Psalm 23 (KJV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Ps. 23:2-3).

You have probably heard this passage countless times. But no matter how often this beloved psalm is recited, we still seem to miss the full impact of its important message:

God restores our soul.

The way that the Lord sets our souls right is through our fellowship with Him. Even though we stray far from His path at times, He remains the Good Shepherd. We are prone to meander, but He receives us back gladly and is always willing to pardon His wayward sheep.

But why would we ever want to leave such a loving Guide?

The fact is, you’ve most likely never made a conscious decision to forsake the Father. This usually happens more subtly, as a result of our wandering desires and selfish attempts to meet our own needs.

When we strive to gain comfort and safety apart from God, we stray further and further.

Luke 15:3-7 is a wonderful picture of the warm reception awaiting a lost “sheep.” Does the shepherd scold or punish the wayward lamb? On the contrary, all of heaven celebrates because what was lost has now been found.

In a similar way, heaven rejoices when a wandering child of God returns to the “fold.”

In returning to the Lord, you might experience divine discipline, but as a believer, you will never incur His wrath. That has already been poured out upon His Son, who bore the punishment on our behalf. Are you a lost sheep, wandering far from your loving Shepherd?

Stop to listen for His voice, and you’ll be led safely home.

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