Lord Father God in Jesus name don't lead me with your Rod and Staff down the road of
discipline and correction like the prodigal son, Lord don't lead me down the road of
temptation that I might be tested,
Lord don't lead me down the road where I need to be
delivered, but if you do lead me down the road of temptation in your deliverance may
you have the glory and let it strengthen me and compell me to draw nearer to you
Thankyou that in you I have all I need because Jehovah Jireh lives in me and let me want for more of you and less of self.
Help me not to leap ahead before my training and preparation is finished, help me to be patient and to wait for your timing, help me to be completely dependent on you as the sheep are dependent soley on the Shepherd,
We feed from the manger and rather than wanting from you..that which you have already
provided, we bring you gifts of our hearts and give to you In Jesus name amen
Again we turn to focus and we turn our eyes to The Father,
Firstly lets go to the Manger, or the feeding trough, this may not have been made out
of wood as many depict but of stone, an animal feeding trough and here we have the Lamb of God .
The Son Of God being brought gifts from the magi, here totally dependent on
God, totally dependent on Father, totally dependent and listening to the Great Shepherd.
Jesus's temptations did not start after being baptised and being led into the
wilderness by the Holy Spirit, the temptations were there from the beginning right until the end.
What a temptation to speak out things unknown ?
What a temptation to speak above peoples heads ?
What a temptation to display the wisdom of ages and unravel mysteries untold ?
You say " He did " no , He only displays that which was understood !!
That which He unravelled was only a tiny fraction for us to marvel at, it was the
mystery of salvation.
Think what wonders lie ahead ?
He spoke to people on their level..as they understand...He the greatest mathematician, He the greatest scientist, He the greatest physician, He the greatest inventor, He the greatest theologian, the einstein of Einsteins, kneels down and washes the feet of the disciples !!
What a temptation to wield that power in flesh ?
What a temptation when calling up Lazarus from the dead ..not to call up the entire dead
What a temptation to go ahead and start His Ministry before the allotted time ?
What a temptation to steer away from the Cross ?
What a temptation while on the Cross to call down legions of angels to help ?
But Jesus only walked as His Shepherd Father Instructed
He only said what His Father Shepherd told Him to say
He only moved as His Father Shepherd instructed
Being led by His Father Shepherds Staff and Rod
And we having Jehovah Jireh in us do the same
Jesus was as a Lamb being led to the slaughter by the Father Shepherds Rod and Staff
Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tempted there by satan
He was led out by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted !!
This is the Fathers Rod and Staff guiding Jesus into temptation to be tested !!
NOW it is time for Jesus to go out and for His ministry on earth to begin
( As if it had ever started or ended )
The Father Son And Holy Spirit minister in eternity and have always been ministers
Administering and ministering from the beginning and before time
What a temptation to launch out before His time ? what a temptation to avoid THE
Temptations in the wilderness ?
But we know that temptation is not a sin and we know that there is a way back to God
if we fall to temptation although Jesus never did
We know that the Good Shepherd ...for there is ONLY ONE GOOD SHEPHERD, gives
His life for the Sheep, as the Lamb of God and we in turn give our very lifes..
The Rod and Staff in this picture given in Psalm 23 can be seen as many things, again
we see simple pictures, pictures and images that can be understood by all.
We can in fact see the Rod and Staff as Jesus, the rod was used not just for protection but for marking of the sheep....you see a shepherd would often lay accross the doorway to the sheep pen at night thus protecting the sheep from harm, thus Jesus is known as " the door " "The Rod "
"I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the
covenant." And again, "In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the valley,
shall the flocks pass again under the hands of Him that tells them, says the Lord."
And yet once more, "Concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord."
Also Malachi 3:10
The Rod is also for separating ...
