Shepherding a flock through a narrow path
August 18, 2020
Today, during our Tuesday morning meeting, after Sister Prema expounded on Jesus’ teaching about him being the door and the good shepherd in the Gospel of John, I was led to share a vision I had.
A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with Brother Wes Bridal on how to exercise our responsibilities as a shepherd over those whom the Lord has entrusted to us. I was led to pray that the Lord give him a shepherd’s rod and that he would see it in a vision, which he did. I also had a vision while praying with him.
Impressions from the onset
The vision was given within a few seconds and from the onset, thoughts flooded in all at once. I had a hard time grasping them at the time, and even now it is difficult to express them. Obviously, what I will share here will not do justice to the depth and realness of them. I feel, however, the need to share them in detail in order to provide a better context for meaningful understandings of the vision.
I saw an ancient man who was dressed in a plain garment. Intuitively, I recognized that he is Moses as I have had few encounters with him before. In light of that, I sensed that God will use the vision to reveal certain things to me. As a result, my spiritual senses were tuned up. As my sight zoomed in on him, strangely, I was given the impression that somehow he and I are one, which is an extraordinary thing for anyone to acknowledge. Evidently, the person before me is a man of solitude and a man of substance, a life quite remote from mine. However,I am comforted with the knowledge that the vision is intended for what is far beyond the confines of our own personal experience and time. We are just a representation of something God has in his mind and for his plan across the ages of man.
I also detected that God is speaking of his living reality concerning the people who are with me as well as His remnant people in our time who are entering the Kingdom Age. We are indeed in a threshold time. I had been praying for such insights. The vision is an answer to my prayer.
The moment I see Moses, he is climbing up on the left side of the cliffs of a long and winding valley extending out from as far as the eye can see from the direction he came from. It reminds me of the “rugged mountains” of Bashan in the Bible (Psm. 68). He has a staff in his right hand, which is a head taller than him. It is as if from the beginning of time he has led a flock of sheep traveling on this dry and long valley. (Now, while editing it, I recognize I thought about the valley of death at the time. This is interesting because yesterday the temperature in Death Valley is reported to be record high, 130 degrees.). Now, they are approaching the end. The valley is like a river bed, cutting through two mountain ranges on either side. As it draws to the end, it becomes narrower and narrower until it come to a full stop. I somehow knew, before my vision, Moses had stood at the head of the herd, which was very few in number-I would think like 20 something (the number 24 comes to me as I write this, don’t know why). He studied the steep rocks at the very end of the valley. There seems to be no way for him to move ahead. At that, he was not troubled at all. Then, as if he knew this would happen, he turned to the left side of the valley and began to climb. That is when I see him in the vision. As he did so, there is an inner confidence in him, as if he already knows he will find a way to move forward.
As he reaches the top, his eyes are drawn to look beyond the edge of a dry and mountainous region where he came from. Ahead is a broad green prairie as far as eyes can see. Again, he is not excited as I expected. It is as if he knows this will be the case.
He then begins to exam the lower cliffs at the end of the valley. Sure enough, there is a very narrow path meandering through, which can only be detected from a high viewpoint. The path is so narrow that it would not even allow him to pass through, but only a sheep. It was not dangerous per se, but very narrow. It has so many turns that it will only allow one step to be revealed at a time. Yet, he seems to trust his sheep exclusively. They seem to be one mind. Evidently a very strong bond was forged between them.
Moses raises his staff and points down to the head sheep. As if it hears his voice, it begins to step into the entrance of the narrow path. The rest of the flock forms a perfect line and begins to follow. In perfect peace and order, they walk into the heart of the cluster of cliffs at the end of the valley.
Moses is now leaping on top of the cliffs while using his staff to guide the head sheep each step of the way. When I see that, I instantly know that they would meet again as he comes down from the top to meet the flock at the end of the narrow path, which is also the entrance to the open and green world.
They are going through the last leg of a long and trying journey.
