God Directs and Protects
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” (Isaiah 53:6, NLT)
God sees everyone as valuable and worth seeking, finding, and saving. The Bible says, “[God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 ESV).
But many people are spiritually lost. This means they’re following their own plan for their lives rather than God’s plan.
But what do spiritually lost people actually lose? They lose five things, but today we’ll look at just two: They lose their direction and their protection.
You can see this in the story of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-6. It’s about a shepherd who leaves 99 saved sheep to go out and search for the one lost sheep. He doesn’t say, “I’ve got 99 saved sheep, so forget the lost one!” No, they all matter to him. And when he finds the lost sheep, “he joyfully puts it on his shoulders” (Luke 15:5 NIV) and goes home to celebrate.
Like sheep, people who are spiritually lost lose their direction. In fact, all humans are this way. You don’t intend to get lost. You just think, “That grass looks greener over there.” And soon you follow your own way and lose your direction.
The Bible says, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6 NLT).
Another thing spiritually lost people lose is God’s protection. Like sheep who wander away from their shepherd, you too are vulnerable when you don’t have a shepherd to protect you from the wolves of life. That’s why you need to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Otherwise, you are alone and defenseless—and you lose God’s protection.
The Bible also says, “My people are wandering like lost sheep; they are attacked because they have no shepherd” (Zechariah 10:2 NLT).
But when you place yourself under the Good Shepherd’s care, you get direction and protection. This doesn’t mean you will be free from trouble. But it does mean that God will work “all things together for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28 BSB).
Maybe you or someone you know is lacking God’s direction and protection today. Remember: Jesus is the Good Shepherd who sees everyone as extremely valuable and “desires all people to be saved.”
Talk It Over
When did you first realize you mattered to God? What circumstance or person helped you realize this?
What daily habits keep you close to Jesus, the Good Shepherd? What habits make you more likely to wander from him?
Who in your life doesn’t appear to have God’s direction and protection? Make plans to tell them how valuable they are to him.
If you've never opened your life to Jesus Christ, you’ll never find the direction or have the protection that comes from a relationship with him.
You don't need to know what's going to happen tomorrow. You don't need to know what the future holds; you just need to know who holds the future! When you have a relationship with your Creator, you'll have the security of his unwavering love and unbreakable promises.
If you want to begin an intimate, forever relationship with Jesus, pray:
“Dear God, I want my security to be in something that cannot be taken from me. I want my security to be in my relationship with you, as I trust in your promise to never leave me. I want to claim that promise today. As much as I know how, I open my life to you, Jesus Christ. I confess that I have lived life my own way and sinned against you. Please forgive me. Come into my life and change my priorities, my values, my purpose, and my direction. Transform me into the person you want me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.