A sheepfold is a pen built to provide protection for sheep from thieves and predators. Sometimes multiple herds of sheep are brought into the fold at one time. There is a doorway or gate to enter the sheepfold and it is here that the shepherd lays to provide protection for his sheep. It is also through the gate that the shepherd will lead his flock out to pasture. The sheepfold provides protection, especially at night, from thieves and predators. The gate is the only true way that the sheep can safely be led into the protection of the fold and out again, following their shepherd who leads them to green grass and fresh water.
The Gospel of John talks about the Gate of entry into the sheepfold and the Shepherd who calls to, protects, and provides for His flock. (John 10:1-10) Jesus Christ is both the Gate by which we, the sheep, enter the fold, as well as the Shepherd whose voice we know, trust, and follow. John 10:1 tells us that anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate (“but climbs in by some other way”) is a thief and robber. Verse three states that the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd and “the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out”. Jesus is our Shepherd and when He calls to us we recognize His voice and we follow Him.
We need to have a discerning spirit about those who would try to rob from us. The enemy is a thief and a liar; he will deceitfully climb into the fold and try to drag us away from our One True Shepherd. Satan wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but as we listen for Jesus’s voice and follow Him we become increasingly aware of His voice. Just as the intermingled flocks of sheep within the fold can identify the call of their shepherd and correctly follow him, it will become easier for us to recognize our Shepherd and to go where He leads us. By remaining in the fold, we are protected from the futile attacks of the enemy and by following His voice we are led into green pastures of provision and blessings.
“Lord Jesus You are our One True Shepherd. We praise Your Holy Name. Thank You for Your protection and provision in our lives. We also thank You for the entry we have into Your fold through You, the Gate. In the Name of Jesus, we claim protection over the enemy who tries to steal, kill, and destroy. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for providing us with the most loving Shepherd, Your son Jesus Christ. We choose to remain in the fold as we continue to grow increasingly sensitive to the voice of our Shepherd. In the Name of Jesus, we pray that many are added to the fold every day for Your kingdom’s glory. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner