The fourth thing to avoid is straying off the path.
Psalm 23:3b – “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Sheep are very dependent creatures. In order to flourish, they must know and follow their shepherd and not run foolishly after other sheep or a stranger. We, as sheep, need to be dependent on our Good Shepherd to lead us. When we follow the Shepherd, we will always be on the right path because He guides us in the paths of righteousness.
How do we avoid straying off the path? Follow the Shepherd.
In John 10, Jesus says that His sheep know His voice. Are you following His lead and His voice? Or perhaps you are following another sheep that is off the path or a false shepherd who is leading you astray. Maybe you’re wandering off on your own because you’re independent and you want to make your own path instead of following someone else’s lead.
When I was in college, I wandered off His path because I decided to follow the crowd that was not following Christ. It didn’t take me long to realize I had made a mistake and needed to find my way back to my Shepherd.
Avoid straying off His path by following the Shepherd. How do we do that? Jesus tells us what is involved in following Him in Mark 8:34: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” We have to put aside self, our desires and our wants, and do what He wants of us. Instead of saying, I want it my way, we say, Lord, I want it your way.
Minimize stress in your life by following the Shepherd and not straying off on your own.
What tempts you to stray off His path?