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Dave Brisbin

Wolves and Sheep

Jesus gave us just one Way to experience the oneness of the Father, which when followed looks like presence, emotional regulation, and vulnerability. But this Way remains elusive because it’s nothing less than the complete deconstruction of our egoic consciousness—everything we think we are and have—in favor of a truth we can only see when everything false is removed. Very hard to do, and Jesus says few go by the narrow road to new life, rebirth.

Our churches haven’t been teaching this Way; it’s a tough sell. We don’t want to hear about a path that doesn’t ascend straight to prosperity or salvation, that curves down into the depths of ourselves, painfully purging until we can see where we really need to go. Everything in us wants a kinder, gentler way, a miracle cure or a savior we can passively accept. But without the healing that only a dive into our deepest fears can bring, we will always be looking for something or someone to do for us what we can only do for ourselves: become vulnerable enough to experience the love that casts out fear.

If we keep looking for cures and saviors, we become prey to those who would lead us. Jesus says we must be wary, that some leaders are ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing, referring to the overlarge woolen prayer shawls covering the religious leaders of his day. Of course not all the leaders of Jesus’ day or ours are charlatans or hypocrites, and Jesus says the only way to discern falseness is by their fruits, their effect on each of us. But that effect isn’t just a result of their leading, but also of our following—our willingness to stop waiting to be saved and begin partnering with God in the process of salvation.

Until we submit to the realities of Jesus’ Way, we will never see that we were born “saved,” that is, loved and accepted as perfectly as we can ever be. Jesus’ Way is the way of remembering who we are and have always been…beloved.

Remembering our belovedness means letting go of everything that says otherwise, and until we do, no shepherd, no matter how good can lead us past the wolves.


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