The movement God requires

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (Psalm 23:1) Take note, it is all we NEED, not all we WANT. We might want things that aren't always all that beneficial for us to have, but God knows what we NEED and he always works things to meet those needs. John reminds us, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (10:27) Whose voice do you hear most - God's or your own? Who we listen to the most might just be the factor in what it is we pursue!

Sheep know the voice of the Shepherd. It is how sheep know how to follow THEIR shepherd and not wander away with just 'any old shepherd' who calls for them to come their way. Sheep might 'intermingle' while grazing in the field, but when they hear the voice of their master, they know when it is time to separate and go where he leads. We might 'intermingle' a bit with this world and hear all the voices calling to us to 'come', but there is only one voice we are actually 'tuned' to hear!

Do baby sheep know the shepherd's voice? Probably not at first. In fact, they need to follow their 'flock mates' a bit at first, until they get the hang of it. Maybe this is why it is so important for a new Christian to get into a good group of believers when they come to Christ. They need to learn to hear his voice, and until they do, they need to be around those who can already hear it as distinct from all the other voices beckoning unto them. Exodus 23:2 reminds us, "“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong." Be sure the crowd you are with are actually following the right Shepherd!

Everything belongs to God - this is how he can provide for each of our needs. We won't 'want' because he has every means to make provision for our need. When God does not immediately meet our need, does that mean he isn't going to, or that he is unable to meet it? Absolutely not! It means he has another plan - a purpose in how and when he will meet our need. As an example, we may want to buy a new car, but he knows there is a slightly used one perfect to meet our need and he is working out all the details to have our need met. Learning to listen to his voice is key to understanding when and where our needs will be met.

The sheep follow the shepherd because they know he has their good in mind. He always leads them to green pastures so they are nourished. He knows the watering holes so they are able to drink deeply. He provides shaded rest for them because he knows they cannot endure the heat forever. When the sheep listen to his voice, the good they need is always about to be provided. Might they have to move to obtain it? Yes, but in the movement God requires there is so much more than we might have ever expected. Just sayin!

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