Summary: Shares the blessing of following the Good Shepherd.
July 26, 2013
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
A couple of weeks ago, as I lay in that hospital bed, I decided I needed to relearn and memorize the 23rd Psalm in a newer version. I had memorized it as a child in the old King James Version of the Bible - but I didn’t keep at it and I was pretty rusty at remembering it. So I got out a pencil and paper and wrote it out. That is my memorizing technique – I write it out, I read it over and over and I say it out loud. Do that for a few days and it will be embedded in your memory banks – especially if you go back every now and then and review.
So I did that. I read it over and over and I said it over and over. And as I did that – God began to unlock its secrets and its meanings. It became a wonderful blessing to me. I want to try and share with you at least a little of what I learned.
When the doctors came to get me for the angiogram they gave me a little Benadryl in preparation. Later they told Julie that Benadryl really knocks me out. I wasn’t out. In fact, I was wide awake and feeling and hearing everything as they worked on me. But I was calm because I was reciting this Psalm in my mind. I was picturing it. I was experiencing it. And a peace that is beyond understand came over me. The Bible promises,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
God keeps His promises. I went over this Psalm and then some other Scriptures of God’s promises and then my encouraging poems. And I experienced peace. All fear was gone. I felt safe, no matter what happened, in the arms of Jesus. When you are in that place – God is free to work and good things happen. And I experienced the best possible scenario, the doctor said.
Let’s take a look at this wonderful Psalm and unlock some wonderful spiritual truths.
It begins, “The Lord is my Shepherd…” We go over that too fast. I always went over it too fast and missed the profound meeting of that simple phrase. All of the promises hinge on that one thing. IS the Lord your Shepherd? All the promises I am going to share with you are for those who follow the Shepherd. Jesus said,
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Do you see that His sheep HEAR His voice. They KNOW Him. That means they have an intimate love relationship with them. And most importantly – they FOLLOW them.
I am sorry to tell you that if you are not following the good Shepherd you have broken that covenant of love or are not in covenant with Him. His promises are not for you. They are not for the rebellious. They are not for the sinner. They are not for the unbelieving. The promises are for the sheep. How can He lead you to green pastures and still waters if you aren’t following Him?
Is the Lord your shepherd? If so – get to know Him intimately. You do that through reading the Word and talking with Him in prayer. You do that by ‘following’ Him. The promises are for the obedient. The first thing we must do is make Jesus our Shepherd.
Secondly, right away after that declaration that the LORD is your shepherd – the Word says, “I have no needs”; “I shall not want”; “I lack nothing”.
I think what David is saying, and the way I would translate that phrase, is “The Lord is my Shepherd – and I don’t need anything else. If you have Jesus – you have everything. If the Lord is your shepherd – HE will give you everything you need. All your needs are met in Jesus. You lack nothing. You lack nothing. He promises to give us the desires of our heart. Jesus takes care of His sheep.