The Lord is personal. He is MY shepherd (Ps. 23:1). God provides our financial, physical, emotional or social needs. If you need finances, call upon Him. If you need a job, ask Him to provide open doors for a job interview. If emptiness, emotional hurt, fear or anxiety overtake you, ask your shepherd for peace. If you need a friend, ask God to provide since He sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ (Phil. 4:19).
God not only provides, He protects. Security becomes important after He meets our physical, emotional and social needs. Our shepherd makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us to waters of rest (Ps. 23:2). He protects us from a multitude of spiritual enemies seeking to harm us. False teaching like prosperity gospel, business leadership methodology and celebrity hero worship lead us away from the protective canopy of God's Word. The fast pace of the world causes stress and distractions so our work or ministry takes precedence over our relationship with Christ and caring for our families. Remaining in green pastures and quiet waters slows us down so we can feed on the pure and unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:1-2). Unfortunately, many believers learn God's word second-hand from teachers and don't spend sufficient time in God's word themselves.
Those who study and meditate on God's word will be refreshed spiritually by the Lord (Ps. 23:3). As a result, God will guide them into His purpose for their lives. He provides discernment to follow the right path whether it's a marriage, job, church, friends, hobbies, food, entertainment, etc.
After God provides for all our needs, protects us from spiritual enemies and reveals His purpose, we must live it out. We lack confidence and power as we face evil, darkness and chaos. God's presence empowers us to walk through the valley of death (Ps. 23:4-5). His rod and staff provide authority and support enabling us to experience His tender compassion so we can apply His word in every situation. God's promises are like a feast to change our perspectives so we can rejoice in the midst of trouble. Nothing compares to God's love for us because He is always faithful and unchanging in the various seasons of life (Ps. 23:6).
What aspect of God's shepherd nature (provision, protection, purpose and presence) is most precious to you and why?