Tuesday June 29, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
The Good Shepherd
God fills many roles as our Good Shepherd. Yesterday, we saw Him as a pardoning shepherd. He is also a providing shepherd. He knows our needs before we even ask Him for help, and He delights in meeting those needs. (Matthew 7:9-11) In practical terms, that means He knows what you need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And He is already at work, accomplishing and providing those things that you may not have even thought of yet.
Not only does He provide for us, but He also defends us from attack. In that, He is a protecting shepherd. In Psalm 23:4, what is it that comforts the psalmist? It is the Lord's rod and staff. These implements are what ancient shepherds used to defend their sheep from vicious animals seeking a quick meal. In the same way, God moves before us, clearing the path of the Enemy's traps and snares.
It is important to note, though, that Psalm 23 does not declare that God will lead us around the "valley of the shadow of death," but rather, through it. This means that God's plan often requires us to walk through hard times, facing those shadows and dark places in our lives. However, in the midst of the rough journey, we can remain confident by keeping our eyes on the Shepherd who leads us safely home.
Have you experienced God's provision, only to fall into subsequent doubt and fear because of loss or hardship? My friend, God has not left you. He remains your Good Shepherd, leading you through the darkness and into the light, where He is.
For free online one-to-one mentoring with Dr. Charles Stanley, visit www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.
To delve deeper into this subject and more, visit the In Touch Web site: www.intouch.org.