Do you always understand the path God is leading you on? I don’t. Is it okay to say I don’t always understand why God leads me in certain directions? Sorry if it’s not, but I just don’t always see His plan, understand His Way or trust what I can’t see. Today, as we continue in our 40-Day Fast of being still and knowing God more, we will see that God is our Good Shepherd whom we can Trust and Be Still in even when we don’t understand.
Did you find this 40-day Fast to learn How to Be still mid-series? Go back here and read the intro and keep up with series.
God often leads me into situations that are too hard to handle on my own (and I really wish I were independent and strong enough to handle them on my own!). He leaves me in seasons that are insane for way longer than I would prefer – so long that I grow weary and want to quit. Can you relate?
Nowhere in scripture does God promise us a happily ever after, fairy-tale Christian life. What He does say (over and over again) is Be still and Trust Me even when you don’t understand. But how can we really be still and how can we really trust Him?
Psalm 23:1-3a The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
The Context of Psalm 23
This is another Psalm written by David and I find it inspiring that a man who suffered so much is our main source of learning How To Be still. I am in the middle of a Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild called Psalm 23: The Shepherd with Me and am finding it fascinating to slow down and think through what it means that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are His needy, skittish, easily anxious sheep.
Do you think of yourself as needy and easily anxious? If I'm very honest that describes the real me, the me I don't let others see behind my independent, perfectionist mask. But it's okay to be a needy sheep because we have a Good… Click To Tweet
Observations from Psalm 23
- The Shepherd’s job is to guide me, lead me, feed me, refresh me, provide for me, protect me, defend me, preserve me for eternity.
- The needy sheep’s job is to follow God, Obey God, Trust God, Be Still.
Do you find yourself trying to take on some of the Shepherds job responsibilities?
Why do we do take control (take the throne)? Some of my excuses are:
I’m just trying to help Him, just trying to do my part, just trying to pull my own weight.
But let’s be gut-level honest. When you take the Shepherds jobs is it really to help Him? Or if you look deeper is it a bid at control (mutiny for being the god of my own life)?
Confession of a control freak. It is hard to be dependent on others for anything, to trust others to care for my needs, to leave the chance of something being done wrong open. Guilty, I micromanage most things in life… even God. (That is sin anyway I look at it.)
Part of that is from my life with anxiety but I’ve heard that others do it and they don’t deal with anxiety in the same way.
Applications from Psalm 23
Why do I try to take control from God? I don’t trust Him.
You see, life has been hard and I wrestle with how to Trust a God who allowed so much hurt in my past. When I come face to face with a need in my life I have this inward debate… maybe you can relate.
Finances are tight right now. I don’t know if we can pay all the bills on time this month.
‘Give this need to God in prayer and leave it with Him’ I tell myself.
‘Remember when you lived with relatives, homeless because finances got crazy?” rebukes doubt.
‘Remember the years you lived on food stamps and had to pray for every single need?’ critisizes fear.
‘Be Still. You can Trust God to provide,’ Reminds the Holy Spirit.
The internal debate rages until I choose one of two paths
- I can surrender the need to God, Trust Him and Be Sill as He works.
- Or I take control from God.
- Worry over the bills
- Try to find things to sell
- Seek out Work I can do from home
- Stress myself into daily anxiety attacks
I’ve lived it both ways and by far way #1 is the best path… but I still wrestle. Why does God let bad things happen to Christian people walking with Him? Can I really Trust God with my needs this time?
How can I be Still and Trust God when I don’t understand?
Final Thoughts about Psalm 23
This Psalm points us to the answer of How to Trust God our Good Shepherd when we don’t understand what He is allowing into our life.
First Psalm 23 shows it’s not our job to understand.
It is crucial that I accept my role in life. I am a sheep. You are a sheep. God is the Shepherd. God is the one in control. It’s not the sheeps’ job to understand or control the direction of the path. The Sheep just needs to accept the leadership of the shepherd.Understanding the path will not help us follow it, obeying and following the guiding hand of the Good Shepherd is all we need to successfully navigate any path of life. Click To Tweet
Second Psalm 23 shows the paths of righteousness will not be smooth and easy
Getting the idea that life should be comfortable and easy out of your head will go a long way in helping you be still and trust God when you don’t understand the path. True Faith is trusting God when you don’t understand His plan.
Why can we trust God our Good Shepherd when life is hard? Because His rod and staff protect us, guide us and comfort us.
Third Psalm 23 shows that the path is not about Me anyway
This path of righteousness, the one that is so hard and makes me want to quit, is for God’s Name Sake. My little story is a part of the Big Story of God and He has a plan I can trust even when I don’t understand His direction for my life.When I can't understand life's path, I can trust the heart of my Good Shepard as He leads me to dwell in His Presence forever. Click To Tweet
A Prayer to Trust God when You Don’t Understand
Father, You are a Good, Good Father, a Good Shepherd.
Forgive me for doubting, complaining and becoming anxious as the path leads me through the valley of the shadow of death. This road has been long and hard and I am weary. Take back control, I surrender it to You… again. You are the Shepherd. I am the sheep. I need You. Today I am tired of how hard things are and struggling to see past this trial. Open my eyes to see You guiding me, protecting me and providing for me.
Thank You for always being faithful even when I stray from the path. And thank you for all the times you’ve brought my wandering heart back to You. Take this life, use it in Your bigger story to bring You glory and shine salvation to the lost world.