…And You didn’t even Know It!

by Lester Young

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not lack” (Psalm 23:1). That’s a familiar verse to just about everybody. But, do you believe it – I mean, really believe it? Have you incorporated it into your thought-life, and does it make an automatic impression on the way you normally go about making decisions? In other words, has it become engrafted and taken root in you? (James 1:21)

Let’s talk about shepherds for a moment. A good shepherd provides for all the needs of the flock he’s entrusted to care for. He must see to it that they’re fed, watered and protected from danger. His job is to lead them to wherever the food and water are located, to guide them to abundant pastures, and to steer them clear of all harm. And that’s exactly what the Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, has promised to do for us (John 10:9-11, 14).

Indeed, numerous Scriptures promise that God will lead us. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23). “In all your ways acknowledge [the LORD], and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6). “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night…” (Exodus 13:21). “Then the LORD will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land. It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain” (Isaiah 4:5-6, New Living Translation). “But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]” (John 16:13, Amplified). But, even with all these promises, many Christians still find it very difficult to be ‘led.’

In order to be led by the Shepherd, it reallllllly helps to be familiar with His voice. And there’s no other way to do that but to spend time – quality time – with Him, and doing it regularly. How do you get to know your friend – how does he or she get to be your friend? By you spending time together in fellowship. It’s no different with the Lord. By spending time studying His Word, by talking (and listening) to Him in prayer. You know, prayer isn’t just about asking for things – it’s about telling God what’s on your mind, it’s about asking Him questions, it’s about praising Him, and sometimes it’s about just being silent and listening on the inside.

Most importantly, it takes faith. You’ve got to believe that the Lord will lead you – that He is leading you – even when it seems like you really don’t know what to do. You’ve got to choose to believe that you can and will hear His voice (despite any self-doubts you may have), because He promised that you would be able to (John 10:4, 16). You’ve got to purposely believe – by choosing to do so – that God’s Spirit resides in you, and that He is doing the job He was sent to you to do (John 16:13). Believe it, even if you can’t feel it at the moment – as a matter of fact, especially when you can’t feel it. That’s the best time to say, “Thank You, Lord, I believe You’re leading me in Your perfect path for me. I know You’re leading me, because You said You would! I know that I can hear Your voice, because You said I could! And that’s all the proof I need. Thank You, again, Father. Amen.” When you make a habit of doing that, and that type of prayer becomes your first response, both in situations you immediately know the answer for and those you don’t, you’ll eventually look up and find yourself right where you’re supposed to be, without even knowing exactly how you got there.

I’ll be glad to tell you how: you were led…and you didn’t even know it. And how cool is that!


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4 Comments to “…And You didn’t even Know It!”

  1. Great post, Lester. I have just finished writing a book on prayer, and one of the things I said about prayer, and it fits for many other things in the spiritual realm, is that we have to do what we don’t know how to do in order to learn how to do it. It sounds a little confusing, but prayer, as many other spiritual exercises such as following the leading of the Lord, is not something we can learn simply by reading about it. We have to do it even when we don’t know how. And so it is with being led. We simply need to follow with the trust of a little child, knowing that the Lord will never lead us into harm. As you said, we follow when we are aware of it and we follow when we don’t even know it. The important thing is that our hearts are focused on Jesus and our desire it to function according to His will and His purpose for our live.

    • Very, very true…what pops to mind is Nike’s tag line, “Just do it.” If we stop for a moment and just think about it, it really isn’t very confusing at all. If we wait until we feel we ‘have all the information’ we need, or we ‘feel like we completely understand’ something before we ever step out, we’ll typically never, ever step anyway. When walking with the Lord, the only thing that He really requires on our part is our obedience. Step out on His Word, and we’ll find that His Word is able to support us – even if there are things we don’t quite understand. Just keep walking with Him, and we’ll get there. As always, great insights, Diane…thanks, and God bless you and all the work of your hands – I look forward to your book!

  2. I’m going to submit my book proposal to a traditional publisher, so don’t know whether it will be accepted or not. If this publisher rejects it, I think I will try the self-publishing route. I’m getting too old to wait 6 months here and 6 months there while busy publishers take their time to consider it, but I would like to have this one done by a traditional publisher if possible. We’ll see. I just need to get the query letter right, if there is any possibility of that happening. I’m leaving it in the Lord’s hands. Can’t be in any better place than there.

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