The Faith to Follow
“He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
The greatest lesson that I have learned from the 23rd Psalm is that...faith is required to follow the shepherd. If the Lord is your shepherd, then that would make you one of his sheep. Sheep do not lead the shepherd...they follow the shepherd. Sheep follow.
One of my greatest pet peeves is the infamous backseat driver. They are the worst. They will inform you if you are driving too fast or too slowly. Very rarely do they approve of your directions to any given destination. They want to change your playlist and your climate control settings! They will inform you that you just went through that red light! Ughhh! Backseat drivers are the worst! If only my passengers would just trust me and enjoy the ride! Why can’t they just trust me.
Then about two weeks ago, my wife was driving us to a friend’s house for dinner, and guess what? I found myself trying to tell my wife that she was going the wrong way. I also tried to share my jazz/funk playlist to “improve” the ride, while I pointed out all of the people that she almost ran over with the minivan (she didn’t appreciate that). Backseat drivers are the worst!
Perhaps you didn’t realize this, but it is possible for us to become backseat drivers with the Lord. If He is our Shepherd, then it is His choice to lead us wherever He chooses, and He gets to choose the playlist. David wrote in verse 3 of Psalm 23, “He guides me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.” The word “guide” in the Hebrew is nachah, and it means: to lead forth or to guide; to bring someone to another place. In other words, our Shepherd is the one who leads us, and He will lead us well. Some of the greatest mistakes that I have made in my life has been when I’ve tried to assume the leadership role in my relationship with the Lord. I’ve had to learn that backseat driving was unacceptable with God. When the Lord wants to move forward, let’s move forward. When he wants to stop...we should stop. I am constantly learning to submit to the leading of the Lord.
David goes on to express that the Shepherd leads us into paths of righteousness, “...for His name sake.” This is a very powerful statement that qualifies the quality of the Shepherd’s leadership ability. The Shepherd puts his own reputation on the line. The power and strength of His name is directly tied into His ability to lead us well. He leads us into paths of righteousness for His own name’s sake! We can trust the Shepherd’s direction because His name is on the line. If He fails in leading us properly, His name suffers. If He fails in leading us effectively, He loses credibility. Our Shepherd knows exactly where He is going. Our Shepherd knows exactly what He is doing. He understands the direction of our lives. He understands the climate of our nation. He recognizes the season that we are in. He understands the fear and anxiety that you may be experiencing. He knows where the dangers are. He is aware of the predators and the pitfalls. In the midst of this global pandemic, be encouraged that our Shepherd will lead you well. So, don’t be a backseat driver.
Have the faith to follow.
Now that’s Good Word!