Blake Allen, Campus Pastor, Living Hope Dunbar Cave
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. 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 shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Several months ago, my wife took the kids outside to play. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and perfect weather for outdoor fun. I remember hearing the kids laughing and having fun. Life was happening outside but I was not with them. I was reading a book on finances. I was studying this particular book and thinking on the future. I told myself I would only read a few more pages and then I would go hang out with the family. Unfortunately, by the time I actually finished, my kids and wife were making their way back in the house.
I don’t know about you but often times, I can get caught up in thinking about the future. Now, there is nothing wrong with a little planning. We all need to plan our business and have a strategy to get to where we want. But does your future ever get in the way of your present? Do you miss out on present realities chasing future dreams or aspirations? Often, we miss what is right in front of us because we are focused on the next thing.
This can be birthed out of fear, anxiety, worry, pride, greed, the need to advance, etc. And if we are not careful, we will put worldly things before God, family, church, and other more important things. Furthermore, if we are not careful, we can lose sight of God being our personal shepherd in life.
Do we really believe the Lord is our shepherd? In Psalm 23, David depicts what a shepherd/sheep relationship looks like. We are the sheep and God is the shepherd. God is not just a shepherd, but He is our shepherd. There is a personal care God has for us. The Lord is personally responsible for us and involved in our life. Because God who owns everything cares for us himself, we should not worry about the future. Of course, planning and worrying are two different things. We should plan. But do we honor God with our plans? Do we trust Him if our plans fall through? Do we ultimately understand God is our provider?
He makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us by still waters. He is our comfort, peace, and joy in life. It’s interesting that comfort, peace, and joy are what we pursue most in this life. But often times, we try to find it in created things rather than the creator of all things. When we rest in God and worship Him, we will be satisfied in life. And even if we should walk through dark times, our great shepherd protects us and ministers to us Himself. God comforts us in the midst of hard times.
Do you want comfort, peace, and joy? Chase after God and trust that He will provide all we need.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, you are the good shepherd. I shall not want or desire anything outside of you. Help me to keep my eyes fixed upon you. For you are all that I need. Amen.