Following the Herd

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A sharp contrast—two crowds. One followed Jesus, throwing their cloaks on the ground in front of Him, waving palm branches, singing His praise. The other was busy using His house as a marketplace.

One called out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). The other questioned His authority (21:23).

Unhappily the first crowd would bow to the will of the second and clamor for His death just a short time later. The praises would turn into something else; something evil rather than exalting. That often happens where there is no personal conviction. Where there is no personal conviction, whoever shouts the loudest turns the rest to do his will.

For the believer, personal conviction is cultivated in the rich soil of an intimate relationship with the Lord. Time spent with Him, coming to know Him through prayer and through His Word, is never wasted. When that personal conviction has matured, there is strength to resist the “herd mentality,” to listen to holy voices rather than the loudest voice.

I just finished reading a wonderful little book called The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Here’s a quote that reminds me of the importance of strengthening my personal convictions in intimate relationship with God, not just for my benefit, but for the benefit of the rest of the body.

Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the ‘us” of the New testament is being displaced by the selfish ‘I.’ Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together, each looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other that they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole Church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life” (pages 96, 97).

No one could have said it better.

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