Monday, July 27, 2009
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. - Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. My husband has been taking our family through these verses in our family devotions. I decided to share with you the things this time has done for me and I hope it will encourage someone today. In the first verses David writes that God is his shepherd and he does not want.
When my husband asked my youngest daughter what this meant to her, she said that's easy, it means that I have everything I need so I don't need anything. That's not the exact way she said it, but that's the sum of it. What it meant to me was that I have everything I need so I do not have to "want" or to desire or worry about something. God has already taken care of making sure I have what I need. My husband then asked, what do you have? Jackie said, I have food, clothes, everything so I have everything I need.
If we could have the faith as this little one to simply take God at his word. God's word simply tells us that as our shepherd he will take care of what we need and as my youngest daughter said, that's easy, everything I need, God will give it to me. Today, I pray that we accept this simply truth, God is our shepherd and he will give us what we need (in fact we already have it) so we really don't need anything else! We'll talk some more about this.
...He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
The Lord is my shepherd. He leads. What does it mean to lie down in green pastures and be lead by quiet waters? In order for the sheep to drink from the water, the water must be still (quiet). In other words, God will lead his sheep to the areas where they can be feed and find drink. God stills the waters in our lives so that we can come to the edge and drink and find our fill.
This scripture reminds us of the simply fact that we mentioned earlier, God has everything we need. This is part of that need my youngest mentioned. He gives us food (that green pasture that we can rest in) and he brings us drink at that place of quietness. What stands our for me is I cannot get the "drink", the living water if God does not quiet the waters for me to come near. Christ quiets the stormy waters that keep me from him and he allows me access to him.
Today I pray for us to be able to be lead by God to that place where he has proved for us. If we go looking ourselves, we will miss it, but if we allow ourselves to be lead, we will find the food and the water to keep our "spiritual" bodies healthy.
...he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake...
The Lord is my shepherd. Restores me. While God leads me, he will also restore my soul in the process. He will guide me in path's of righteousness for his name sake. The shepherd will care for his sheep and give to them all that they need. He will not allow his sheep to wonder aimlessly without his guidance.
God is the one that leads us and in the process he restores, renews and refreshes us. Part of the restoration process takes places because we lie down in green pastures, pastures that allow us plenty to eat. He restores us as he leads us near the quiet waters to refresh us, restore us from the heat of the day that has been used in our daily walking.
I hope to encourage someone today to rest in God because he is the one that will restore your soul. We do not have to become discouraged in our walk because our shepherd will continue to lead us and take care of our needs.
I pray for us today that God would restore some soul that is parched from the heat of life and lead them to the quiet waters.
...Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Lord is my shepherd. No Fear. In this life we find ourselves going through some "death valleys". We find ourselves going into some areas that not only scare us, but we do not think we are coming out of those valleys onto the other side. Yet, David reminds us, we do not have to be afraid. David knew what it meant to be in some death valleys. He was running for his life, yet he had to have held on because he has a promise to become king and it had not happened yet. So he reminded himself, I will not fear any evil against me because I am not alone in these death valleys, you are right with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me. They comfort me because you use your rod to beat back the snakes and scorpians that are ready to attack me and your staff helps to direct me and it reaches out and catches me around the next if I fall in pits I did not see. As my daughter said, it's simply, you have everything I need so I do not have worry or have fear.
Today Lord somebody needs you to give them your comfort and remind them that you will continue to take care of them and no "death valley" situation can harm them because you will fulfill in your people what you have ordained them for.
...You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
The Lord is my shepherd. Prepared table. I mentioned earlier what my youngest daughter said about having everything you need, so don't worry. As I thought about what she said, I instantly went to this last part of the scripture. I asked myself the question, why shouldn't I want?
What is the reason, because the way is made, the table is already set. When I thought about this, I thought about being invited to a dinner party. The host has prepared the food, set the table and she is only waiting for her guest to show up. You have not arrived to the place yet, but when you arrive you will realize what has already been set before you. Are you following me? Our Lord has already prepared every table we will need on this journey. And not only does he prepare it and is waiting for us to arrive to the destination he has the table set so that we can realize it, but he does it even in the presence of our enemies. He shows you off! Even the one that hates you cannot stop what God has already prepared for you. I don't know about you, but I am rejoicing even as I type. On top of setting out the "spread" for me to dine on, he anoints my head (gives me his spirit), my cup runs over (his provisions) and his goodness follows me all the days of my life. What a mighty God we serve. I have one last note that I must say before I finish. If God does all this provides for us, takes care of us, gives us living water, prepares what we need, even before we come to the place where we realize we need, then shouldn't we be walking in that freedom?
I pray today that we do as my daughter said, acknowledge that it's simply we already have what we need and we don't need anything else. We already have what we need, Jesus and that's all we need.