Psalm 23:1 NLT
'The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.'
I have grown to love Psalm 23 over the years. I have come to appreciate its quiet call to calm confidence.
In my youth, like a sheep, I paid little attention to anything other than feeding myself, serving my wants, both real and imagined. My inherent selfishness, perhaps a more contemporary expression for sin, required me to serve its unrelenting demands. I’m not sure I connected with anything other than my own imagined perception of God.
Sounds bad, yet I don’t think I would ever have stumbled upon the corrupt nature of my sincere faith commitment had I not first discovered my own pseudo-spirituality. I was a sheep, bleating in harmony with many other sheep, and certainly part of a recognised flock. However, I had little knowledge of my Shepherd, beyond the metaphor of a kind and caring pastor.
In reality, each sheep is dependent upon the shepherd for protection, finding food, maintaining health and sheering their coat. For this to work, the shepherd has to be prepared to move with the sheep to lead them to fresh pastures once the forage has all been consumed.
My experiences taught me that I needed the leadership of the Shepherd, rather than my initial assumption that I made the decisions and God bailed me out of all my bad ones. All of my problems related to my own poor decision-making; decisions I’d have best left to the Shepherd. I failed to keep my gaze upon the Shepherd, so if I was to be OK I relied on the Shepherd finding and rescuing me. I also rather preferred to follow my own appetites than those of the experienced Shepherd.
QUESTION: Take time to read Psalm 23 again and discover the value of a shepherd. Where is the Shepherd leading you today?
PRAYER: Lord, lead me, guide me, protect me, nourish, shelter and feed me. For only you can do all those things well.