Children can understand the picture of a Shepherd and sheep and they can understand
the concept, this does not mean that they understand the deeper meanings of Gods word
or the deeper meanings of Psalm 23, but they can understand a simple picture
Out of the mouths of babes and infants He has ordained praise and we as baby sheep are lambs
And so we see that Jesus is led out into the wilderness to be tempted there by satan in Luke 4:1-13 and we see then that Jesus starts His journey/ministry
YOU SAY " Lord useeee meeeeeeeeeeeee " oops
Maybe you might have a preparation ahead ? maybe you might be led by the Rod and Staff into temptation to be tested first ?
You see Jesus did'nt go His own way, otherwise He would have sinned, He was led by the Father, by the Holy Spirit into temptation !! this was meant to happen !!
THEN it was time , NOW He was ready,
Do you keep on going back to the same temptation over and over and over ?
Why do you think it keeps on hounding you ?
Is this a temptation that you are going back to like the Prodigal son ? or is this a
temptation which you are led into to make you stronger ...is it a testing ?
There is no sin in being tempted, we are tempted all our lifes the same as Jesus was
tempted from the moment he was born in flesh, but there is also a temptation of testing when we are led out and tested to prepare us for what lies ahead.
Why are we speaking about temptation here when this message is about the 23rd Psalm ?
Well while thinking about the 23rd Psalm the Lords prayer kept coming back to me over and over and " lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one "
You can see how this message is backed up over and over by discussions on one of our
So lets look at the 23rd Psalm briefly and I'm going put it alongside Matthew 6:9-13
The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need...
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be
done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread
The Lord already knows our needs before we ask Him, but He wants us to ask Him, because
like the heavenly Father that He is...He wants communication, He wants interaction.
Although we have all we need because He gives us our daily bread, we might want more
of Him even though He is in us ...the great Jehovah Jirah...
Why do you think He makes us thirsty and leads us beside a stream ?
In the same way as Jesus needed the Father...He listened to the Father, He did all that the Father said, He was completely dependent on the Father, even though He was Jehovah Jireh, in His weakness was the Fathers Strength.
He needed the Father, He communicated with the Father, He interacted with the Father,
He went away by Himself often to talk to the Father, your heavenly Father and My heavenly Father, even though His Father and yours knows the needs and the wants
In a nutshell, we are not too wantneed as the world wantsneeds and to be tempted into wordly deires that lead to frustration and dissulusionment.
But we are to focus on Him who
is the provider and as we want more of Him and need more of Him and seek Him above all else we will find the things we most desire and find joy and satitisfaction.
The Father is not saying through Jesus " Do not want or need "
Of course we want and need....but seek first the Kingdom of God, because God knows your heart better than you do yourself and only He can fill that need of the heart
We go back to the vision of the steps and looking to Jesus above all else
He gives us the desires of our hearts....needs ....wants....longings, because only He
knows what our hearts are really longing for !!
Like children screaming and kicking for sweets and when they finally get their sweets
it only satifies for a brief time, they look here and there for new things, they look
everywhere and search for that thing they think will satisfy.
And it seems all their lifes they never really find anything that gives them more than a temporary satisfaction...it never really satifies their needs, and really they haven't got a clue what they want
But He gives us the desires of our hearts, only Him , because only He knows what can
satisfy that need, and as we walk in His ways, In His will, in His path ...it may be
hard, it may seem too hard at times...
But as we focus on Him and Him alone and we reach for His Kingdom ...all these gaps and inward longings are met, not always straight away, Gods Kingdom is not always an
instant NOW Kingdom .
We have all that we need because we have Jesus, but we want and need more of Him
Matthew 6:12-13 ( King James )
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Psalm 23 (New International Version)
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Lead me not into temptation , but deliver me from the evil one !!
Mark 1 (New International Version)
12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty
days, being tempted by Satan.
When you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit see this as a good thing, this is the Rod and staff guiding you away, this is the Rod and Staff leading you, this is correction.
The prodigal son knew of the Rod of correction, he walked the path of his own doing and he knew the Rod of conviction, and he was able to go back to the Father, even though Jesus never left Him.
