The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.


MMS – Sea

MMSFor the month of October, I am joining many bloggers in a challenge to write every single day for 31 days. I learned about this challenge through another challenge I participate in most weeks. The “Five Minute Friday” challenge is going to expand to last the whole month! Each entry, will be five minutes unedited of writing on a particular theme – found on Kate’s blog.Today’s theme is “sea.”

Moses parted the Red Sea (see Ex. 14). An impossible task, made possible. It wasn’t about Moses, but the God he served. We all will find ourselves in difficult – yet – seemingly – impossible situations, yet God longs to prevail over them.

My “Red Sea”

Lately, I have felt discouraged – just ready to be done. I am tired of struggling. Needless to say, I have my reasons. Perhaps, even consider them justified. Yet, somehow they are needing to be crowded out with something else. Something real/more-important-than-these-feelings. Something bigger-than-life. Have you ever wrestled with sea of thoughts? Perhaps not discouragement, but overwhelmed? Or, surrounded by a sea of thoughts on how to accomplish a task.

God is bigger than the Red Sea.
God is bigger than the horrors of Dysautonomia without the proper medication.
God is bigger than social anxiety or anxiety and panic attacks – point blank.

God is Bigger

My sea of discombobulated thoughts? He is bigger than those too. It’s not just that He is all-powerful. It is also the truth that God cares for us (see Ps. 8:4) far more than we could ever imagine or ask (see Eph. 3:20). I am reminded that He does have plans for our lives. But, sometimes, those plans mean walking down a path that seems unlit – compared to our brighter-than-the-sun kind-of-days.

I just need God to guide me through my sea of thoughts. I need Him to continue to prove just how B I G He is – despite my despairing moments, roller-coaster emotions, and health concern. I need to begin to look for the various ways that God continues to show up my life on a daily – hourly – minutely – and secondly basis.

Sweet Words

Isaiah 30-21Today is day 2 of my “Best Yes” study. It has become my intention to write, as I work toward completing this study. Lately, I am somewhere else… in a lot of different places. However hard this is, my heart needs to continue on with this study. Even if, my heart feels torn and elsewhere. I need to keep pursuing what I committed to. That’s something I know I need to be about.

Anyway,… Isaiah 30:21 is where we journey today. In the Voice translation, it says: “Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left.””

Sweet words.
How I long to hear sweet words.
Words that are sweet and instant peace
that washes over my soul.

In this Scripture, we learn that God should be the One to guide us. Is God often the One who guides me? Even now, is that who guides me? I think there is a pull to follow my emotions and be led, instead of being the one to make sure I am led by God- and not my emotions. Scripture reminds us that we need to be sober-minded (see Proverb 25:28, 1 Peter 5:8).

We need to trail back to the life of Joseph, and that whole situation with his cranky brothers in Genesis 37 and 42-43. Emotions was why the brothers of Joseph landed themselves in the hot water they experienced as they retold the same lie that Joseph died, when they didn’t want to confess that they sold him into slavery, to a foreign people.

Side Note: God definitely used Joseph where he was, to save Israel from the famine, years later. But, the brothers of Joseph had to live with their lie and decisions for the rest of their lives. Are we willing to be led by God alone?

It is not enough for us to try to guide ourselves. It is not even enough to be guided by other people. No matter how much we hoped that we could be, we just cannot be. We must be guided by the Lord alone. Only He can guide us in the way we should go. Our Best Yes’ can only come, as we spend time with the Lord alone as our guide. Now, He can use the Church to help lead us, but it can be so easy to turn to others instead of Him! Let’s choose to listen to His voice, through prayer and the Bible, and pursue a life and decisions that honor God. Let’s choose to be praying people who pray before we act.

Psalm 25:8-9 and Proverbs 3:6 deal with this topic as well.

“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Psalm 25:8-9

“In all your ways submit to him, and
he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6