Acting Like A Ram Or A Lamb
“The ram butted everything out of his way to the west, to the north, and to the south, and no one could stand against him or help his victims. He did as he pleased and became very great.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
We live in a culture that celebrates the individual. The rugged, strong, fierce competitor who won’t take no for an answer and who fights their way through difficulties and obstacles. We magnify these ‘winners’ and look to become like them. People who aren’t on the winning team are considered ‘losers’ and sometimes we start to feel like maybe they deserve it. The ‘prosperity gospel’ furthers this mindset by telling us that God rewards those He loves most with riches and success. If you are doing well, you are loved – if you aren’t, you must have done something wrong. As a result, we’ve created a world of a few ‘haves’ and very many ‘have nots’ where we’re told to ‘suck it up’ and ‘get stronger’ so that we can compete more ferociously.
In the Book of Daniel Chapter 8, Daniel is having a vision of the empires to come. The ram is ferocious and yet he seems to lack focus as he charges about in all directions, terrifying and victimizing those near to him. This ram, a symbol of the Medo-Persian Empire, will eventually be trampled by the Greek Empire, which in turn will fall to the Romans. This we have seen in Daniel’s previous visions. The ram seems impressive but, in the end, disappears into history.
When we get caught up in the drama of our lives and turn our eyes to the worldly prizes of money, power, and glory, we can easily become like that butting ram, racing in all directions and leaving a trail of victims behind us. But that isn’t our only choice. The Bible tells us that, in the end-times, Jesus will return to redeem His people and establish His Kingdom. As His people, we are called to remain steadfast and humble, fixing our eyes only on God and the coming Judgement.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to His followers as ‘sheep’, explaining that we hear His voice and will follow only Him. Instead of falling prey to a culture that tells us to fight harder and ‘kill the enemy’, we can, as believers in Christ, bring stillness, gentleness, and love to our lives and the lives of those around us. We can become lambs.
We can be a light in the darkness and shine God’s glory for all to see. In the end, that is all that will last and all that will matter. Not how much we conquered and won, not who we beat and how much territory we accumulated here on earth, but what treasures we stored up in Heaven by following God’s will. Today, each of us can choose to be a ram or a lamb.
——————— Prayer ———————
Lord, let me receive your Word and glory with humility and gentleness. Save me from my ego desires to fight and compete like a ram that charges in every direction and, in the end, is defeated. Instead, show me how to be a lamb and live victoriously in your light and love. Amen.
——————— Ponder ———————
Where in your life do you need to ease up, slow down, and trust? To act less like a ram, and more like a lamb? Is there a place where you have fallen into the trap of wanting what the world says you ‘should’ want instead of what God wants for you? How can you begin to shift your old patterns and surrender them to God’s love?
Key line: Today, each of us can choose to be a ram or a lamb.