In 1972, I had the privilege and the blessing of living on my brother´s goat farm for 3 years. Being born and raised and having lived all of my life in cities, I hardly could tell the difference between a carrot top and a potato leaf.
Nothing to do with hair color
Don´t get hung up on personality
By contrast, the goats would start munching on one spot and then moving on, literally running to get there first, to another spot in any direction without any sense of a herd moving together. In the process they were soiling the grass for the sheep and complaining with loud bleating that they were ready to enjoy another pasture and if we were a little too slow they would jump the fence and go their own way. No respect for rules, limits or letting others enjoy their meals and no sense of gratitude but complaining and letting you know their impatience by their demanding tone of voice.
Back into the sheep flock
Discerning by the Word
Just as there are tares among the wheat, and as a good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit and you cannot gather grapes on a thorn bush, we can see that it is an exercise in futility to expect a goat to act like a sheep.
We can ask the question: Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Jeremiah 13:23
Then knowing the answer, what are we to do? Look it up in Paul´s epistles giving instructions on what to do with people who distort the Word of God, who sow discord among the sheep, who act more like goats than sheep.
Don´t be naïve and credulous. Check everything in the word and see if it´is in line with what the Scriptures declare. Talk to somebody more knowledgeable that you trust, a bible teacher that believes in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and teaches from the whole counsel of God, prophecy included and belief in the soon return of Christ as prophesied by the OT prophets, Christ himself and the Apostles.
Keep your eyes and ears opened, feed yourself with the good grain instead of chaff and straw. Don´t spend a lot of money on charismatic apostolic movement conferences in the hope of receiving an impartation, a fresh anointing from somebody who tells you he has the latest authoritative revelation from a spirit who happens to be lying and unholy.
Follow the advice of Isaiah 55:1-3 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (KJV)
Conversely, if you find yourself in a congregation whose majority appear to be goats, then you might have to move to a herd of sheep which is harder to find these days. If you are a sheep, you might get a check in your spirit that you are not in the right place and that if you stay there too long your soul will shrivel and your spirit will starve on this kind of diet of pop rock Christian musical entertainment and very little spiritual food from the lack of a steady expository preaching and teaching of the word.
The only remedy for a goat is to be transformed into a sheep by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, convicting him /her to repent, and receive Christ, for forgiveness by his sufficient grace through faith, be born again of the Spirit, believing that Christ died for their sins and was resurrected to give them the free gift of eternal life.
I have been blessed to sit under the leadership and teaching of some pastor/teacher that had a heart of a shepherd and a love for their congregation. It was such a joy, and it gave me a sense of family fellowship and working together serving the Lord and each other and functioning as a body fulfilling the purpose for which we were created anew through the new birth. I remember them with a heart full of love and gratitude for their dedication and abnegation in their service. I am thankful to the Lord that we met and walked together part of the way. They helped me grow and by their example modeled what it is to be a caring, impartial, patient, wise, authentic, hardworking, selfless, a conscientious student of the word and a persistent, fearless person representing faithfully our Lord to the congregation entrusted to them and a testimony to the world around them.
If you have such a pastor, you are blessed with a shepherd after God´s own heart.
Then this exhortation from Paul in Hebrews 13:17-20 is for us and together we can say “Amen” to the encouragement of the benediction.
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.