Hello again, and welcome back!
I promised that I would continue talking about our good shepherd today, so in order to do that, I’m going right to Psalm 23 (one of my all time favorites)
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
We’re going line-by-line today to look at practical examples and illustration of what this means, and how we can use it today.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Right off the bat, I have a hard time with this verse because so many times in my life I feel like I DO lack something (actually many things). I feel like I lack the wisdom, the skills and abilities needed in order to do what God has called to do and be who He wants me to be.I find myself striving to be better and do better and attain worldly success or popularity. Thinking if I could just get to the place where all my ducks are in a row, I’ll finally be satisfied.
My ducks are never in a row, in fact many times my ducks aren’t even in the same pond.
The truth is we can only find contentment and satisfaction in God and God alone so when we look to Him as our “Good Shepherd”, we see that it isn’t up to us to provide for ourselves, as we provides and meet all of our needs (both the ones we know of and the ones we don’t).
He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters,
He gives us rest and nourishment. Sometimes this rest and nourishment doesn’t look like what we planned or thought it should be like at all. If I’m honest sometimes we want to speed-up this process of spiritual renewal because we are constantly “on to the next thing”. Ready to get to the end, the final result without appreciating the process.he refreshes my soul. The problem is that when we rush this process or attempt to rush this process, we miss out on the “living water” that Jesus is trying to offer us.
We can limit our understanding of what it is looks like to be completely renewed and transformed based on our inability to sit still. (I’m convinced this is why scripture tells us to specifically to be still)
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Stop looking to other things to fill you, to satisfy you, or even to guide you.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
I love the message version of this verse:
True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
How many times do we not wait to catch our breath before moving on the next thing? I know for me, having a goal, or vision or expectation of what life should be like or could be like, I constantly want to be in motion, doing or working towards something.
This verse paints a different picture. We don’t need to be constantly in motion, instead we need to be still so we don’t miss the gentle voice or the gently leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us along the right path. (I’ll talk more about hearing his voice in a future post).
I watch my daughter spin in circles sometimes. (she often does it when she’s tired or bored) as I watch her spin around and around and then try to walk afterwards, I see her go all different direction and then stumble, and sometimes fall.
I know when I would spin in circles as a little girl and make myself dizzy, trying to walk in one direction or in a straight line proved to be extremely challenging. When we are dizzy we can’t see clearly.
When we are constantly in motion, we can’t stop long enough to let the dizziness subside to be able to regain our sign and balance enough to take steps without falling. I can’t help but smile to myself as I”m sure many decisions I’ve made in my life have been the result of my inability to stand still long enough to see clearly so I can allow God to show me my next move.
Perhaps you can relate to this feeling.
Our tendency to always want to be in motion hinders our ability to stand still, to BE STILL.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
That’s enough for today, tomorrow I will finish up the rest of Psalm 23.
In what ways can you start to stand still long enough in order to be still? What areas are you trying to keep in motion that you may be just “making yourself dizzy?”