“The Lord is my shepherd;” Psalm 23:1a
Psalm 23 puts into context our unique relationship with God. It’s a Psalm that begins with making a decision and then followed by the benefits of that decision. More than just a declaration David is expressing the necessity of choosing to make the Lord your shepherd. Not everyone who declares “The Lord is my shepherd” is under His care.
Some mistakenly assume that making a simple declaration entitles them to all the benefits of His care. This isn’t so. A decision to make Jesus your shepherd requires you to surrender control of your life to Him.
Most people, to some degree, deal with control issues. Maybe we have reached a certain age and feel that we have earned our independence. Maybe it is the result of reaching certain educational or professional accomplishments and we have earned the right to be in-charge. Maybe we have been given a title and carry an “in-charge” feeling wherever we go. I have learned the more control I exert over my life the more problems I create.
Adam and Eve, the first man and woman created, demonstrate our inability to be in full control of our life. When given the opportunity to be in control and make decisions, they unleashed the destructive nature of sin into the world. As they are confronted by God about their actions, instead of owning up to what they did, they blamed everyone else for their failure. The reality is we all need to be led.
Control may be one reason why some are hesitant about making the Lord their shepherd. To give up control and trust God with the welfare of our life is a major decision. In Colossians 1:15-22 Paul lays out the Jesus’ qualifications.
#1 He is the image of the invisible God. v.15
Jesus is God. He was not a symbol of God or an ambassador from God but Jesus brought God into the human sphere of understanding and experience.
#2 For by Him all things were created. v.16
He is the chief architect of all that exist. There is no one who understands this world better than Jesus. Science merely discovers the principles and properties that He designed.
#3 He is before all things, He holds all things together. v.17
Before anything was created according to Genesis 1:2, the world was in complete darkness and void of life. Jesus existed before the first mountain was formed, molecule was designed, the ocean and every body of water made.
Furthermore Jesus is not an absentee landlord. He holds all things together.
“4He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:4-5
His attention to the smallest detail tells us that nothing is overlooked.
#4 In Him is the fullness of God. v.19
Jesus has full authority and power. There is nothing beyond His authority. The Disciples discovered this when with a single word Jesus calmed the wind and wave and they said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:41 (NIV)
So how do you compare against His credentials? Who is better qualified to be in control? You or God? Here’s the amazing part of it all, the One who created all things chooses to be our shepherd and He makes us the object of His attention and affection.
If there are control issues plaguing your relationship with God and others, it’s time to surrender them. If you have never made a decision to make Jesus your Shepherd you can do so now by accepting His invitation. Simply acknowledge that you have sinned and accept his forgiveness and willingly give up control and follow Him.
May you experience the benefits and blessing of making Jesus your Shepherd!