- The Source
- The Sovereign By Definition
- The Sovereign By Decree
- The Sovereign By Design: Part I
- The Sovereign By Design: Part II
- The Sovereign By Design: Part III
- The Sovereign By Design: Part IV
- The Sovereign By Design: Part V
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VI
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VII
- The Supply: My Giver: Introduction
- The Supply My Giver: Part I
- The Supply My Giver: Part II
- The Supply My Giver: Part III
- The Supply My Giver: Part IV
- The Supply My Giver: Part V
- The Supply My Giver: Part VI
- The Supply My Giver: Part VII
- The Supply My Giver: Part VIII
- The Supply My Giver: Part IX
- The Supply My Giver: Part X
- The Security; My Guard
“…he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalms 23:3b)
In the previous devotion, The Sovereign By Design: Part IV – the outline was: The Who: “He” and The How: “He leadeth me in the paths…”
That is, my Shepherd, my Sovereign, my God, leads His Sheep by Example, Exhortation, and Power. He leads His Sheep not as a slave master, in fear; but as a Savior, in love. The servant of righteousness is not forced to do, but he does from the Source (God, who is Love) living in him.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
This is how it works:
“For therein (the Gospel of Jesus Christ; verse 16) is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just (or the justified, those made righteous) shall live (both physically and spiritually) by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
This “faith” that the believer lives by is not the believer’s faith; but it is by The Faith, Christ Jesus, for He is The Faith. And Ephesians 2:8-9 states that (the) Faith is a gift, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Galatians 2:20 proves that we live by Christ, The Faith:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
In this devotion, the focus is on both The Where and The Why the Shepherd leads:
The Where: “in the paths of righteousness”
Christ is the Righteousness of God (see Romans 10:3-4). Proverbs 8:20 says, “I lead (or walk) in the way of righteousness…” The Sheep hear His Voice; and they follow Him (John 10:27). Therefore, their feet, like hind’s feet, walk in Righteousness, when they follow Him.
As stated in the introduction, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17) reveals the Righteousness of God “from faith” (in the believer; placed as a gift, even Christ Himself, in Regeneration) “to faith” (or The Christ, who is Faith) is being preached, or proclaimed, in the Gospel message.
Therefore, simply put – in Regeneration, God gives His Sheep the ability to hear and to see the Good News. When they hear and see who Christ is, and who they are in Him; then, and then only, do the Sheep respond to His Leadership.
That is, you must be born from above by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). That is, you must come to conversion to cry out “Abba, Father”:
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:15-16)
When this happens, you come to confess:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
However, confession is the end of the process. So, belief is the Result, not the Requirement. The Requirement is the Atonement of Christ on the Cross. The Requirement is you must be quickened from your dead spiritual condition (Ephesians 2:1; John 6:63; 11:41-44). You must be made alive experientially.
When this happens, you come to realize you are a Sheep of God (Romans 8:16). You have an internal witness that, by the Spirit, you are a Child of God:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
When this happens, then you follow Christ in the Path of Righteousness. You are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
Christ only leads His Sheep in the right ways; the ways of peace, purity, and power.
The word “righteousness” comes from the word “right-wise-ness.” We have been given the Mind of Christ in Regeneration. That is, we have had the “old man” crucified, and Christ has created the “new man” in us:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)
With the new nature, the mind of Christ, we can discern spiritual things:
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)
Thus, having faith (Hebrews 11:1) – or having Christ in us, His Mind in us – we can know all things (Romans 8:32b; 1 Corinthians 2:16).
Therefore, with the Mind of Christ; having His Written Word before us; having the unction (or anointing) of the Holy Spirit – we then shall be taught His Ways; and we will love His Ways; and we will endeavor to keep His Commandments.
“He leadeth me (us) in the paths of righteousness.”
As He reveals who He is; and who we are in Him; and His Will for His Children – because we love Him, we follow Him:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
This flows not from fear, but from His Love that He shed abroad in our hearts in Regeneration (Romans 5:5).
David’s cry was Psalms 5:8: “Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness …”
When you come to know you are His Sheep, you have a new nature, a new desire, and a new will. And that will is to follow “right-wise-ness,” or to follow Christ.
The Why: “For his name’s sake”
All that we are; all that we have been made by Grace; and all we hope to be – is in Christ. And all that we do is for His Honor and Glory; “for his name’s sake.”
We follow Him and obey Him because of who He is, and who He has revealed to be to us – our Substitute, our Sacrifice, and our Savior; our High Priest; our Lord and Master; and our King. We are His subjects in His Kingdom; we are His bond slaves; we are His servants of righteousness by Grace, Mercy, and Love.
“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We serve Him out of love; not out of fear of retribution.
I serve Him because I love Him. I serve Him because I am One with Him (John 17:21-24). I serve Him because He chose me, I did not choose Him. I serve Him because He lives in me, and He is my Hope of Glory.
Yes, Christ leads us (by Example; by Exhortation; and by His Power) in the paths of righteousness, FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE – yes, for His Honor.
This is why God created me, and called me to Himself – not for my honor, but for His Honor. To reveal who He is; for He is Love. (Amen and Amen!)