Friday, March 8, 2013

Psalm 23:2-3

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
-Andy Gleiser

Isn't it obvious when two people like each other? They stand or sit next to one another. They talk to friends about the one they think about all the time. Can people tell that about you and your Shepherd? Is there something going on between the two of you? Is God more to you than an answer on a test or even the subject of Sunday school? How is your relationship with God? There is so much in these two verses we'll need to take them over two days.
Look closely at David's four statements about the Shepherd. "He makes. He leads. He restores. He leads." The emphasis is not on what David does but on what the Shepherd does. Though he was the king, David understood he was in the care of someone else.
The shepherd does all the work for the sheep. He finds pasture, food, and water. He finds the safe path. He protects, provides, leads, quiets, comforts, and searches for sheep that have wandered away. Were it not for the shepherd, the sheep would perish. Without him, they are disquieted, dissatisfied, and directionless.
Just like sheep, your life is dependent on your Shepherd. Were it not for the Shepherd dying for the sheep, all of us, like sheep, would stumble into hell. You need the Shepherd for salvation, but you need him for everything else! You need him for wisdom and comfort. You need him for power, rest, courage, and answers. Don't foolishly believe you can live independently of God.
But we sheep get ourselves into so much trouble because we do not trust our Shepherd. Even though our Shepherd stands just ahead of us and beckons us to come with him to quiet pastures and satisfying streams, we so often refuse to willingly submit to his leading.
Do you think if you follow God, he'll make you unhappy? Do you realize your Shepherd sees something you don't? Could it be you're a bit angry with God? He has allowed something bad to happen, and so you think, "If my Shepherd truly loved me, he wouldn't take me this way." So you close your heart to him. You don't trust him because he has let you down. You're going to trust how you do things now.
No matter how intelligent we are, we are still sheep. We don't get it. The Shepherd sees things we don't. Do you trust him with your life? Will you submit to his instructions? He will direct your paths when you lean on his understanding…not yours.

Food for thought: Has it occurred to you that God has bigger dreams for you than you have for yourself?