Today is the seventh post in the series: 11 Bible Verses to Grow Your Faith in 2017.
In each post, I will introduce one name of God and one Bible verse that will grow your view of God, and in turn grow your faith. If you missed the others, here they are: post #1 , post #2 , post #3 , post #4 , post #5 and post #6.
When I hung up the phone yesterday, tears quickly pooled in the corners of my eyes. I quickly brushed them away in annoyance. I still hate feeling needy.
I say still because I’ve come a long way in recognizing and admitting my needs. In the flesh (and in pride), I like being the strong one – the one that doesn’t need help – the one who doesn’t have to need from anyone. Thank-you-very-much.
But now, even typing that seems silly.
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I have needs.
As strange as it sounds, much of my understanding in this area has come as I’ve learned to embrace my place as a sheep. Yes, you read that right. A sheep.
Have you ever noticed in the Bible how often you and I are referred to as sheep? It’s in both the Old Testament and the New, so there’s no denying it.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned his own way … Isaiah 53:6
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Ok. So we’re sheep. Now, do you want to hear why???? (This is the hard part to swallow. Go ahead. Read on.)
Right off the bat, you need to know that sheep are notorious for being the neediest and dumbest of animals. They don’t learn from their mistakes, so they make the same ones over and over again. They are easily lost when they wander off (which happens regularly), and have a hard time finding home, even when home is within their sight. Sheep are extremely vulnerable animals. They have poor instincts and no ability to protect or defend themselves. They’ve even been known to eat themselves right off a cliff while grazing. The most high-maintenance of all livestock, sheep need constant, meticulous care. They have nothing to do with their own feeding, guidance or protection.
Pretty humbling, isn’t it? Although painful to admit, I can see myself in those sheep. And like them, I need the tender care of a good shepherd.
I, too, need a shepherd who calls me by name and knows me personally – knows my strengths, my weaknesses and all the little idiosyncrasies that make me uniquely me. I need someone who’s well acquainted with my stubborn ways – who will poke and prod me away from my own foolishness. I need someone who will keep me from walking off a number of emotional cliffs – someone who will fight for me and personally guide me back home when I lose my way.
The truth is I could go on and on. There’s no end to my need, but there is an answer for it.
His name is Jehovah Raah, The Lord my Shepherd.
Psalm 23 is notably one of the most well-known of Psalms. It was written by David in his later years as he reflected back on his life as a shepherd. God brought David back to a simple but assuring picture of a gentle shepherd caring for his flock. It was a picture that David knew well.
After years of shepherding his own family’s flock, David had intimate knowledge of and personal experience with sheep. He knew how connected they were to their shepherd. He knew intimately of their dependence. He also understood the burden and responsibility of the shepherd. That’s what makes Psalm 23 so personal.
Perhaps the most important word in this verse is MY. David was making a personal declaration of his trust in Jehovah Raah, The Lord my Shepherd. He understood that because the LORD was his shepherd, he would lack for nothing.
Can we say the same thing too?
#1: Memorize the verse.
I have memory verse cards and a cell phone lock screen for you to download. Keep this verse in front of you. Practice it until it’s written on your heart.
#2: With every needy need, remind yourself who your Good Shepherd is.
He will take the best care of you. God’s Word guaranteed.