We are like sheep and sheep worry. Sheep are fearful.
It is only when the shepherd’s presence comes into view that things change for the sheep. It is the same for us.
When our eyes are on Jesus, they are not on those around us nor on things that may bother us, because we are in the place of peace. The place of peace is not the absence of problems, but focusing on the presence of the Lord, our Good Shepherd.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Psalm 23:2a
I think lovely lush green pastures seem inviting.
- Worry keeps a sheep from lying down at peace in green pastures.
- Fear imprisons the sheep.
You and I can easily end up sickly, confused, hurt, angry, bitter and worn-out if we allow fear to dominate our thoughts.
Despite all the Shepherd’s efforts to protect us, sheep cannot be made to do something contrary to their nature. The Shepherd will not force us. We have the decision to trust or fear, to lie down in the green pastures He provides or to wander off where a sheep can easily be devoured.
When my focus is on “me”, I become self-centered, focusing on my problems and situations. If I continually think about my own problems, they will become magnified in my mind and loom larger than reality. Then I will get stuck in a rut. Sheep have terrible problems with ruts. Those well-worn areas the sheep go back and forth in eventually destroy the pasture and the sheep. Sheep won’t get the nourishment and rest they need in a rut. We do not want to choose to live in a rut of fear, because a rut is a grave with the ends out. The shepherd has to keep sheep on the move to find green pastures.
I learned that the Greek word for “sheep” is the word “probaton”. Probaton means “something that walks forward.” Are you and I moving forward following Jesus or do we live in a rut of fear? The answer is to keep looking toward the Good Shepherd for help. He will give me nourishment and rest. When we walk with the Shepherd, we walk in power and peace.
We cannot have faith and fear at the same time. We must get out of the rut of fear and turn to the pasture of faith. We will have total peace only when we have total trust. The more we think of things to fear, the deeper get the ruts in our lives. Jesus is standing in the green pasture inviting me to lie down in the peace of His presence.
The 23rd Psalm of God providing “green pastures” challenges believers to trust God day by day. As His sheep, we should trust God today rather than fear the future. You may not see it now, but a new pasture of grass will always be there in the morning. Remember, the Shepherd knows you by name. All the way, my Shepherd leads me.
The good shepherd worked hard to provide the sheep with an abundant lush green pasture for rest. Our good Shepherd has worked and is working in our lives to remove the hard places of stubbornness, unbelief and fear in our hearts. He exposes the roots of bitterness and anger which contaminate.
When we feed on the green pasture of His Word, He sows His Word into our lives. As we fellowship with our Heavenly Shepherd in His Word and in prayer, our mind, our emotions, and our will are renewed. His presence, His Word and prayer are our green pastures, our nourishment and rest. “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Are you worried? Are you fearful? I admit it! I have my moments of worry and fear, and these lessons are for me too! I am a needy sheep. If you are feeling worried and fretful, join me in prayer. The Lord will give us His peace, so we will rest in Him. Let us remember that there is no need to fear tomorrow, because God is already there.
I need Your rest in my life today. Worry robs me of the joy and peace You had planned for me today. Worry and fear rob me of the strength I need to carry on the work You had planned for me to do today. I look unto You, my good Shepherd. Thank You for leading me to green pastures by removing the stony places of fear, worry, and stubbornness in my heart. I desire to walk forward with You leading me, and not look back except to remember lessons You have taught me. I am so grateful I have a good Shepherd Who Cares for me, Who loves me and Who leads me. Where would I be without You, My Heavenly Father! Thank You for loving me with an everlasting love! Let me never forget the miracle that You live within my heart. I praise You for being My Good Shepherd! In the Precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen~