The next line in the 23rd Psalm:
He leads me beside the still waters.
A shepherd would need to lead the sheep to one of a few different sources of water. As we seek God and lead others to do the same we must learn to drink in sources where God leads us. If a sheep would drink from contaminated ponds and streams it would spell disaster. Our world provides numerous poison wells to drink from. We can be tempted to drink of our own strength or our own strategies to lead not knowing we may be in danger of poisoning.
Let’s take a look at one source of water for sheep; dew. Any morning the sheep would awaken to dew on the grass made it easy on the shepherd. The sheep could consume the grass and it would provide enough water to quench their thirst for some time. Sometimes we are in a season where drinking in God’s presence seems easy every morning. Drink that in. Enjoy His Word and his fellowship.
Another source of water would be springs and streams. A shepherd would surely know where to locate these sources even if the sheep did not. His livelihood and the lives of the sheep would depend on it. Do we trust in God for his refreshing in our lives? Or do we wander off looking for sources outside of Him? I can admit that I often mind myself wandering to others sources for refreshing. This isn’t to say that we can’t enjoy hobbies or entertainment but those things can only refresh our souls and bodies not our spirits. Physical thirst can only be met with a source outside of us. There is nothing within us that can fulfill the spiritual thirst either.
Other times we may be in a seemingly dry season that seems to take more effort on our part to find that refreshing of the Spirit. Be submitted to God’s leading. Shepherds would have locations with deep wells to draw water from. We see an example of this in Genesis 24 as Rebekah drew water from the well for the servant of Abraham and his camels. Sometimes we must lean into God in those seasons instead of our sin nature to wander off in the wasteland seeking something to fill a thirst that only God can fill. Only the Spirit of Christ can fulfill that thirst within our souls. Surrender to His leading and find yourself refreshed.