There was a flock of sheep who had a shepherd. A few sheep walked very close to this shepherd; others wanted this closeness to Him, but didn’t know how to get there. Some of the sheep were far away from the flock, scared and in danger. The shepherd’s desire was for every sheep to be close to Him and safe in his way, yet many chose not to follow Him. The sheep became so easily distracted from his path, and often wandered astray.
This Shepherd I’m speaking of might sound familiar to you. He is one many of you know and love dearly, one who has kept you from harm many times. He’s the One who was willing to die to save your soul, the One who loves like no other. Do you know who I’m talking about yet? You see, God is our shepherd.
Psalm 23:1 says,
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
The Lord, our Shepherd, watches over us all the time. He loves the whole world SO much, and His desire is that everyone would come to know Him. Yet, many souls reject Him and His love, thinking they don’t need Him. Some people know Him, but have stopped trying to be close to Him.
I recently heard a preacher say this:
“If you’re gonna be a part of the flock, you better walk real close to the shepherd.”
I want you to think about that for a moment. If you are gonna be a part of Christ’s flock, you have to stick close to Him; because if you don’t, you will get lost among the distractions of the world.
The farther away you get from the Shepherd, the closer you get to the danger. God is our safe hold, our strong tower, our protection, and our shield. (Psalm 3:3, Psalm 46:1, Proverbs 18:10) We need to cleave to him, for there is safety in his arms.
The rest of Psalm 23 says,
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23:2-6)
We need to follow Him closely with every move He makes, trusting that He knows where to lead us. We can rest in Him, knowing that the green pastures and the still waters are close by to refresh our weary souls. Every trial He brings us through is to draw our wandering souls back to Him. We need to be desiring to walk with a trusting heart that He is leading us along the paths of righteousness, so that when we come to the trials in the valley, we won’t fear because we know God is with us! He keeps us safe in His hold, and He blesses us so abundantly that our cup runs over! He gives us His goodness and mercy when we walk close to Him.
Friends, my point today is this: God is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep: we can choose not to walk close to Him, or we can follow Him closely with a heart zealous for where He will take us. There truly is no better way to live than to live in Him. Without Him, we are nothing. But He desires to lead us so tenderly through the valleys and on the mountaintops. I want to encourage you today to choose to follow Him closely, striving to keep in His steps. He is our God and we are His people, and He will protect us and lead us in a perfect way as long as we trust Him.
“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
All my love and prayers, Ashley