Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Lord is my Shepherd... or is He?

I tell you what.. when God speaks loudly, I pay close attention. I try really hard to listen when He speaks softly too but this loud business grabs my attention much quicker.

A few days ago I shared a story, with my friend Susan, about when Terrell had his ear pierced and his commitment to me through this act of love. When Terrell had his ear pierced, he shared the scripture with me in God's word of the bond-servant and his lobe being pierced as a commitment to devotion. Yesterday, my husband and I were contemplating some Scripture and comparing a bond-servant to a slave. I said a bond-servant is by choice and a slave is not. So we talked and chatted then finished up with prayer. God must have been working upstream in my heart knowing what today would bring. Bear with me.. this is going somewhere.

Well, today I read my usual, Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest, and spent some time in the book of Galatians. What would the title in today's reading be? A Bond-Slave to Jesus. No really.. it was. So I'm reading... and thinking... and contemplating Galatians 2:20, " I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me."

The opening statement, the very first thought Mr. Chambers says on November 3rd is this: "These words (Gal 2:20) mean the breaking of my Independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus." Oh goodness merciful heavens. Am I holding onto my dependence of me? Oh boy, oh boy.
So I'm pondering this, looking out the window, thinking about what Paul says in Galatians and remember a book my friend Laura loaned me that I was anxious to dive into, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. I jump up from my comfy seat and track it down. What would the first chapter be about but that my amazing Creator wants to be my Shepherd if I let Him. So catch this... almost done with this chapter describing God's desire to know me, shepherd me, and I read this: The day he (Phillip Keller) got his thirty sheep his friend handed him a sharp knife. He had to put his mark on them, identifying them as his own. The Shepherd knows his sheep. He bought them with a price and marked them his own. The author, Phillip Keller, went on to share the story in the Old Testament of the bond-servant's ear being pierced; the mark for life saying he belongs to that house, comparing that to the mark he placed on his sheep. Isn't that what Jesus did for me? Paid the price on that wicked cross, bearing my sin, all for my sake, so I can belong to Him? Again the bond-servant. Again, bought with a price. Again, surrender.
I have to ask myself.. Am I surrendering to my Shepherd or do I still live my life knowing he's my Shepherd but sitting across the field doing my own thing not really listening to Him. Do I bear the mark of my Lord? There is a difference between the knowing and the doing. God is so working upstream in my life today...showing me more of what he really wants for my life, but not just mine, yours too. If we could only grasp how Big and Awesome and Divine, yet Caring, Gentle, and Protective our Shepherd is, we wouldn't want to do anything but surrender. Just sit and think about this a minute. The creator of the atom, the universe, human beings, cells, air, anything complex, anything beautiful... wants to Shepherd us. Wants to love on us and take us into green pastures, a life that is complete and satisfying. How awesome is that!
All we have to do is surrender. All. Surrender. Hmmm...
Reality Check:
Are you ready to lay yourself down at the foot of the cross? Prostrate, fully facing the ground. Giving all you are or ever will be today to Jesus.. knowing that what may come, and it won't all be peaches and creme, you have a Shepherd who cares, really cares and will take good care of you. This is a hard one.. surrendering.
Thanks for Listening,
Tuna Jones

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