The Shepherd

Monday, March 7, 2011

The candy cane that Big Guy has saved since Christmas and calls, "My staff."

A few days ago I read the following in Jesus Calling:

You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not. . . Many of my children run around in circles, trying to obey the various voices directing their lives. This results in fragmented, frustrating patterns of living. . . My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead. John 10:4

As I sat and pondered, "How do I know the voice of my shepherd?" I did not have an immediate answer. How do I know God's voice?

My eyes moved to a piece of paper stuck in my Bible, marking the spot for my small group's assigned lectio divina for the week, Psalm 23.

The 23rd Psalm. The Lord is my shepherd. . .

I've had this passage memorized for years, something I learned as a child. But suddenly I saw it with new eyes. It is a description of the Shepherd-King. It can help me know, recognize, His voice. I'd never thought of it that way before. I decided to break it down, verse by verse. Here is what I wrote:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
I have everything I need. The Shepherd provides.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
There is rest with the Shepherd. Green pastures signify plenty.

he leads me beside quiet waters,
Soothing, peaceful, ever-flowing life.

he restores my soul.
He revives me, keeps alive the flame at the center of my being.

He guides me in paths of righteousness
Paths of prosperity and joy, paths that conform to God's will.

for his name's sake.
Paths that will bring Him glory.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
The path will get scary. Life in this world is hard.

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
It may be dark, but God is there.

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The rod is an instrument of authority, the staff is for comfort. Like a child, both discipline and a hug are for my benefit.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
All will know that I am under the Shepherd's protection.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
A show of honor. Life is full of more grace than I deserve.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
When I look back, I will see how good everything was, even during the dark times.

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The promise of eternal life.

Peace and rest,
Times of trouble,
He is there.
Rod and staff comforting,
Honor and grace overflowing,
It is always good.
It will be that way forever.

These ideas are taken from my NIV Study Bible's notes, and my own thoughts. I'd love to hear yours.

When your world is rushed and you're not sure which way to go, how do you know God's voice? Is there a verse or passage that helps you? How can we better learn to recognize the voice of the Shepherd-King?


FaithBarista_Rest2JamBadge


share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
18 Comments »

18 Responses to “The Shepherd”

  1. Great post and I enjoyed reading your thoughts as you broke down each verse.
    How do I hear the voice of God? TRUST AND FAITH.
    The Lord knows His sheep and trusting Him with my life, God center, is how we can learn to hear Him. BUT God knows your heart, we can not say He is center and not really trust him to be there...He wants all of us, we are made for Him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Courtney,
    I struggle hearing God's voice because my mouth won't close and my head won't stop spinning. When I physically leave my house and (I know this sounds silly) go for a walk or just sit outside, I hear God more clearly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like to problem solve my way out of listening to God sometimes. So my verse is "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.

    ReplyDelete
  4. this I know about myself...when I am to busy to stop and just breathe...be with him..not rushing and talking and list making etc. I can't hear as well.
    when I'm easily angered..feeling resentment etc. I know I'm in need of breathing Him in..and me out. Clearing my heart and mind. Going away without distraction and just being...like Amy said. Walking or exercising will help clear my head.
    love the way you put your ideas under the Scripture...beautiful:)
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love Lamentations 3:22-26, reminding us that God's mercies are new everyday, blessing those who hope in the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think this is amazing, Courtney. Really. If I took the time to break down more scriptures like this, oh how full life would be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am enjoying Jesus Calling, too, and loved following your progression of thoughts here.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel like I could hear the Shepherd-King speak in the words of your post. Many times I have heard God speak while reading another's thoughts.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  9. Matthew 11:28-30 is one that brought me through a really stressful time....come unto me all ye who are burdoned and heavilly laden and I will give you rest.... I also know that he speaks through my dreams, in the quiet, through his creation, the breeze against my skin and so much more..., just to remind me that he is there. Thank you for sharing this much needed post. Stay blessed. xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Knowing which voice is the Shepherd's is a challenge for me too sometimes. I really liked the way you broke this psalm down. If the voice I'm hearing, the direction I'm thinking of going doesn't fit here, I know it's probably not from the Shepherd.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This post brings so much peace. I really enjoyed your take on each line of this familiar voice.
    Thank you...

    How do I know God's voice in the middle of chaos? I always remember that God's word says to "Be still... and know that I am God". It is in the stillness that I find Him and hear Him once again.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've loved the picture of God as my shepherd for years. Sheep really do know their shepherd's voice. When I feel I can't hear him, I try to find a quiet place, get all my words out, and listen in solitude. He promised that he would answer before I even call. I rest in that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Courtney, I love what you've done here. Hearing God's voice requires me to be completely still and quiet. It's from time spent in that silence that I can better hear him in the sounds of the day - through a song, a person's words in conversation, as I cook, or even as I stand in line at the grocery store. That place of solitude is the core of hearing Him through out the daily chores.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Visiting from Faith Barista ... thanks for these thoughts on "rest". I love how you broke the verses down into small segments, and added your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Visiting from Faith Barista ... thanks for these thoughts on "rest". I love how you broke the verses down into small segments, and added your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love Lamentations 3:22-26, reminding us that God's mercies are new everyday, blessing those who hope in the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post and I enjoyed reading your thoughts as you broke down each verse.
    How do I hear the voice of God? TRUST AND FAITH.
    The Lord knows His sheep and trusting Him with my life, God center, is how we can learn to hear Him. BUT God knows your heart, we can not say He is center and not really trust him to be there...He wants all of us, we are made for Him.

    ReplyDelete