January 15, 2014

Maintaining Balance

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Yea, 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 runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.”

Psalm 23:2-6 (NKJV)

What were some of the insights you discovered in your meditation of Psalm 23 yesterday?  If you didn’t get a chance to review the passage, look it over again and consider the benefits David mentions when we make the LORD our Shepherd.  These benefits kept David from derailing on more than one occasion when he faced overwhelming obstacles.  It helped him to maintain balance in his life when he could have easily fallen and forsaken his faith.  Each one of these benefits cultivated an intimacy with God that caused David to become known as a man after God’s own heart!  The great news is that they are not exclusive to David’s relationship with God!  You and I can expect them as well if we will make the Lord our Shepherd.  What are they?

  • Provision

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”  Vs. 1 (NKJV) I love the way a little child once quoted that verse.  He said, “The Lord is my Shepherd, He’s all I want.”  The Living Bible paraphrases that verse like this, “Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.”  We can depend on God to meet our physical needs.

  • Restoration

“He restores my soul….”  Vs. 3a (NKJV) When life drains you until you are physically exhausted and emotionally spent, we can find restoration in Christ.  As we come into His presence in prayer and solitude, we will find restoration.

  • Direction

“He leads me….” Vs. 3b (NKJV) The invitation of Christ our great Shepherd is simply put in two words, “Follow me.”  That was His call to His disciples then and remains to be His invitation to anyone today who would make Him the Shepherd of their lives.  That means we don’t have to invent the path.  The way to maintain balance in life is to follow Him.  Let Christ direct your life through His Word and by His Spirit.

  • Protection

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies….”  Vs. 5a (NKJV) One of Jesus’ favorite descriptions of His followers was as sheep to a shepherd not because sheep are dumb animals but because they are so dependent.  Like sheep we are totally dependent on God for our very lives!  He created us, and only He can sustain us.  Our greatest source of protection is in Him.  The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will for your life no matter where that may be!

Review each of these four benefits today, and you will maintain balance as you grow in your relationship to your Shepherd.