The Lord Is My Shepherd
by Onyekachukwu Ukeje
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“He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well you.” – Deuteronomy 8:15-16(NIV).
In God’s system of provision there is a way He usually provides for His children which they usually overlook. And that way is God making available for use that needed resource before or at the time you come to your point of need. It may come to the point where you will be needing it through another means or source or channel, or it may be you that carried it to that point where you will be needing it.
To lack does not mean not to have something, but not to have it available for your use at the time of need. This is where trust (faith) in God comes in. That you do not have it in your hand now does not mean that you will not have it, and that at the time of need.
When Moses had led the children of Israel from the Red Sea (Exodus 15:22-27) and they had traveled for about three days without finding water they came to a place where they found water but it was bitter and they could not drink it. The truth was that the water was what God had intended they should drink but only one step in the process of provision remained for the provision to be complete. They could have insisted on drinking it like that anyway because of thirst but that would not really be God’s provision because it was not exactly what He had intended they should drink. What He intended they should drink was to come out of what was already available – the bitter water.
Well the Bible says Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Sometimes God lets the situation deteriorate so badly so that you will desire the change He desires for you and cry out (pray) for it, and appreciate it when it comes.
One may say, ‘…but it’s only a piece of wood. What good will it do?’ But it was that ‘piece of wood’ that God had anointed to produce the change the whole Israelite community needed at that point in time. The piece of wood had been brought to that point of need maybe hours, days, weeks, months or years before the children of Israel arrived.
The Bible says that Moses threw the piece of wood into the water and it became sweet. So they drank healthy water, needed water. The water they got from this place probably was enough to sustain them till they got to Elim where there were twelve springs, water they could drink.
Truly what God will provide to meet your need and how He will do it is completely up to Him. But you must make yourself available to Him as a willing vessel or instrument He could use to provide your own need. Whether he will use you is completely up to Him as well.
In the case of giving the children of Israel manna and quail (Exodus 16) He needed them to just go out at the times He had appointed and ‘collect’ their food. The rest He handled. They could also have said ‘What is this? (manna)’ because of little or no variety like they actually said but the truth remains that in the manna, and quail, provided over a period of forty years were contained all the necessary nutrients that could be supplemented (or complemented) by those in water that they would be needing for forty years.
When Samson had taken his vengeance on the Philistines (Judges 15) he was so thirsty that He almost died and there was no water available. He cried out to God, ‘…“You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived….’ – Judges 15:18-19(NIV). God knew that someday Samson would be in dire need of water in that area and so started preparing the place, orchestrating things in order to provide him with water to drink but still he had to ask. And when he asked the final stage(s) of provision were completed.
So when God says to move, when God says to do, do not hesitate, obey because truly He will prove faithful. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19(NIV). This He will do because He is your Shepard and you are his sheep for “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” – Psalm 23:1(NIV).
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