When I first came to know Jesus as my Savior, I lived under the perception that if I did well He was pleased with me and if I didn’t He was disappointed in me. I’m so thankful that this mindset is completely incorrect and have come to understand that my Warrior Shepherd is always pleased with me and always loves me regardless of what I do or don’t do.
So why do I call Him my Warrior Shepherd? Let’s have a look at a fascinating verse in Exodus 17. Moses is in the desert at a place called Rephidim. The Israelites are grumbling and asking, “Where is God?”
“Then came Amalek and fought with Israel at Rephidim.”
Amalek means pain / labor /work and Rephidim means rest/ resting place. So we see labor fighting with rest. The enemy always wants to shift us from our rightful place of rest and try to make us believe that we have to work for God’s approval.
Moses then tells Joshua to choose some men to go and fight with Amalek:
“Joshua mowed down and disabled Amalek and his people with the sword.”
Joshua means God is salvation and Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua. Therefore, God or salvation (Jesus) disabled us from works to earn His favor. Grace disabled works!
“Because theirs is a hand against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
We are invited to come boldly to His throne of Grace and our Warrior Shepherd will always be at war against anything that tries to stop His children from knowing His Grace and resting in the finished work of the cross.
In Psalm 23 we see our Shepherd always and only leading us into rest and the righteousness that is ours in Him. He’s leading us away from self effort that wears us out and towards rest, towards restoration and refreshing in Him. He’s leading us into peace and towards His abundant provision. He promises to prepare a table for us in the midst of tough circumstances. This table overflows with His wisdom and provision.
He promises us that only His goodness and mercy will follow us all days of our lives. He wants us to know that He will always be at war against anything that tries to stop us from coming to this table or anything that makes us believe we are not good enough to eat here or have to work hard to earn our seat.
May you know that your Warrior Shepherd is well pleased with you and in Him all your needs are met, no matter what you do or don’t do because He loves you!
Watch Michelle’s full message on “The Warrior Shepherd”© 2018 Northlands Church and Michelle Haswell. Permission to share so long as credit is given.