“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness, for His names sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3
Jesus is the only good Shepherd and although men have tried to take his place, He is ultimately the source of our provision and the only One who truly knows our needs. The pastor/sheep, clergy/laity system is but a cheap imitation that often times leads true men and women of God into deception and even in some cases, idolatry, and that is why it is so important to put all of your trust in Jesus.
One of the most important duties of a true shepherd is the feeding of the sheep, for without proper nourishment they lose weight and cannot produce a quality coat of wool, the chief source of income for the shepherd. In order for sheep to feed, they must be at rest, free from the fear of predators, free from the constant swarms of flies that cause anxiety, and they must be able to see their shepherd giving them an overall feeling of peace so they can eat. So it is with us, we cannot meditate on God’s word with the worries of the world upon us, nor can we feed on spiritual food unless we are free from the cares of this life that leave us fearful and stressed out, unable to receive true spiritual nourishment.
Another necessity is good clean water that must be still for the sheep to drink, for they will not drink from a rushing stream because it scares them. Raising sheep is not an easy task because sheep, like us need constant oversight in order to grow into mature and healthy adults. The Shepherd has many things to consider when leading His flock to a safe haven with food and drink, free from predators and pests and in so doing He provides all of their needs of provision, peace and a safe environment for them to live.
“To him the Doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. “And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” – John 10:3,4