“He guides me in paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:3)
Read through Psalm 23 today slowly. Allow it to refresh you with the assurance of the Lord’s presence. He is your Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd guides us. But let me remind you that we can choose whether to follow that guidance or not. In fact, the root of our sinful nature comes from the refusal to follow God’s guidance. We do not have a very good track record. Remember the garden of Eden? God had given specific instruction, but it was rejected and we have continued in that same pattern of rebellion ever since. Our sin is that we are convinced that we know a better path. As stated a few days ago, I sometimes do that with my GPS. It will be directing on a certain route and I will disagree, “I know a better way” or “Yes, you can go that way but I know a quicker route”. We, as humans, have a harder time than we will admit when it comes to following directions.
So, how can we do this? How can we keep from straying from the directions God gives us? More importantly…how can we know and receive God’s directions? This same question is posed later in the Psalms, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” The Psalmist answers immediately, “By living according to Your Word.” (Psalm 119:9)
The most important thing that we can do is stay connected to God’s Word. The Psalmist goes on to say, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). The Scriptures contain God’s instruction or directions for our daily living. The principles that we find are timeless and give us guidance. But, this requires us to read it, study it, and think about it.
Secondly, we must ask God for His guidance. There is the well known Scripture in James 4:2 that says, “You do not have because you do not ask God”. Why do we NOT ask God for guidance? Well, some may not ask because we really don’t want to know. Or maybe we do not think that God cares about where we are going?
Let Psalm 23 speak to your heart today.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
God is the Good Shepherd. He wants to guide you. He knows the best way for you. He does care and He desires to guide you in the paths of righteousness. Will you re-commit yourself to pray and read His Word and follow His guidance? I know you may think you have a better way…but His way is the best way for you.