Helpless to Protected

Study Guide

The Lord is our Shepherd. If we want to experience the protection of the almighty Shepherd, we have to embrace the reality of our helplessness and our complete dependence on him as his sheep.
  1. The confession of faith in Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need” demands repentance—to turn away from everything else you trust in. What else are you trusting in? What other things come to mind when you think, “I have all that I need if _____” or “I am confident if _____”?

  2. What does it mean in your life that the Lord is your shepherd? How have you experienced his protection as your shepherd in the past?

  3. Sheep are weak and helpless. What does it look like for you to embrace the idea that you are in a continuously dependent condition of helplessness in need of a shepherd? What is hard about that for you?

  4. Read the list of verbs that describe God in Psalm 23:2-4. Are any of these hard for you to wrap your mind around? Which of these closely resonate with your circumstances in life?

  5. The Judean wilderness has patches of pastures for the sheep among the desert, and only the shepherd could lead the sheep to the safe places and the still waters.. Have you had this experience with God? What is your desert where God has called you to be entirely dependent on him?

  6. Jesus laid down his life and took it back up so that he could overcome for us. How could this truth about Jesus help you grasp God's power and goodness? 

Key Points
  • If you want to experience the protection of God as your Shepherd, you have to embrace your helplessness as a sheep.

  • God wants to be your shepherd more than you want him to be your shepherd.

  • The problem is not that God is not willing to bless us; it is that we won’t come to him and receive blessing on his terms.

  • The Shepherd knows where to take the sheep.

  • We are called to live every day as though we are on the edge of the desert and we don’t have what we need; our everyday hope is that we have a shepherd who takes care of us.

  • In a culture that has everything we could want, we are still destroying ourselves trying to find comfort with powerless things of this world.

  • Wake up every day and first preach your own helplessness to yourself, and second preach to yourself God’s willingness to guide and lead you.

  • God’s goodness and unfailing love will chase us down all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6).

  • The hope and comfort we have is not just that we have a shepherd but that our shepherd has passed through death ahead of us so he can lead us through and is on the other side making a way for his sheep.

Other Scripture References

Topics: Anxiety, Comfort