Psalm 23 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.4 Even 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.
I think Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted verses in scripture in our day. Its on every fridge and magnet, calender and coaster in Christian homes around america today. Its a beautiful picture of what Christ is to us, our Shepperd. But to have a shepherd we first have to admit that we are sheep right? That we are helpless without a shepherd. Left without hope, protection, or comfort. Jesus says that not only is He our shepherd, but He is the THE good shepherd.
Sheep are interesting creatures. They get scared and confused really easy. They fall prey to deception and attack really easy. They really would be lost rather quickly without a shepherd. But with the help of a shepherd they are guided and protected. This is the picture of what Christ does for us. Jesus says that He is the good shepherd and all others are thief and liars. He calls His sheep his own. He claims that his sheep will know His voice and will not listen to the voice of a stranger. Interestingly enough Paul says in Romans 8 that “as many are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
There seems to be a direct correlation between those that are led by the shepherd, and those that know and listen to His voice. Its not enough to quote the Psalm and wish for the best to happen in our lives. But we must know that He is our shepherd and we must listen to the voice of the shepherd that has promised to guide and protect us and give us a peace. I love the depiction of peace that Psalm 23 offers. He makes me lie down in green pastures, and takes us by the still waters, and restores our souls. Isn’t that awesome, I think we all want that.
I have often wondered why most are without peace in the slightest. It seems the same Christians that quote the psalm and have it on their calender are also the most stressed out, scared and peace-less people I have ever met. But wait, God said He LEADS us by the still waters and all that right? Why don’t many experience the peace promised by the shepherd. The key word there being LEADS. Its hard to be brought comfort if your thoughts are tied up in the problems your facing. Its hard to be led into peace when your mind is flooded with the voice of doubt and worry. These things are natural for sheep you know, but the sheep should know the voice of their shepherd. Its the voice of the shepherd that will lead you out and comfort you when you don’t know what to do. Its Him that gives you peace, not quoting a sentence. Even if the sentence is in the the bible. We must know the shepherd.
Maybe your struggling without peace. Maybe with all thats going on right now you are so scared that you cant sleep, your mind just races. You seem to have anxiety over life in general. Let me ask you this, do you know the shepherd? Not a Psalm, the shepherd. Do you here His voice? Does he lead you and guide and comfort you? Because He wants to.
He tells us in His word that he LOVES the sheep. He Died for the sheep. He died for you. He did it so that He could forever be your Shepperd. Put your focus on Him. Listen for the voice of our shepherd that will speak peace over you in the middle of whatever you are going through today. Your GOING to make it. He is going to lead you through. Put your focus on Jesus and let His peace come through for you.