Posted by Lynda Davis | Posted in Inspirational | Posted on 31-01-2012
Psalms 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The Shepherd knows what pastures are best for his sheep, and they must not question nor doubt, but trustingly follow Him. Perhaps He sees that the best pastures for some of us are to be found in the midst of opposition or of earthly trials. If He leads you there, you may be sure they are green for you, and you will grow and be made strong by feeding there. Perhaps He sees that the best waters for you to walk beside will be raging waves of trouble and sorrow. If this should be the case, He will make them still waters for you, and you must go and lie down beside them, and let them have all their blessed influences upon you.
H. W. SMITH.
Dear Friends – May these words of encouragement bless you this day. May you become keenly aware of God’s love and tender care of you. As a shepherd tends to his flock, so God gives us direction at every turn. At every crossroads in life our Savior is there pointing the way. Often we do not listen. Too many times we think that just can’t be the path we have to walk as it is not what we feel is best for us or even where we wanted to go. Ah, but here lies the sweetest of truths. Just as the above quote by H. W. Smith says, the places God chooses for us may not be our choice, but God is able to still those raging waters, calm His children in the midst of trials and tribulations, and alas, there are “blessed influences” we would certainly miss by going our own way.
In reading the Shepherd’s Psalm I am comforted by the deep and abiding care that is expounded upon. In reading it at first glance it seems perhaps the norm in life until one takes the time to meditate on each verse, to delve more deeply into the rich truths of the Psalm. In the first verse, if the Lord is our shepherd we will not want, one could stop right there and be filled with so much of Christ our world would most certainly change. For the job of a shepherd is to lead His sheep where they may drink of the water of life, have adequate food, protection from harm, etc. He speaks to them and soon they recognize his voice and they follow him because they trust him.
Oh that we had that kind of childlike trust in our Lord. Green pastures, still waters, yes, but His green pastures, His still waters. There’s where the schism comes in at times. But in staying with Him, trusting at all costs, all your paths will be paths of righteousness, how blessed! And we think perhaps we don’t want to go where He leads at times?
Verse 4 speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil. One thing that jumps out of that passage of scripture is the word shadow. I feel it is a time in life where we may feel threatened in some way, certainly fearful, but it is only a shadow, not real, for God is standing so close to us the Light of His love will drive the shadow away. Another of the major keywords in that verse is THROUGH of course. One must keep going, keep trusting, keep putting one foot in front of the other until this season of the valley experience has passed. We know that a valley is a low place, usually with mountains on either side. One could be in the lowest of places in life, but see in the distance where they could be, would like to be, perhaps are trying to be. Keep going forward, beloved. Let God lead you in His way and be truly changed, uplifted, awakened to all the beauty that is the life God has prepared for you.
As you remain under the care and leading of the Great Shepherd you will soon learn that trusting Him and letting Him lead becomes easier and easier. His rod and His staff are more than comforting, for with one He corrects us and with the other He leads us. And by staying on His chosen paths where do we end up? Alas, He prepares a table full of His bounty just for us and in the presence of our enemies, in the presence of all those that said we’d never make it. Yes here we are because we chose to trust Him, our head is anointed with oil, that’s feeling as if we could accomplish anything and have His power to do so. Our cup is running over, yes we have more than heart could wish. And ultimately, goodness and mercy are right behind us 24-7. Think of God’s goodness and mercy following you wherever you go, in all that you do, every circumstance. Goodness and mercy, goodness and mercy. You trusted God and now because of your faithfulness you have received a rich reward. What could not be accomplished in our lives if we knew of a truth that goodness and mercy were forever with us for there is no limit to God’s goodness, no end to His mercy?
Receive it and be blessed today, my friends. Stay with the Lord no matter what. If your path is not what you would have chosen and the Lord has seen fit to lead you there, think on those “blessed influences”. For all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto those that have made Him the Lord of their life (Psalms 25:10).
Beloved if you don’t know this One called Jesus, God’s Son, take a moment and ask Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, then by faith believe He has done so. Commit your life, your way, your dreams and desires to Him and begin to follow Him wherever He may lead you. You will soon realize you are walking on His paths of righteousness for His name sake. For scripture says in Psalms 25:8 good and upright is the Lord and He wants to teach you in His way. If you are overwhelmed in life right now, if your life is broken and in disarray, if you feel lost and alone, let God show you a true and better way, let God show you His way. Remember the “blessed influences”, the cup that runs over, the bountiful table prepared especially for you in the presence of your enemies, and the great goodness and mercy that will be ever with you.
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace…Num 6:24-26
In His Love,
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