At the beginning of a New Year and at this time of reset on our WPC journey, I have felt a prompting from God to call for Shepherds to prepare for a suddenly, some of which will be good and others challenging.

We cannot plan a suddenly for ourselves, but we can prepare for a suddenly in the place God has placed us, on the journey He has called us to take. In preparing for whatever God will release or allow, I have looked at how a few people in Scripture received and dealt with their suddenly experience and how in many cases a suddenly changed the course of history.

Jacob (Israel) who would shepherd huge flocks, is on a journey. Suddenly angels are climbing up and down ladders and God is saying, “I am the Lord the God of your father Abraham and your father Isaac, I will give you the land you are lying on.” From that holy, fearful place that he called the house of God, the gate of heaven, Jacob the twister, changed to one who blessed and prophesied a nation into being.

Moses is tending the flock when suddenly a bush is burning but is not burned up. Moses, more humble than anyone on the face of the earth, faithful in all God’s house, who talked to God face-to-face, leads the nation Jacob blessed, out of captivity into freedom.

David is out tending the sheep when he suddenly gets the call from Samuel to lead the nation and deal with the giants that are trying to kill God’s flock. Psalm 78 tells us that he did so with integrity of heart and skilful hands. No wonder he could write with such authority, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”

When God wanted to use a king who did not even acknowledge Him to rebuild God’s city and set the exiles free, He said of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd.”

When hundreds and hundreds of years later God wants to announce the greatest happening in world history, He finds a bunch of shepherds, on watch, and suddenly the skies are filled with the glory of the Lord. An angel freaks them out, the biggest choir heaven could send turns up and such is the impact they decide to go and see this thing that has happened, acknowledging the truth they had been told. World history suddenly changed.

33 years later, suddenly to His followers, this Good Shepherd is being led like a lamb to the slaughter, laying down His life for the sheep of all nations to know God’s Mercy, His Grace, His Freedom, His Justice and His incomparable love.

When Peter was asked by Jesus to, “feed His sheep,” his ministry of shepherding started at a prayer meeting in which suddenly the Holy Spirit comes, shakes the house and shakes him and his friends out of the house, to turn the known world upside down.

When God wants to call a nation into His purposes, when He wants to bring a nation into freedom, when He wants to protect a nation from powerful people, when He wants someone to restore, renew, and rebuild, when He wants to turn our world upside down, He takes a shepherd with a limp, a shepherd on the run, the shepherd who is the odd one in the family, a king shepherd who needs straightening out, a denying disciple, an obedient son and suddenly uses them to prepare the way of the Lord in a family, community, nation and the nations. The coming of His kingdom on earth as in Heaven.

At a time of national and global uncertainty, whether we are shepherds in a family, a church, in a community or in Government, wherever God has placed us, let us as good shepherds keep watch. Prepare for a suddenly, in humility, integrity, skilfully, faithfully and in obedience, with a willingness to go and see and believe what God is doing and join Him, even if in our humanity it freaks us out.

Are you ready?

Ian Cole, Founder of World Prayer Centre