shepherd’s truths, just when I need them. These fellow sheep offer a paw up and point my eyes upward. I’m so grateful our Shepherd has promised never to leave us or forsake us.

    • You really got to the heart of the matter. The Good Shepherd will never leave us or forsake us. I am beginning to understand that promise. I am beginning to learn to recognize and be attentive to His presence. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jeanne.

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