Written by Christie Love, Founder and Executive Director of LeadHer
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Throughout scripture God is referred to by many names. One of my favorite names for Him is found in Psalm 23:1 when David calls his Heavenly Father Jehovah-Rohi, which means The Lord is my Shepherd. There is something powerful about the visual image of our God as our shepherd that is brought up several times throughout scripture.
Isaiah gives us a profound illustration of God as our shepherd when he proclaims, “He [God] will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” (Isa. 40:11 NLT)
In John 10:11 Jesus, himself, states in passionate red letters, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” He continues this powerful proclamation in verse 14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” (NLT)
A shepherd’s job is to protect his flock but also to search for them when they wander away.
In Matthew 18:12-14 Jesus paints a picture for us of the heart of God through a parable that he tells to the disciples. “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little one should perish.” (NLT)
God’s heart towards humankind is not that anyone should be lost. This is why he sent his one and only son (John 3:16) to earth- it was out of his great love for us that he willingly sent his son to lay down his life to make a way for us to have eternity with God.
Jesus himself describes this mission in Luke 19:10 when he announces, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (NLT)
God is a God who pursues us and searches for us.
God searches for us because he loves us.
God searches for us because he desires relationship with us.
His passionate search for me humbles me every time that I think of it. I am amazed at the way that he loves me and the lengths that he has gone to in order to find me and make a way for me to come to him.
I praise God that he loved me where I was but he loved me enough to not let me stay as I was.
The places that he has called me to go and the gifts he has asked me to use are not easy; however, because I trust him – I follow him. In John 10: 27 Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.” I know the voice of my shepherd. I also know the heart of God and knowing His heart towards me- gives me the confidence to boldly ask him to search my heart for anything that would hinder my obedience to his call.
I use the verse that our LeadHer Local chapters are digging into this month from Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” I have found that as I honestly ask this of him- he is faithful to provide answers. He has shown me places where I need to develop and weaknesses that need to be strengthened.
I trust the good shepherd and I will go where he guides me and grow where he shows me. He desires good for me and has plans for my life that are far greater than any I would be willing to settle for.
It is never easy to have to confront your struggles- yet each time that we are willing to submit a weakness to him he continues to strengthen us and shape us into the person he needs us to be. As long as we are living and breathing on earth this should be our prayer because none of us, on this side of eternity will ever reach perfection. There will always be areas to grow and places to improve.