But here in Psalm 23 we see a valley we see the darkness of death and the enemy, we see the dying to self and we see the total dependence on the Great Shepherd
In Matthew we see the rod and staff leading into temptation for a testing
The enemy may try to condemn you, he may try to twist the word, he may try to deceive you, you can hear the same words uttered in Genesis by the serpent...when Eve hungered the enemy said " did God say ? "
Where is your Shepherd ? why not provide for yourself ?
Jesus was in need ..He hungered...and the enemy goes for the weakness and Jesus goes for the Fathers strength "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread
alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God "
Completely dependent, focus, seek first the King..the Kingdom.
Listening to God the Father, speaking His words, doing as He says,
There was never a sin in temptation, but O for the one who is tempting
Or you may be the prodigal who fell to temptation, but Jesus is always there with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you and He will bring you back to the Father
The Prodigal learnt much from this road of learning and he came back to the flock
In John Chapter 10:1-21 we read about The Shepherd and His Flock the Good Shepherd
David having been a shepherd and being a King understood the role of the Shepherd,
David had to go through the preparation time, David had to wait for Gods timing, he
had to learn to wait upon God the Father and to listen and wait.
David had needs and wants, David went through severe times of testing when all seemed
against him, and David was tempted when alone and fell to this temptation 2 SA 11:2
David knew that all the treasures he had were nothing, because he still had wants and
needs and desires that could only be satisfied in God alone, because only God can
give the real desires of our hearts because only God knows what we really need.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 27:4-6 (Amplified Bible)
4One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently]
require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
5For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His
tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
6And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent
I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Philippians 1:21-23 - "To Die Is Gain"
You see Jesus was baptised...baptism is symbolic of dying to the old and living to the new, then Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tempted there by satan !!
Every day we die to self as Christians, because we have Christ in us, it is no longer I but Christ in me and the life that I live I live by faith.
Jesus having been baptised went to the wilderness, He was led out, He faced death
, He walked through that valley, we walk through that valley
At the point of weakness, at the point of greatest need , at the point of hunger and thirst temptation comes, temporary satisfaction looms, But Jesus looked to the still waters
He looked to that stream, He was thirsty, He was in need, He longed and wanted for
His need to be quenshed, he had'nt eaten, He hungered, He thirst, and at the point of His greatest need, He looked to that which is eternal
He died to Himself and spoke into the face of His enemy
And He spoke the words of His Father
Man shall not live by bread alone by by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
We are not be be afraid in this valley of death, for we have the great Shepherd guiding us
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
And when we thirst we have the still waters of His voice
Revelation 7:17 (New American Standard Bible)
17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide
them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their
The Father Shepherd prepares a feast for us in the prescence of our enemies
He is preparing a place for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death
We shall fear no evil for He is with us Guiding us on with His Rod and Staff
We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
He has anointed our heads with oil
1 John 2:20 "But you have an anointing from the Set-Apart One, and all of you know the truth."
Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of Lords favor."
2 Corinthians 1:21 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in
Jesus. And so through him the "SO BE IT, AMEN." is spoken by us to the glory of God.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Him. He anointed us, set his
seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Psalm 23: 6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Pray with me now
Are you like the prodigal son right now ? away from God and hearing Him calling you
back home ?
Speak out to God now and run back to Him
Speak out these words with me
Lord Father God in Jesus mighty name I want and need you and I ask you back into my life as I run back to you for help and I ask for your forgiveness and cleansing and filling and restoration and thankyou thatt you forgive and forget and you wipe the slate clean, I want to start again in Jesus name amen
Are you going through a testing time ? we all walk through the valley ...but how do we walk through the valley ?
Pray with me...and speak out the words of life
Lord God in Jesus name I know you are there with me always, Lord help me not to be afraid, renew my strength and restore me, protect me and let me know the refreshing of that stream of life rushing through
Lord I come to you as nothing, that you might be my everything, help me through this time of testing and lead me on with your rod and staff to do your will in Jesus name amen