Where He Leads!

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 NIV

Every so often we need to go back and “refresh” our thoughts about God’s Word even though most of us can quote the 23rd Psalm verbatim. However, understanding is not found in merely quoting passages of scripture, but in analyzing them, picking them apart to see what was going on then and how to apply it now.

Shepherds lead their flock on a path of safety, away from the drama of life in situations they cannot change, and keep them focused on what’s needed. If the shepherd doesn’t keep the flock safe–the sheep will wander off and get themselves killed and become of no benefit to anyone except the wolves who stand at the ready to devour them.

Wolves standing at the ready to devour silly, foolish sheep who will not follow sound instruction is true both naturally and spiritually. In the natural, the shepherd loses the potential worth of the the sheep’s wool and the sustenance of the meat. Spiritually, the shepherd loses the potential of growth–gaining more witnesses to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in tithes and offerings to expand a viable program in bringing others into the knowledge of Christ.

There are so many shepherds out in the world of Christianity who are only concerned with fleecing the sheep–not feeding them so they will be valuable commodities in the kingdom, but draining people dry of valuable resources, but never giving them a nutritional message–one they can feed on for days and learn something by doing so. A “hoop” and a “holler” won’t provide any sustenance–it may ignite emotions for a minute, but once the moment is past–there is nothing–zero calories–a waste of time.

I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
“Take thy cross and follow, follow Me.”
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.

When we sing this timeless song of dedication and commitment to the Lord, are we really saying we’ll allow Him to lead us or are we simply following the man or woman in the pulpit who are not true shepherds?

If we’re following Christ, we will be fed and nurtured in His Word–prepared to do good works; if we’re following people–only God knows where we’ll end up–and that may be–devoured by the wolves.

Think carefully today about who is leading you and where they may be leading you. Do you have a good shepherd or is there a wolf in sheep’s clothing leading you astray? The Good Shepherd will only say what His Father has already said–the wolf–will manipulate God’s Word to appease people and to mislead them.

Where Jesus leads me–I will follow and go with Him, all the way!

Who’s Following You?

“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 23:6)

There are a number of people out there who are afraid of their own shadow. Every noise heard in the middle of the night makes them cringe. The shadows of the tree branches makes them quiver in fear and heaven help those who see the shadow of others behind them, before they see the person. And then there are those who think “someone” is always following them, when in reality–their fear has caused them to see things, not really there.

Shadows–are only cast where there is light. When we walk in the light, we have no need to fear the shadows we see, but in darkness–a shadow is not cast and then evil may indeed lurk.

Taking a short cut through an alley is never a good idea, especially when the dusk looms. But there is a story afoot that tells about a young girl who was not paying attention to her surroundings and decided to take a short cut through an alley–to get home. She was humming a song when she thought she heard a sound and turning did not see anyone, so she started repeating the 23rd Psalm. Before she could get halfway to her destination, three thugs followed her and were about to attack when they saw the shadows of three people–much larger than they were. Fear overtook them and they ran for their lives-in the opposite direction. The young girl turned and watched them, smiling. She knew something they didn’t. There was a light attached to a building closer to her home in the alley and what the thugs saw–were their own shadows.

When we understand how life works–on a practical level as well as a spiritual plane–we have no need to walk in fear and we can know with certainty, that “goodness and mercy” shall follow us wherever we go.

If our lives are hid in Christ Jesus–we have no need to fear–and can–with wisdom–go through life, being thankful for the shadows that loom large in lives as we walk in the light!