Last week I wrote about journeying with The Good Shepherd and how all that we really need is what we already carry around with us…Jesus. I asked the question, “Am I really free to dare to pursue adventures with Christ…dangers and all?”
And of course the answer is yes. I…we…are really free to dare to pursue Christ…and adventures with Him…dangers and all.
Let that sink in. What would that look like? “Do you have a God-given passion or desire on your heart that you have set aside over and over because it would be too costly, dangerous or “unreasonable” to pursue? I ask this question only because I have been there and done that myself.
I can also answer the question of whether or not we are really free to pursue dangers in Christ for Christ. The answer is yes. A resounding yes. My husband and I have pursued some of them and we’ve experienced an excitement and joy as we’ve watched the Lord carry out His identity as the Good Shepherd in every possible way.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.” -Psalm 23: 1-2
If you’re worried that following Jesus and adventures in him might cost you things that you want, you are right. It will cost you. But you will also receive. The Good Shepherd provides all that you need. When a sheep puts herself or himself in a place of need, she or he will find The Good Shepherd provides. That which may have seemed impossible before becomes possible in Christ. All that is needed is either with her or him already or will be provided for.
If you fear that following Jesus with abandon will be exhausting, you might be right. There is potential for that to happen and it does happen. We can follow too hard or we can just experience disappointment, burnout and the fallout of evil forces battling against us. But here is what also happens. We get to experience this: Jesus making us lie down in green pastures. Imagine that for a moment–a shepherd making a lamb lie down. Has the Lord done that to you? Sometimes that feels painful or hurtful, but it is also a beautiful thing. He calls us out and makes us lie down. How sweet it is to experience rest and care when we are exhausted, carried along by the Holy Spirit.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. -Psalm 23:3
And He doesn’t just leave us laying there in green pastures. He restores our soul and leads us back out again in paths of righteousness. He calls us to the dangers of loving and giving once again for His names sake.
This is our calling as Jesus followers. To follow Him in dangers and all and allow Him to care for us.
Is there something He is calling you to? Will you step into it and allow Him to care for you?
About six years ago, my husband and I decided to follow a path that we had felt called to for quite some time. We pursued pastoral ministry. While we’ve experienced losses and challenges along the way, it has truly been the most rewarding, amazing and incredible experience of my life. I wouldn’t give up what we’ve experienced for anything because, through them, I’ve been shown that these passages are true. We really do have the Lord as our Shepherd and He is always good.
He always fulfills His identity as My Shepherd…My GOOD Shepherd.
My mom and dad send me God’s Word each morning of my life. This is what I received today and I share it with you:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.” – Psalm 121
The above painting is The Shepherd, by artist Tim Wang.
Linking up this week with the following inspiring and encouraging blogs. I highly recommend visiting any and all of them!