What we believe about God’s perspective of us is one of the most impactful questions in our lives.
In the New Testament, shepherding was often used to illustrate Jesus and His followers. The similarities are numerous, but there is one thing in particular that reveals how the Good Shepherd really feels about His sheep. We’ll uncover that in this article and we’ll also explore the 6 profound ways Jesus has revealed that He wants to be our Shepherd.
If you want to jump to the 6 points, simply use the links below.
- To meet your deepest NEEDS.
- To RESTORE your soul.
- To GUIDE and direct your life.
- To PROTECT you from evil.
- To fill your life with JOY.
- To give you ETERNAL life.
I have two questions to ask you:
How do you see God? How do you think God sees you?
HOW DO YOU SEE GOD?
In light of Jesus’ resurrection, how do you see God? What comes to your mind when you think, God? What is He really like?
- Is He harsh?
- Down on you?
- Mildly ticked off?
Is He engaged in your life or is He impersonal? Did He just set up the world and say: Whatever happens, happens?
When you think about God, what comes into your mind? Or when you pray, what is your visual image of God?
What you think about Him informs every single aspect of your life, whether or not you have faith in Him.
This quote by A.W. Tozer says it well:
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” (A.W. Tozer – Knowledge of the Holy)
There is an invisible law of the soul that says you will be drawn to or repelled by the picture of God in your mind. I believe that for most of us, who we think God is and who He really is, are two different people.
Below, we’ll explore a chapter of the Scriptures that beautifully illustrates who He is and who He wants to be in our lives.
Discover your true self with this resource: What is My Purpose? Why Did God Create Me?
WHAT IS GOD’S PERSPECTIVE OF YOU?
Do you imagine God thinking: Man, I wish you’d get with the program. How come you’re never doing enough?
Or is He saying: You’re cherished, special, and loved. I designed you, I’ve got a plan for you, and there is a special purpose for you.
There are plenty of devotionals and studies on the topic, but I believe a story from the Gospel of Matthew gives us a clear answer.
Toward the end of Jesus’ life, He came into Jerusalem and saw a multitude of people. When He looked at them, He didn’t see just their outside appearance, but their hearts, motives, lives, marriages, work, pain, hurt, betrayals, struggles, and division.
Do you know what His response was?
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
He had compassion on them.
The revealing thing about God’s perspective of you and me is that He has tremendous COMPASSION on us.
WE ARE GOD’S SHEEP
It’s not unusual for a sheep to wander around, find a soft patch of grass, and lie down. Sounds like a great plan, right? Except when a sheep leans over too far it can get itself into an upside-down position, rendering it stuck.
It can’t stand up.
This “cast” sheep is extremely vulnerable and will surely die unless the shepherd shows compassion and gets it back on its feet.
Unless the shepherd shows compassion, the cast sheep will surely die. God’s compassion is the driving force behind His redeeming love for us.Unless the shepherd shows compassion on the cast sheep who's in danger, it will surely die. In the same way, God’s compassion is the driving force behind refining, loving and redeeming us. Click To Tweet
In the same way, when Jesus — the Good Shepherd — sees us, He sees our distress, hurts, struggles, insecurities, and our pain. He’s aware of our past and the mistakes we’ve made. As a result, we are downcast, and He sees that, too.
God’s perspective is one of compassion and mercy.
We are in situations that we can’t solve on our own. We are sheep who desperately need a shepherd. And in His compassion, He shepherds us.
Keep reading and explore the poem by David, Psalm 23, that beautifully teaches us the many ways Jesus wants to be the Shepherd of our lives.
6 Profound Ways Jesus Wants to Be Your Good Shepherd
1. To meet your deepest NEEDS.
Your deepest needs are not just good health, the right partner, good kids, a better job, a nicer kitchen, or the best school for your kids. Those things are fine, but they don’t deliver life.
Your deepest needs are to be loved and accepted; to feel significant in who you already are, not what you do; to have a deep, overwhelming sense of security; and have a very clear purpose in your life.
When you seek Him for all of your needs and allow Him to be Your Shepherd, you will echo the words of King David:
“The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
2. To RESTORE your soul.
Think of what is broken in us — our shopping addictions, our intimacy issues, our alcohol addictions, our work obsessions, our people-pleasing people addictions, etc. We have a soul problem that our Shepherd wants to restore. Here’s how:
He’ll make us lie down in green pastures where it’s good.
But some sheep are too stubborn and stupid, and they continue to wander and put themselves in danger. In these cases, the shepherd would do something drastic: he would break the sheep’s leg. Being lame, the shepherd would have to carry him over his shoulders until he was healed. In the meantime, the sheep learned to recognize the shepherd’s voice as he was forced to stay close to his shepherd.
Sometimes the kindest thing that God ever does is allow difficulties into your life.
Sometimes the kindest thing God ever does is allow difficulties into our lives, making us lie down in green pastures. Here, our souls are restored. Click To Tweet
“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:2-3a)
3. To GUIDE and direct your life.
We have decisions to make every single day of our lives — some bigger than others, but we want the best outcome for every choice we make.
Who would you choose to be your shepherd and your advisor? Do you want man’s advice or your Shepherd’s advice?
Jesus wants to be your shepherd — when you’re walking through scary, shadowy paths, and you need compassion, He wants to protect, guide, and direct you.
“He guides me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3b)
4. To PROTECT you from evil.
Sometimes, God supernaturally protects us from danger. Other times, He provides what you need to be protected from the evil that comes your way.
His presence is a comfort and a reminder of His provision. Like a shepherd who risks his own life to protect His flock, Jesus protects you and gives you strength for resistance.
“Even though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
5. To fill your life with JOY.
God is not watching you with His arms crossed! He wants you to have a buffet life of joy. God’s perspective is one of abundance and giving, and He wants His goodness, mercy, and kindness to pursue you.
God is not watching you with His arms crossed! He wants you to have a buffet life of joy, and He wants His goodness, mercy, and kindness to pursue you. Click To Tweet
“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness
will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:5-6a)
6. To give you ETERNAL life.
He wants to be your Shepherd, but first, you need to recognize Him as King. In empty hands of faith, turn away from sin and ask for His forgiveness, and begin your journey with Him.
“…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6b)
Jesus looks on us with compassion and love. God’s perspective is that of a shepherd who works tirelessly to protect his sheep.
He wants to meet your deepest needs and bring you joy, and restore, guide, and protect you. Ultimately, He wants to be your Shepherd and give you eternal life.
Learn more about Jesus and how His life can impact yours when you listen to my YouTube series entitled Jesus Unfiltered.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip