I have enjoyed teaching at The Landing the last few weeks on Psalm 23. We've been taking it verse by verse to get a more in depth understanding of a shepherd-sheep relationship. We started with the understanding that the Lord IS MY shepherd. He cares about what happens to me and what I am going through. We know from scripture that he will leave the other 99 sheep to come after the 1 that is lost. He wants to look after us. And when we come into the right relationship with our shepherd, we shall not want anything. He takes care of everything that we need!
Last night we looked at the verse that begins..."he makes me to lie down in green pastures". One of the most interesting characteristics of sheep is that it is almost impossible to make them lie down unless four requirements are met. They must be:
1-free from fear
2-free from friction w/others
3-free from pests
4-free from hunger
Look closely at those things: fear, tension, aggravation and hunger…all of these anxieties depend upon the care of the owner. It’s easy to see when looking at these qualities why we are referred to as sheep. We go through so much anxiety because often we choose the wrong Master…our care-giver is not the Good Shepherd. If we are relying on things and people that are unreliable, we can never truly rest. Its why our churches are full of people who are restless, discontent, agitated and disturbed with cravings that never seem to be satisfied.
Sheep fall prey to fear. When one of them gets spooked and runs away, a dozen others will follow in blind fear. A sheep’s only real defense is to run. Fact is…two dogs could kill 300 sheep in one night!
God does not give to us a spirit of fear. He has placed in us faith that can rise up in power, move out in love and create sound thinking in our lives. Combat fear with faith. Let faith arise in you today!
To be continued...