John 10:4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him...
Have you ever seen a rancher trying to drive cattle from one location to another? He goes behind the cattle, doesn’t he? Compare this to a shepherd who leads his sheep. He goes before them and the sheep simply follow him.
Jesus is our shepherd and we are His sheep. He does not drive us, but He leads us. Legalistic people drive others. Jesus leads. He goes in front of us.
In the Old Testament, Jesus led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Do you know how Jesus appeared back then? He appeared in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Where was that pillar? It was in front of them. In fact, the pillar of cloud shaded them from the hot desert sun so that they were kept cool during the day. At night, when the desert got very cold, Jesus, the pillar of fire, gave them light as well as warmth. Whether He was the pillar of cloud or fire, He went in front of them.
As long as they followed Him, the Israelites did not have to worry about anything. Jesus took care of all their needs. He gave them water when they were thirsty, and bread and meat when they were hungry. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. They were kept in good health throughout the 40 years of their wandering in the wilderness.
And this is the secret to following Jesus – it’s not stressing and striving by wondering am I following? Have I walked off the path? What do I need to do to get back on? No – it’s simply resting in the knowledge that Jesus will lead you and guide you. Right now His Spirit is with you. He is within you and His voice is the quiet still voice that guides you. Every time you feed upon the Word of God, it not only nourishes you, but it leads you and guides you.
Psalm 119:105 says, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Jesus is the lamp and the light that goes before you.
Just rest in the knowledge that Jesus is your shepherd and follow Him. He will always be leading you to places where He can feed you and nourish you with His Word and His Spirit. As long as you allow Him to lead you, all your needs will be taken care of. He is your provision, healer, counselor, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification. He is everything you need Him to be!