“The Lord is my Shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul…” (Ps 23:1-3)
A sheep that has rolled over on its back is called a “cast sheep’. It can’t get up because its center of gravity is off, sometimes because it’s pregnant or simply because it has a full fleece. Once fallen, a cast sheep tries to restore itself back on its feet. But it is not easy. The sheep then panics, cries and waste more energy. The gasses start to build up in the abdomen and it can die in a matter of hours. A wild animal can come and kill the defenseless sheep. Most of the times, the sheep is not be able to get up without assistance. That is why the shepherd has to be very observant to know when a sheep is missing. It is the shepherd or his trained dogs that can turn a cast sheep back on its feet. The process seems rough but it saves the sheep’s life. Once the sheep stands, she still needs to be supported for few minutes. The shepherd holds it between his legs until it stops shaking, until the fear is gone and it is balanced again. After that, the sheep is free!
David was a shepherd. He knew the danger of staying downcast, spiritually ‘upside down’ for too long, just like a cast sheep… “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps 43:5).
The word ‘downcast’ describes a cast sheep. His soul is upside down, helpless, depressed, anxious, sinking down in despair. The danger for a sheep to lose its balance and to overturn is especially when it is pregnant or the fleece is too heavy. Spiritually speaking, our soul is in danger of backsliding when we become fruitful or too comfortable in our blessings. The devil attacks in both situations especially with an evil spirit of pride. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (PV 16:18)
Pride is extremely difficult to detect. God allows us to fall a little, to expose the hidden pride. We need to repent and become humble servants. Pride leads to backsliding. This is my testimony: when I become proud, I start falling spiritually. Suddenly, my life becomes upside down. Just like a cast sheep, I panic, trying to save myself. My soul becomes ‘disturbed within’. This word means trouble, war, noisy voices and arguments inside my soul. I lose my peace and spiritual balance. I feel hopeless and my world is upside down. The more I struggle to restore myself back on my feet, the worse things become, inside and outside. That is when I have to exercise self-control. I have to stop this crazy, frantic, lonely struggle…I have to remind myself that I am not alone. I belong to Somebody! I have a Shepherd! Elohim, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth is my God! Jesus is my Shepherd! I shall not want…There is hope!!I I shall praise God again in the sanctuary…I cannot die as a backslider…God forbid! I claim God’s promise: God will “restore my soul”…I shall humble myself and wait on God…He knows all things…He knows that I am missing from the fold…He said that He will leave 99 sheep to look for me alone…He shall find me and bring me back to His flock where I belong…I encourage myself thru the Word of God! This encouragement has never failed me! Praise the Lord!
My prayer: “I need You Lord Jesus…I trust in You, Savior…I humble myself…Forgive me for my foolish pride…Please come to help me…I cannot live alone…Nothing else can satisfy but You…No one else can restore my soul, except You…I love You more than any human on earth, more than my own life…I promise never to go astray…Holy Spirit fill me afresh…Thank You Jesus… Thank You my Lord…All the glory goes to You alone!”
In Christ I declare:
The Lord is my Shepherd!
I shall not want!
My soul is restored!
My health is restored!
My marriage is restored!
My ministry if restored!
My finances are restored!
My peace and joy are restored!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus’ name