I wanted to isolate my comments on Psalm 23, share and expand them for you. In Psalm 23 David records the attributes of the relationship he has with God. Six verses that when examined will redefine what we look for in our relationship to God.
Psalm 23; NLT; A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
The Lord is my shepherd. My first thought is; is He? We would like to say we have a relationship with God but do we have one that displays the right priorities? God leading, us following.
I have everything I need. Again, the reality is that we have trouble thinking and living like God will supply everything we need. We somehow think we have to help Him or figure it out.
He lets me rest in green meadows. When was the last time we rested? We can get so busy thinking we have to provide for ourselves that we forget to rest. Rest is a gift from God, He has a plan, it is good, He won’t need our help. So, we can rest.
He leads me beside peaceful streams. How many times is our life in turmoil? Peaceful is not an adjective that most of us would use to describe our daily lives. Peace is something God desires to provide for us, refreshing peace, if we allow Him to.
He renews my strength. It is said that life will wear you down. It will chew you up and spit you out. Our strength comes from God, He desires to renew it. The previous combine, rest and refreshment, to renew our strength. If we think we can make it without them our strength will fail.
He guides me along right paths. God has a plan, it is good, it will provide hope and a future. The reality is it is God’s plan, not ours. To follow His plan, we need to seek Him out, ask for His guidance and follow it.
Bringing honor to his name. When this all comes together, we have a purpose. Our life has meaning. We accomplish the will of God. Nothing is more satisfying and fulfilling. We bring honor to His name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley. Life is not a bowl of cherries. We face difficult times. Those times test us and challenge us. They form us and shape us to reflect the character of God.
I will not be afraid. We can face them without fear because we don’t face them alone. God said He will never leave us or forsake us. We do not have to fear being alone.
For you are close beside me. God walks along side us even in the darkest valley. He doesn’t expect us to face the challenges of life alone. He is by our side.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Some much so we can feel it. His protection and discipline help make our path straight. He is there to keep us on the right road, His road.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. Even when we cannot see a way out. Even when the world is closing in around us. God has an abundance of hope. God provides hope for us even when surrounded by enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil. We belong to the King! He has placed His mark on our forehead signifying that we are His. We must never forget that.
My cup overflows with blessings. Having a relationship with God not only yields benefits for us, it also overflows. We cannot contain the blessings we receive. Our abundance should have a positive influence on the lives around us. We should be a blessing.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me. We will never cease from being blessed as the Father peruses us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
All the days of my life. He will demonstrate that to us every day he provided for us to live here on this earth, our lifetime.
And I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Not only here but eternity. We will dwell with Him forever.
Six verses that provide a framework for the most significant relationship we can have in our lifetime, a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Relationship, Provision, Rest, Refreshment, Healing, Guidance, Purpose, Testing, Protection, Faithfulness, Discipline, Hope, Identity, Abundance, Blessing, and Security, for Eternity. That is quite a list and if we take a closer look, we see a progression of things.
First and foremost, we need a relationship with God, not just any relationship but the type of relationship that has a priority over every other thing in our life. Without that relationship the rest doesn’t exist.
What follows is a process of God conforming us to His image; Rest, Refreshment, Healing, Guidance, and Purpose. We need to stop trying to figure it out for ourselves and let God do that for us, rest in green meadows, beside still waters, restoring our soul. There is a peace that passes all understanding that we receive with our relationship with God, we don’t have to figure it out, God has it figured out. We need to receive refreshment and healing. Once restored we are ready to do what God has prepared in advance for us to do, guided to a purpose for God.
When we step out on our journey in God’s will we will face trials ad challenges but we are not alone, He is with us, protecting us along the way. He is faithful to be with us and teach us and correct us. We can take comfort in His presence when we stray from the path. Through this we find hope in the only true source, God.
When we join Him, we belong to Him and are identified as His. Not by what we say, but by what He does through us. People will see that we are His. We see the abundance of His riches, the blessing he provides and the eternal security that comes with having a relationship with Him.
As I shared before, this is a snapshot of walking with God, there is a process to work through. There is no shortcut. He will prepare us to do the work He has for us to do. It will be beneficial for us. We will find satisfaction and fulfillment that we have neve known.
I encourage you to decide on this day whom you will serve. Walk with God and watch Him provide for all we need.