Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

1 Resting in Relationship Part 1

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Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”

Psalm 23 starts out with the “Lord”, it implies more than just a person but a personal relationship, the term Lord lets us get close enough to love. According to Psalm 23 rest starts with a relationship with Jesus, there will never be real rest without the Redeemer. Psalm 23 is one of the most famous and most quoted passages in all of scripture because it involves not only a powerful God but a personal God. David described the shepherd personally when he used the word “MY” What would it mean if the pronoun “my” were left out? If it said The Lord is “A” shepherd it would mean that He was one among many. Today I think that for many the reality of their life would fit more with “A” shepherd than “MY” shepherd. If we were honest we might have to admit that just as Jesus is my shepherd so is my job and my money. For many our money is more personal that the Messiah and we rely on it for security more than the Savior. Our protection and provision should be found in a personal relationship with the redeemer but for many we try to rest in our riches. Is Jesus your shepherd or a shepherd, one of many? If it said the Lord is “THE” shepherd that would mean He has priority, but He is not personal, yet John 10:11 reminds us of just how personal this relationship is: “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” When we use the verb “IS” there are two things that we can count on, right now and right here. Right now means that the Lord will care and protect me today. Right here means that I don’t have to go somewhere to get into the Shepherd’s care. The Lord “IS” means security, the Psalmist doesn’t say “The Lord was or will be he says IS. One of the requirements for rest is to live in reality, Psalm 23 gives us that reality, the Lord is the shepherd we are the sheep. When we forget this there is a twin danger, we forget who we are and we forget whose we are. Satan knows that he can’t steal the sheep so he sidetracks them and what better way than to convince us that we are more than we really are. The more we believe the mirage of “me” the less we see the Lord. The more we live like everything depends on self instead of the Savior the more exhausted and empty we become. We are not called to like our reality but to live in it, you may not like being called a sheep but it is how we act.  Sheep stray as Isaiah 53:6 says: “All we like sheep have gone astray” Sheep love to satisfy self, they eat what is in front of them. Sheep have no sense, especially when it comes to danger, they are defenseless, and they have no weapons to defend themselves, no claws or fangs. Sheep can be stupid, they do dumb things as opposed to the shepherd who is smart. The truth is sheep need a shepherd yet we fight this reality because we fear becoming a slave, yet when we go it alone we get sheared and sold into slavery. The truth is that the Lord loves to care for and serve His sheep, Matt. 9:36 says “when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” Jesus saw the sad state of the sheep and He cared, He was moved with compassion. He didn’t just see and say “how sad, look at those stray sheep” this wasn’t pity, no, Jesus cared, He carried the cross for us. The shepherd scarified for the sheep, John 10:11 “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” He protects and provides for us, the result of this relationship is rest, we lack nothing, David said “I shall not want” Today restlessness often revolves around a world of wants, yet with the Savior the sheep are satisfied. Life’s two greatest wants are:

  • Love me. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • Accept me. John 6:37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away”

The phrase “I shall not want” doesn’t mean that I won’t get sick or suffer or die it means that I shall not want of His presence or His plan for my life. I shall not want of His protection or peace, I shall not want of spiritual satisfaction. I shall not want what my Shepherd can give. Why do we stray in search of satisfaction when it can only come from the Lord? Today what are you resting in, is it a relationship with the Redeemer?  Today I invite you to pray psalm 23 with me:

Lord because you are my Shepherd, I commit my needs to you. Provide green pasture for me to lie in and still waters to sooth my soul. Restore and refresh as You love me by leading me in right paths for Your name’s sake. Deliver me from danger as I walk through wickedness. Protect me with Your power and prepare a table to feed me so my enemies can see Your provision. Anoint me with the oil of Your healing as I drink from Your full cup of peace, secure in the knowledge that goodness and mercy will always follow me and I will live with You forever. Amen

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