Reflection on Moses’ life
Moses’ life has been converging on me from the beginning this year, esp. after Passover. As it happens, I have to teach about his life during the two series of teachings.
Some episodes of Moses’ life have been highlighted personally to me as a loss. Obviously it is a bias based on my own experiences and spiritual encounters in life. Because of that, I have always been apprehensive about touching on the story of his striking of the rock and his overview of the Promised Land on Mountain Nebo.
Many years ago, I had an unusual encounter with God. From the mountain top, and in the burning eyes of God while with the knowledge of His mind, I saw the torment God allowed to be inflicted upon Moses’s poor soul. He was running in a frenzy at the base of the mountain. I presume it was the time when his wife threw a fist at him after he answered God’s call. This certainly registered in my heart of the severity of God’s hand on a human being. It always invokes in me an unnatural fear and deep concern that is very personal to me for a good reason-I had been trying to run away from God’s calling for many long years even after I decided to follow Him. I had some other encounters with Moses. Most are joyful and peaceful. Even so, he remains an enigma to me, unlike others that I have known. He was a man of great intensity, sorrow, and passion… a man few in words but rich in understanding and solid in deeds, a man who seldom complained. In sum, he is a man I do not aspire to approximate in real life. I want a rather easy life, a life of decency but not one of great responsibilities.
Personally I tend to be saddened and dismayed by the incomprehensible loss he endured. My question has been, “Lord, will this happen to me?” And my prayer when reading the story of Moses like in Deut. 3 is “Lord, please don’t let this happen to me.”
You can imagine, when seeing a vision like this, my first thought is not the insights that should be my quest, but whether my life would be like Moses’: “Would I be allowed to possess the land, Lord?”
While wrestling with this, the Lord began to talk to me and assure me that that would not be the case. To paraphrase His thoughts to me:
“My son, I am using Moses only as a picture for a good shepherd so you know that you are meant to teach what you teach. I will never lead you to a dead-end with the people that I have entrusted to you. Rather, know in your heart of hearts that you are the generation I have chosen to fulfill the desire of the ages. Yes, you will lead my people to possess the Promised Land of my culture and my pleasure. Your generation (God’s remnant in our time) will be my modern-day Moses to deliver my people from the grip of Pharaoh (the spirit or the wisdom of this world). And look ahead, you will also crush the enemy in our land (mind and heart of man) and possess it.”
This is too much to bear and I have tried to brush the vision aside and keep quiet, but the Lord has been consistent in urging me to share it. After Noah’s vision of the overseeing of the flock, and now the teaching of Sister Prema, I was compelled to write it down.
As I now write this, I feel I had a revelation on this part. Just like Elijah is to come before the Kingdom Age, so is Moses as prophesied in Mal. 4. It isn’t the personalities that really matter; it is what they stand for. If Elijah is the fire that burns down the altar of Baal and Jezebel, or a voice crying in the wilderness, then Moses is the water, the fire, and the glory (Ark and Altar), three in one, therefore a great representation of a full reinstitution of God’s ways or His culture for his people if you will.
There are a few other important things that can be shared, but due to the lack of time, I will only briefly mention a few:
- The narrow path to a broader place: This is the spiritual season God’s remnant (“my small flock”) are currently going through.
- The key to freedom and safety: follow His staff each step of the way. That is to “hear and obey.”
- Moses’ countenance is more than one of faith, but one on a God-given mission. He truly knows that God will finish what He initiated.
- The flock is not afraid of Moses’ staff but is one mind with it. A bond of trust and obedience is a beautiful thing to witness.
- The flock is in perfect order.
- Moses did not dress in rags. After a long and demanding journey, he and the flock are not weary or worn. Usually, it would be almost impossible to journey that long in a dry valley without wear, unless with the miraculous provisions of God. This is very significant when considering who or what this company represents.
- There was not any harsh terrain nor any other living thing in the open land. That might mean something.
- Exodus 19:3-6
- Jer. 31:33-34
- Neh. 9
- Acts 7
- Deut. 3, 32
- Psm. 144
- 1 Peter 1-2