In yesterday’s post (click here to go to it) I talked about the “mark” of a Christian and how Jesus started that “mark” with His “Everlasting Stain” of the blood He shed on the Cross for our sins. Also, I mentioned how we, as Christians, rely on The Good Shepherd to provide for our needs and how we should be content and satisfied. And lastly, I talked about the Christian that wants the “best of both worlds”… the carnal world and the life of a Christian and how God deals with them sometimes.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am following the 23rd Psalm and also referring to a book I read “A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm”. The book was a wonderful book as the author, W. Phillip Keller, talks about his days as a shepherd and how sheep and humans are so much alike. It explains, in detail, the life of the shepherd (a good shepherd) and how that relates to Jesus Christ being The Good Shepherd. It is a very good book and one that I think anyone would enjoy reading. You can order it from one of the Amazon icons down on the lower left had side of this page. It helped me understand how much work it is for a shepherd in caring for his flock and how much the shepherd must love the sheep of his flock to do it all. In comparing that to what Jesus does for each of us, I can see how much Jesus loves us to have done what He did to save us.
In today’s post I will look at how we as Christians need certain things in place to feel safe and flourish in our lives and our walk with The Lord. Let’s look at the same pertaining to the sheep also.
This 4th part is based on the next part of the 23rd Psalm – “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Sheep need 4 things in place to feel safe enough to lie down and rest.
1) Free from fear
2) Free from friction among the other sheep
3) Free from the pests such as flies and parasites
4) Free from hunger
I understand now, since reading the book, sheep just simply will not rest unless these 4 things are in place. They are very timid creatures and the slightest thing can cause them to run away and a whole herd can stampede if feel threatened in the slightest way. The book talks about how the presence of the shepherd in the field with the sheep is such a calming thing. The sheep become accustomed to the Shepherd’s presence and feel that safety when he is there with them.
This is a lot like humans. Sometimes we can be so afraid of the slightest bit of change or something out of the ordinary. We get into a routine and get a little unsettled when that routine is broken up. We tend to fear change and like things to stay the same, nice and quiet. I know that the presence of God in my life is simply a calming factor for sure! Just coming into the presence of God Almighty is such an awesome feeling – whether it is in a church service or driving down the street. Since God is Spirit, He is everywhere and we can be in His presence anytime, anyplace! We just have to recognize that He is there and acknowledge His presence to feel that peace.
Sheep are social creatures, as well. If there is any dissension among the other sheep, they simply cannot lie down and rest. They have to have all their problems worked out before they can rest. Some folks are like this. I personally like to have my problems worked out with a friend before I can really rest. I don’t like dissension of any kind. I upset a girlfriend one time and she was not shy about telling me. I really knew the moment I did it that I shouldn’t have done it! She told me to give her a few days before I called or texted her again. It about killed me! I wanted it worked out RIGHT THEN! She, however, needed some time. I granted her time, or accepted her request for time and we did eventually get it worked out after a few days. I slept so good that night. All was well once again in Leah’s world.
The pests and parasites can be deadly to sheep. There is a parasite that can burrow up inside the nose into the brain and drive the sheep mad. That doesn’t sound very pleasant for sure! There are also things in our lives that are the little pesky things that are just not quite right and they peck away at us day in and day out. They are the pests and parasites. Other parasites can be the stuff that the world throws at us… if we are not careful it can get inside our brain and cause our spirits havoc! That is why daily communication – through prayer and The Word – with The Good Shepherd is vital.
Lastly is hunger. I understand now that sheep simply will not lie down if they feel hungry or feel like they have to find food. No one likes to go to bed hungry. I have known someone in my past that had experienced that more than once or twice in their childhood. It wasn’t a pleasant memory at all. They told me they remembered that they would try to sneak into the kitchen at night and grab a bite out of the refrigerator before they got caught. It must have been a harrowing feeling. I cannot really imagine that feeling because I have been so blessed in my years. I have always had at least a can of mixed veggies and bread and butter (when I was single and living alone). That was something I liked and that was the least I have ever had, but I survived and that was only temporary! I never felt uncared for or the pangs of hunger, really.
In all of these scenarios, the solution to each and every problem is the shepherd – whether it be the actual shepherd of actual sheep or The Good Shepherd of the flock of us as Christians. Or better said, the shepherd has the ability to address and resolve each of these problems – if he so chooses.
In my experience and my walk with the Lord, I have come to know that my needs will always be met. Whether it is the fear of something in this world, problems with friends or family, pests or parasites of this world or hunger. God will provide for His loved ones and has always provided. My father has said in the past, many times, “God would not have brought us this far to let us go.” With that comment, I will say that God has brought me a long distance in my lifetime. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will never let me go! He promises in His Word. I can say without reservation … The Lord Is My Shepherd and I shall not want.
John 10:27-29 – “27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” And…
Deuteronomy 31:6 – 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
And… there are so many more scriptures that remind us of God’s promises. Click this link to see 79 different scriptures that promise He will never leave us or forsake us.
I will end this post here with the thought that God will take care of you. He cares about every detail of our lives. Even the smallest thing. Really! I have experienced it and am amazed every time it happens! A wonderful old hymn comes to mind … “God Will Take Care of You”. The link below is a You Tube Video with lyrics and beautiful scenery. Take the time to watch and listen.
I challenge you today to reach out to The Good Shepherd. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved.