Did you ever hear a child proudly proclaim, "That's my daddy"? That child probably really put some emphasis on the word "my." Children have a way of saying it that leaves no doubt they believe their daddy is bigger, smarter and stronger than anyone else's dad.
I believe that's the way David expressed himself in Psalm 23 when he said, "The Lord is MY Shepherd ... ." I think he was proclaiming his personal connection with God. Certainly David knew that he was talking about the God of heaven and earth, the Ruler of the universe, the Almighty and Omnipotent One; but at that very moment, I believe he was simply thinking, He's mine. It was personal.
The Lord Is Your Shepherd
As children of God, we have the privilege of looking at it the way David did: The Lord is MY Shepherd. Just meditate on that for a moment. He is God of all, but He is also my God ... and your God. He loves you. He has a plan for your life. He knows every single thing about you. The Lord is your Shepherd. He is moving in your life right now.
This is very personal. But many times, we miss what God is doing just because we aren't aware of His presence and His guidance. I began to keep a journal several years ago so that every time I witnessed God doing something special, I could record it. I love to go back now and then to just sit and read some of the things I've written ... all those special things God has done for me and for others.
I encourage you to write down the things God is doing in your life. Keep a record of His goodness and go back to it often so you will see how He is moving in you. I believe it will help bring your faith to a new level and strengthen your relationship with God.
His Providential Care
The Lord wants to take care of each of us, much like a shepherd cares for his sheep. Psalm 23:1 says, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." God wants to take care of every one of our needs. He is our Protector and our Provider.
In verse 2, David says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters." God is our Caretaker, seeing to it that we have what we need in life. It might not always be what we think we need, but we can trust that He knows better. We do not have a real need that He will not meet and because of that, we can experience a wonderful sense of peace.
Then in verse 3 he says, "He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." He refreshes us with His wisdom and restores us with His strength. And He leads us to righteousness and does good things for us, not because we deserve it, but because of the power and reputation of His name.
Verses 4 and 5 say, "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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over." Whatever is going on in our lives, or when the enemy comes against us in some way, we still have access to God's presence, power and peace. We never need to be fearful, because He is always guiding us and always protecting us.
That's My Dad!
Finally, David declares in verse 6, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Doesn't it excite you to know that God's goodness and His mercy are with you everywhere you go and that He loves you ... no matter what? You are always under His care and protection. Because the Lord is YOUR Shepherd!
And He is a good Shepherd! A good shepherd is to his sheep like a good father is to his child. Now I know not every one of us has had a good relationship with our earthly fathers. I had a terrible relationship with my father for a long time, filled with fear because of emotional and sexual abuse.
The enemy will attack the father-child relationship any way he can. He wants us to grow up and not trust God, because many times we think God is the same way we view our earthly dads.
However, every single one of us has a good heavenly Father who loves and cares deeply for us. We can each have a wonderful, personal, intimate relationship with Him. And when a child has a good relationship with his father, he is proud to say, "That's my dad!" Just like David, you and I can also say, "The Lord is MY Shepherd!"
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living Courageously (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
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