Your Provider In Your Desert

green pasturesAs a shepherd, himself, David understood the shepherding characteristics of our Good Shepherd. 

As we navigate our own desert places, we find encouragement and stronger faith from David’s words:

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.”

More than likely, you’ve read that verse and heard quite a few teachings from Psalm 23.  If you understand it from what David knew about sheep and shepherding, you’ll be encouraged.

How Sheep Act

The first important thing to note is the fact that it is nearly impossible to get sheep to lie down if they are hungry, fearful, or otherwise agitated.

However, when they see their shepherd the sheep will begin to settle down.  Instinctively, they know their shepherd has their best interests at heart as well as the ability to provide what they need.  I realize that is a complex thought process that human beings would think.  That’s why I said, instinctively.

Our Application

  1. The conscious presence of Jesus is what calms our souls.  That’s why, for peace of mind, we must develop the habit of “looking to Jesus.”  We must require His presence.  That’s right, require.  Jesus is the one that produces the peace that passes our normal understanding of peace.  Natural techniques can help induce a calming affect, but no “peace methodology” will sustain the peace of mind without embracing His presence.
  2. The Shepherd is very conscious and concerned for what you and I need.

Green Pastures

A Western culture city-dweller might have a general idea of the imagery of green pastures.  However, imagining a big grassy field is the best they will imagine.

David was not expressing the idea of a vast, verdant Midwestern field.  He lived in a land where shepherds tended their sheep in desert places.  There were plots of rich green grass, but the shepherd had to know where they were or he had to look for them.  It was his responsibility, not theirs.

Our Application

Contemporary life in this world is full of desert places.  It’s not normal that we will find ourselves surrounded by endless pastures of visible supply.  It is more common than not that our bread of provision would be daily.

You may have material abundance but know a different kind of desert.  We all experience dry places of some kind.  It is, however, the grace of God that He provides in a way that keeps us dependent on Him.

The Good Shepherd is not failing you if He doesn’t lead you to a lush 10 acre field of sweet alfalfa at your bidding.  And, you can use all the “faith techniques” you can muster to make it happen.  However, the “right one” that some Word of Faith folks feverishly look for probably will not put them in a place where you actually no longer have to trust your Shepherd.

[Btw…I am a faith person.  I believe in many of the principles taught by men like Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagin, etc.  But, what many of their “disciples” live is not the spirit of what these men taught]

Don’t Fear or Fret in Your Desert

More could be said, but that is sufficient for this post.  Your Shepherd.  Your Provider.  He’s right there with you in the desert.  It’s not an unfamiliar place for Him.  You don’t need to fear, or fret.

He knows where the green places of provision are and he knows where the peaceful water is.  He knows His job, and He takes it seriously.  He’s the Good Shepherd.

[Btw…In Hebrew the word good means to be perfectly ordered.]

What do you think you can do to recognize His peace producing presence.  Your comment may help one of the other readers!

Thanks for sharing if this has helped you!

Gary

 

 

Beating Frustration (1)

Frustration is one of life’s simple pleasures, eh?  You’re probably wondering how I got this drawing of you when you thought nobody was watching, right?  Well, keep reading and I’ll share that little secret…

Okay, it’s not you…but it could have been more than once…twice?  A gazillion times?

But seriously…frustration is one of the most common emotional conditions known to mankind.  Everything seems to be going reasonably well and…….whoooooosh…….somebody happens to your well laid plans.

It’s not always somebody. Sometimes someTHING happens.  But more often than not there’s a someBODY somewhere in the mix.

So, now that I’ve stated the obvious, what’s the solution.  How do you beat frustration at its own ugly game?

There are a few practical things that I’m going to share with you that have worked for me.  They still work….when I remember to practice them.  Practice is a good word, because beating frustration takes a life-time of practice.

The one thing I’m going to mention today is a biggy.  And, it’s simply…

SLOW DOWN

We are addicted to speed.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a worse and maybe more devastating addiction than most drugs.  For one reason, we know drugs are bad.  We honor speed.

It’s going to take practice…but start now.  Take a deep breath.  I mean it!  Take a deep breath.  Let it out slowly.

Excessive speed is killing you emotionally.  Frustration is simply going to appear in this real deal world.  But, living constantly in the fast lane is only adding fuel to the fire.

Think about this.  Mull it over and over in your mind.  Ask God to reveal something to you as you ponder these words from Psalm 23, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.”

Let’s be honest here.  Speed has never solved any of your problems.  In fact it may have cost you a few (or many) bucks.

You’re going to need some peace to beat frustration.  And, you can’t catch peace by running after it.  Peace doesn’t run.

Finally, frustration won’t be beaten without God’s help.  And, God isn’t going to run to catch up with you.   So, slow down and come along side God at His speed.

(Continued…)

What have you done that has helped you in the battle with frustration?
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Gary