Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Lord Is MY Shepherd: What It truly Means.

Every Christian can tell you something about the verse the “Lord is my shepherd I shall not want”. My task today is to create a mental picture of this verse. I will start by defining two words: “shall” and “want” that will be capital in the development of our lesson. “Shall” in legal settings general denotes mandatory and imperative action. The word “want” as used in this passage means lack. It is synonymous to the word need and not want in economics. In other words; the verse should read and mean this “the Lord is my shepherd, and I will never lack the necessities”. This theory is sustained by Paul’s letter to the Philippians “But my God shall supply all your NEED according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). The psalmist goes further to sustain his declaration by saying “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). However, there seems to be a conflict between prescription and description because we see fervent Christians lacking what we consider the basics amenities of life. If not does every Christian have everything they need? Why not?

If God was going to provide for everything we need then Jesus would not have said that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”(Mt 4:4). This is because Jesus came more for the spiritual man with whom he will build the spiritual kingdom. Even the most righteous person on this earth does not receive all their wishes or have everything they wish for. As a result, the Christian must know that their spirit will always be fed even if their body is hungry. Actually at times in fasting, the spirit is fortified ready for spiritual warfare than when the body is strong and well-fed. If God was to provide everything we need then he would not have asked us to pray for our daily bread.

Many Christians have taken this verse to mean that everything they want, they will receive and whatever they name and claim, they will receive. This has resulted in a lot of frustration from discouragement to total backsliding of the faithful. Walk with me gradually as I take the pain to start painting the image I promised you earlier.

When a shepherd has his sheep, he looks for green grass. In search of greener pastures many Christians moved to the US. Would anyone tell me if the most psiritual of them recieves everything they ask from God? He knows where the grass is green and knows where we can find food if there is nothing around us. Many do not count on God for their provisions. They believe in their strength though they are Christians. God has only good plans for us. The shepherd does not always provide his sheep with immediate food. At times they have to walk for long to find food. During this time that they are walking like that, they are feeling very sad and dejected. It is the same with humans.

As I was growing up, shepherds took their cattle and trekked from Kousseri to Mamfe (587 miles) to sell them. During their journey, the shepherd took their sheep where they could eat and drink water. At times they came to cities that did not have anything for the cattle to eat and drink. The sheep will be going through this period of trial and perseverance until they came to a place where they could find something to eat.

One thing we must note is that the Lord will always provide our basic needs. But if he does not do it, He will know how to make us navigate through the dearth or scarcity.   Always count on God for whatever you need. He knows best the things that are best for you. The Lord has lived your future, so he knows about it than you know anything about it. If you make him your shepherd, he will help you go through scarcity with joy. So let me ask you this: who is your shepherd? Are you counting on human beings? They will fail you.

Until then, make the Lord your shepherd and you shall not want.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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