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. Psalm 23
One of my favorite psalms. In addition, I️ find it extremely comforting, yet challenging beyond belief.
Thy Lord is my Shepherd.
This is an invitation for me to follow. As believers, we’re called to not only believe…but to follow. To clarify, there is a monumental underlying assumption here: Somebody else is doing the leading. And I️ am to do the following.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:3-4
But What Does it Look Like to Follow?
What does it look like to yield to Jesus all of our mundane, everyday tasks? Furthermore, how do we hear His voice when our lives seem filled to the brim with ordinary? I️ think we find the answer in Psalm 16:11.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
God’s way always leads to life. In addition, His presence ushers in the fullness of joy. When we sit tight next to Him, there are pleasures forevermore. However, when we are more preoccupied with what God is doing over that which we find ourselves doing, we will find HIm. Certainly, we can rest assured that Jesus is a Good Shepherd. He will lead us well.
Reasons We Resist
So often we wait until we have major, life-altering decisions before we talk to God about direction in our lives. Questions like, “Who should I️ marry?” “Should I️ take this job” “Where should I️ buy a house?” Or, if you’re like me, I️ tend to wait until I’m in over-my-head in a situation and frantically cry out, “God, help me! What do you want me to do?” Certainly, we tend to wait until we’re in a panic-mode before talking to Him. It’s only the BIG stuff that we lay down at His feet.
The tiny, minuscule, everyday, boring, ordinary stuff…well, we seem to think we can handle. We wake up in the morning determining the tasks we will complete and fill in the blanks with the who, what, when, where, and how.
We get dressed.
Make our coffee.
Shuffle our kids out the door.
We sit in traffic.
Listen to music.
And swing by the grocery store.
All the while not asking God, “How do you want me to spend my time?”
Hearing the Voice of God
Consequently, have we become so accustomed to doing things our way, that we no longer hear the voice of God? Morevover, could it be that we don’t hear God in the big stuff because we haven’t included Him in the small stuff too?
In conclusion, the prophet Elijah refers to the voice of God as a “still, small voice.” So, I️ don’t know about you…but if I’m going to hear that kind of voice, I️ had better slow down. And tune in. Quiet my heart. Calm my mind.
Prayer: Lord, please help us to hear from you. Help us to quiet our minds and tune in to your still, small voice. Give us direction for today. Help us to take you with us, and to stay behind you and follow. Lord, give us ears to listen. You, Lord, are a good, good Shepherd. Amen