The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even when I go thru the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Goodness and love will chase after me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

We’ve been looking at the role of the shepherd in correcting the sheep. The context was seeking to integrate fear and admiration. Admiration generally comes from perceiving the great value of something or someone. I’ve realized that I had lost my capacity to perceive the value of discipline (correction) because I have felt abused rather than protected by discipline. My lived experience was punishment and I lost faith in the goodness and life found in restraint.

The truth is that where there are no boundaries, there is only chaos. The boundaries that discipline maintains are what enable me to do whatever I want. I found fear of the Lord is recognizing how actually dangerous He is. Living outside of His boundaries results in decay. Life outside of His boundaries is sin and is why Jesus had to die. God’s punishment, the correction necessary for moving outside what He has said, came on Christ so that we could be shown mercy. Living in the mercy and grace of God has led me to forget the reality of danger.

I honestly have yet to fully figure out how to action God drawing my attention to respect. It seems that He may be saying I do not respect Him as He desires. I don’t treasure His boundaries as fully as He does. Maybe you’re there too. When I don’t know what to do, I ask God for wisdom and discernment. So maybe that’s our next step.

Daddy, please forgive me for not respecting You or Your boundaries how You desire me to. Thank you for drawing my attention to the irreverence at work in me. Thank You for showing me that I don’t admire Your boundaries. Please forgive me for not fearing You. Will you please place the fear of You in me? Will you please teach me to fear you and admire Your boundaries? Please give me the wisdom and discernment I need to do something about what You are saying. In Jesus’ name. Thank you for hearing me.

Until next time,

Be present

Be God’s

- Ben :D