The Parable of The Ranch

My friend, Brother Freedom, has a very special calling of God upon his life. I didn't realize how special when I first met him in October of 1994. He is a humble follower of Jesus who doesn't share with many what goes on between himself and the Lord. I had to observe his life for several years before I noticed how amazingly connected with Heaven he is. After Brother Freedom told me about various things that God said would happen and they did happen, and after Brother Freedom prayed for difficult cases where people were raised out of terrible sickness, and after Freedom prayed for my own elderly Dad and I saw Dad improve radically, then I knew that Freedom was an unusual person in the Kingdom of God. Brother Freedom is only dust. God is the glorious ONE!
In this essay I want to relay a parable that Brother Freedom has heard from the Lord. Brother Freedom, in these days, hears the Lord sharing how Heaven feels about things in the Churches. And sometimes God gives a parable to explain what is going on down here from Heaven's perspective, in order to help Freedom understand. I've heard Freedom repeat this parable several times.
I'm going to develop on the parable because the Holy Spirit has quickened this story in my heart and it is literally growing in me. I want to be very honest and up front when I say that this parable has grown as I have thought about the short snippet seeds that Brother Freedom repeated in several sermons. Some of the plot that I shall share is the overflow of the parable coming alive for me. If you want to know what God thinks about HIS church today you will want to read this parable. And now the parable of The Ranch.

Suppose there was a Rancher who had many, many ranches. This Rancher was the most spectacular and amazing rancher. HE was above all other ranchers in HIS ability, HIS insight, HIS planning, HIS organization and HIS knowledge. He had never failed in all that HE had ever done in the ranch business. In everything HE was far beyond superior, by leaps and bounds!

The rancher desired to employ a foreman at one particular ranch. When the Rancher interviewed and selected the foreman, HE told HIS new foreman what HIS requirements were. The Rancher's requirements were not hard. In fact they were very simple. HE only asked one thing of HIS foreman. "All I ask is that you do what I ask you to do, and only what I ask you to do."

Excited about his new job the foreman readily agreed to the Rancher's request. The foreman was so excited. He could hardly imagine that he would be working for the greatest Rancher of them all. And as he took his horse and explored this ranch, where he was now the foreman, pride arose within him. He saw thousands and thousands of acres that were now under his care.

Every day detailed instructions arrived at the ranch in a special FedEx® delivery, addressed to the foreman. The Great Rancher told the foreman in very particular detail what, when and where things were to be done that day. Often as the foreman read through the instructions a frown would come across his face, for the foreman had much education in ranching. Many of the Rancher's instructions seemed to be ill-timed, or ill-directed, or ill-thought out, even old fashioned. Other instructions seemed to be even odd.

One day the foreman began to give himself a little lecture.

"I'm here to do the very best job that I can. My boss, the Rancher, obviously must be thinking about one of HIS other ranches. I can't figure out why he asks me to do things that make little sense. The Boss hired me because obviously I was the best one for the job. I have a good education. And my boss never uses the newer, proven techniques that I've seen some of the top ranchers use. HE always insists on doing HIS ranching in that old fashioned way."

"The most important thing is for this ranch to succeed. I've wasted so much time pouring over these instructions when I know how to go out and make this ranch boom. The Boss will be very pleased if my methods double production and profit. And there is no doubt that my way will build a ranch above all the other ranches the Boss has. I will undoubtedly succeed. Perhaps I may even get bumped up to a higher position. Then my superior techniques would be wide spread. My Boss will only get richer and richer. I'm going to make a change that will benefit my boss so very much. And so this is what I must do. I must take some initiative and step out and show what I'm made of. A better end justifies the fact that I will use a means other than the Bosses' old fashioned and out dated ways."

The foreman did just as he had decided. He set the big FedEx® envelops aside that arrived each day, shoving them into a bottom desk drawer. He was sure that he knew every nook and cranny of the ranch far better than his Rancher-Owner-Boss. And so he moved the cattle as he pleased. He started a feed lot. He changed the irrigation patterns that the Boss had set up. He began to seed portions of the ranch never seeded before. He made many, many changes. He bought and sold cattle when he thought it was the perfect moment. He did everything by a different timing and in different seasons.

The foreman forgot all about the fact that HIS Boss was the greatest Rancher ever, in all the Land. He forgot about the fact that his boss had never, ever known failure, only total success. He forgot about the fact that HIS Boss knew every cow by name on all HIS Ranches, knew their blood lines back generations by perfect memory. The foreman never considered that the Boss held advanced degrees in meteorology, geology, animal husbandry, farming, hydrology, engineering and electronics.

I don't have to tell the rest of the story because you know what happened. That ranch, operated by the prideful foreman, became a catastrophe. Within a few months the Rancher/Owner had to make an emergency trip to that ranch to pick up the broken pieces and save the ranch from ruin.

The Rancher/Owner shook HIS head in dismay asking the prideful foreman why he had not kept the simple bargain. "All I asked is that you do what I ask you to do, and only what I ask you to do."

Brother Freedom explained that from God's perspective the Lord's churches today are very much like the parable I've shared. The leadership today does it's own dreaming and expects God to bless it. They don't get their direction from Heaven but from committees, seminars, brain-storming sessions. Today's church leadership is busy trying to impress God with their techniques for making HIS church better. In reality God's church is in a very damaged condition because God's foremen have been running God's ranches their way rather than Heaven's way.

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