It is with a certain amount of sadness I write this sermon: I have been working with the Somalis now for over 20 years and seen and talked to many Somalis. I’ve even met Somali Christians; seen them baptized; heard of them marrying Christians and growing in the Lord. But many of them never fully submit themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Submitting to God’s Spirit is much different than submitting to a bunch of laws and trying to follow them.
We read this about sheep who were left without a shepherd in the Old Testament from Ezekiel chapter 34:
“The Lord spoke to me. 2 “Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the rulers of Israel. Prophesy to them, and tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, say to them: You are doomed, you shepherds of Israel! You take care of yourselves, but never tend the sheep.3 You drink the milk, wear clothes made from the wool, and kill and eat the finest sheep. But you never tend the sheep. 4 You have not taken care of the weak ones, healed the ones that are sick, bandaged the ones that are hurt, brought back the ones that wandered off, or looked for the ones that were lost. Instead, you treated them cruelly. 5 Because the sheep had no shepherd, they were scattered, and wild animals killed and ate them. 6 So my sheep wandered over the high hills and the mountains. They were scattered over the face of the earth, and no one looked for them or tried to find them.”
Many of you Somalis have been just like that; like sheep without a shepherd. You wandered far away from God and were attacked by the wild forces of this world; you were trampled by the power of darkness of this world.
And the Lord says to these wicked shepherds:
“I will take my sheep away from you and never again let you be their shepherds; never again will I let you take care only of yourselves. I will rescue my sheep from you and not let you eat them.”
And so it happened. Many of you, or some of you, accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; you were cleansed by the blood of the lamb; the weight of sin was lifted from your shoulders; the fear of death left you; the guilt and shame that you were feeling disappeared. You were born again and became a new person in Christ.
But that is where it stopped. You read the Bible and heard of God’s promises – but for some reason you never stepped into these promises; you never gave you heart fully to God and allowed Him to be Lord of your life. You were saved and felt the power of the Holy Spirit touch your life; but you were stuck in the place where you had to make the decision to follow God and put Him first in all you do. Some of you are like Christian sheep who have wandered off into the deep water of disobedience; and now you are stuck and almost drowning in a river of water; you are eating from things that you shouldn’t be eating from; and doing things that you shouldn’t be doing as a Christian – and my heart breaks as I watch you from the shoreline.
“Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.”
““Come out, my people, flee from Babylon.
Save yourselves! Run from the LORD’s fierce anger.
But do not panic; don’t be afraid
when you hear the first rumor of approaching forces.
For rumors will keep coming year by year.
Violence will erupt in the land
as the leaders fight against each other.
For the time is surely coming
when I will punish this great city and all her idols.
Her whole land will be disgraced,
and her dead will lie in the streets.
Then the heavens and earth will rejoice,
for out of the north will come destroying armies
against Babylon,” says the LORD.
“Just as Babylon killed the people of Israel
and others throughout the world,
so must her people be killed.
Get out, all you who have escaped the sword!
Do not stand and watch—flee while you can!
Remember the LORD, though you are in a far-off land,
and think about your home in Jerusalem.”
Make wisdom your sister: make Jesus Christ your Lord. Decide in your heart that you are going to follow Him. Stop feeding on the weeds of the deep waters of this world and allow the Lord take place your feet upon solid ground.
“Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.” – Proverbs chapter 7
Instead of running back to the clan system of this world; embrace wisdom like a sister. Instead of turning back to your old friends and getting pulled back into the word; turn your heart to the Lord and say to Him “Jesus Christ I make you Lord of my life; take me and do what you want with me; lead me and show me where to go and what to do”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. – John chapter 10
Listen to those who love you; listen to those who care for you and pray for you and give you good guidance. Don’t be stubborn; don’t resist the leading of the Holy Spirit; don’t quench the fire of the Holy Spirit stirring within you.
“‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Praise be to God!