The Lord is My Shepherd - Part 1

Written by Lukus Counterman. Posted in Mission Blog

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Many commentators think that David penned Psalm 23 during a particularly vulnerable time in his life. King Saul (David’s mentor, leader, and his best friend’s father) became so jealous of him that he tried to kill him. David fled from Saul’s terror confused, threatened, and anxious. How did David respond to worry and anxiety in life? More to the point… How are we supposed to respond to worry and anxiety in our lives? Your anxiety could be related to impending changes, or it might be linked to something else - the holidays, some financial stress, a relationship issue, or some unknown about the future. How are we supposed to respond to worry and anxiety in our lives?

When we feel anxious, God wants us to trust Him as the Good Shepherd. We need to trust the Shepherd to provide for us (vs. 1-3a). One of the oldest ways the enemy has attacked God’s children is by causing them to doubt God’s provision. In Genesis 3:1, Satan tried to make Eve think that God was holding out on her, that He was preventing her from having what was best. Instead of doubting, we need to believe that our Shepherd’s provision is personal– “The Lord is MY Shepherd…” notice how verses 1-3 use the pronouns “my” and “me.” He is not just “a” Shepherd: He is “my” Shepherd. He doesn’t just lead and restore people: He leads and restores ME. This Shepherd is personally involved in my life. His provision is very personal. An interesting feature that points to his personal provision is this: the word LORD there is not “Master,” it is Yahweh, the personal name for God.

As we prepare to plant churches in Salt Lake City, we are totally dependent upon the provision of the LORD our Shepherd. In some ways, the needs before us seem impossibly crazy to meet. But in comparison to the riches of God, our needs seem so small. “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” He has already proven himself as personal provider in our previous ministry contexts. We have no doubt He will continue His act of personal provision for us. We rejoice in Psalm 37:23-25: “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”

Today, know and believe this, the Shepherd is Your Shepherd and His provision is personal.

Tomorrow, come back to read more about the Shepherd’s provision.

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