Week of Feb. 16
Guidance Through The Valley Who is in control of your life? Who directs your plans, dreams, and goals? We all are influenced by something—our egos, our greed, our pride, our circumstances, our relationships. But only the Lord, the One who created us and every living thing, has the right to claim ownership on our lives.
In Psalm 23 David declares, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1). David acknowledges God as his shepherd—the one who governs and manages his life, the one who is the owner of his life—and He is the best manager we could ever have. A sheep’s life isn’t easy—but no matter what our circumstances, our Shepherd provides His guidance and comfort.
We are never in need because our Shepherd cares for us. He provides us rest when we cannot carry on in our own strength. He quenches our thirst. He restores us and forgives us when we are broken and weak. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2–3).
Even in our darkest days, our Shepherd will remain with us: “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” (Psalm 23:4). With the Shepherd leading us, we have nothing to fear—not the disappointments of life, the dark days, not even death itself. Whatever valley we go through, God is leading us to higher ground.
In the midst of those who attack us, we can find joy in the Lord because we have been anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit. “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). Only our Shepherd can provide us with this Spirit-filled, joyful life that empowers us when our enemies attack. The Bible tells us, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
We will never lack for anything because our Creator’s goodness and mercy will be our constant companions throughout life and for eternity. “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). This doesn’t mean that we are guaranteed financial wealth, perfect health, or a pain-free life. But our Shepherd knows the deepest needs of our souls, and He alone knows how to fill them.
Psalm 116 tells us, “The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:6–9).
Our Shepherd is truly like none other—He even gave His own life for us. Jesus tells us, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Trust Him alone to take care of your safety, your needs, your relationships. He is never off the clock—He is always providing, always caring, and always watching over us. There is no other shepherd that compares to Him. He alone can give us the comfort and restoration that we need.
The sheep’s only responsibility is to follow the shepherd. And our Good Shepherd wants our obedience to Him. If you have been a wayward sheep, surrender to Him today. If you have been a fearful sheep, scared of the wolves that hunt you, give your anxieties to your Shepherd. Not only can He turn our lives around, but He will show us the way—the safe way, the better way, the right way.
Think about the many ways the Shepherd cares for you, and list them below. Spend time praising God for His guidance, provision, and comfort. Thank the Good Shepherd for laying down His life for His sheep. Submit your life to His leadership today.
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Today, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical values. It takes great courage and faith to live as a follower of Christ in a world characterized by moral depravity, injustice, idolatry, and more…but it is possible!
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Like Daniel, we are living by faith in a faithless culture. Leading The Way Through Daniel equips you to stand for God’s truth despite great opposition. This timely devotional book is ideal for personal or group use.