The first Scriptures that I memorized as a child were all of Psalm 23. In fact, I’m going to write it here from memory:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He leads me on the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Anytime I feel stressed, worried, anxious, or afraid I quote those Scriptures to myself. It truly does help to memorize God’s Word so you can say it whenever you need it.
Lately, I’ve been under a lot of spiritual attacks. It happens most often when I wake up around 2:30 am to use the bathroom. I can feel the worry and fear try to creep in. So, I rebuke it and, out loud but quietly, remind myself that God is a God of miracles, that He is the God of the impossible, that He always keeps His word, that He is faithful, and that nothing is too difficult for Him. When I say these things out loud, I feel peace settle over me and I can go back to sleep. But I get attacked a lot during the day too. That’s why I emphasize so much in my book, Love: What is it really? that we need to be very, very careful what we take in.
But that isn’t the point of this post. Today I want to talk about how God is our Shepherd. Now, most of us don’t know much about sheep because we aren’t an agricultural society anymore. But I’ve learned a lot about sheep in the 25 years I’ve been saved because I grew up in the church and every pastor preaches on it at some point. Sheep are some of the dumbest creatures God ever made and it isn’t a mistake that He compares us to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we are dumb. We are created in God’s image and He is the most intelligent being in the universe. However, we can do really dumb things, am I right? For example, I know that we have sugar ants that check out my kitchen once in a while. Now, if I keep the kitchen clean, which I normally do, I only see one or two and I kill them and go about my business. But, if I’m lazy and forget to clean or choose not to, I end up with the problem I had this morning. I walked out into the kitchen to find about a hundred of them on my counter and in my sink because I had been too lazy to clean the night before. I had to spend pretty much the first half hour of my day spraying Clorox everywhere and cleaning/killing all the ants who wouldn’t have shown up if I’d been smart and made sure the kitchen was clean the night before. It even put me in a bad mood because I had wanted to spend time with the Lord first thing but now I had to deal with my own poor decision. Dumb right?
As I said earlier, I’ve been saved for 25 years. I’ve seen God do wonderful things in my life from healing me when I was an infant, to keeping me safe all throughout my childhood (never even broke a bone), to delivering me from the affair I had in my early twenties, and a few years later bringing me the most amazing husband I could possibly have wanted! I know all of this, I know what God has done for His people in His Word and even in the lives of people today because they talk about it in church, online, wherever you go. God is still the God of miracles and He is our Shepherd and promises to take care of us. And yet, I still struggle with doubt, fear, and worry because…I can be a dumb sheep. Just like the Israelites who were amazed at God’s miracles and then a few days later turned on Him and started worshiping idols, I tend to forget what God has done for me and how amazing He is and I try to take care of things on my own.
But we need to remember that God is our Shepherd, He is leading us down the right path if we are seeking Him and His will diligently. He will open the right doors and close the wrong ones. No one can stand against Him and no one can stop Him. He will always provide for our needs and He will fill us with His peace and joy if we will only put Him first in our hearts, minds, and lives.
So, dear reader, I would like to remind us both today that God is in control, that we are never alone, and that He is our Great Shepherd. We don’t need to make decisions on our own. We don’t need to worry or be afraid. God’s got this! He has us in the palm of His mighty and capable hands!
I would love to hear about how God has been your Shepherd lately! Please post in the comments below!