Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

2 Resting in Relationship Part 2

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Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.”

Just as we saw last time the Shepherd meeting our two greatest wants, Love me and Accept me, now we see Him meeting our two greatest needs, Food, the green pastures and drink, the still waters. Jesus meets our restlessness through relationship. He starts by making us lie down in green pastures, but have you ever asked yourself why sheep lie down. First because they grow tired and need rest, you can’t be on the go all the time, it takes rest to replenish. Sometimes sheep lie down and are still for security, when we lie down in the Lord He hides us from the hurt. Today is there something that you need to lay at the feet of the Lord? Sheep also need to lie down to digest, they are ruminants that regurgitate their food and re-chew it, they can’t do that and continue eating so rumination occurs primarily when they are resting. Healthy mature sheep will chew their cud for several hours each day, requiring them to stop. We like sheep need to stop in order to soak in the Savior. We live in a non-stop noise filled world yet as we listen to the voice of the shepherd it directs us to slow down, even to lie down, so we can digest the green grass of God’s Word. We see lying down us unproductive yet sometimes we need to stop doing so we can start digesting. Sheep also lie down because they are content and satisfied with where the Shepherd has them. We are a restless bunch always searching for greener pasture, believing that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Yet what we call searching is really straying from the shepherd, our job is not to search but to be satisfied. Today you may need to stop and lie down right where the Lord has you, to stop searching and be satisfied in Him. We will never be content till we stop and spend time in His presence. We follow a Shepherd who chooses the green pastures which in the original language means the choice pastures. When we talk about the choice pastures these are not just the best they are His choice. He does not call us to the pastures of the past or the future that we are not ready for but the pastures of the present. It’s His choice because He knows us, He knows the pastures, He knows what is best. The Lord leads us to the pasture but He does not force us to eat, just as He leads us to the Scriptures, but we must, listen, memorize and meditate. The sheep don’t just eat the grass they also lie in it just as we must with the Word. The Shepherd chooses the pasture and we choose when and how much to eat. He makes me lie down because it’s what I need, He doesn’t use a sheep dog to chase me instead He provides what I need. God creates circumstances, the green grass looks so good the sheep want to lie down. He creates appetite and desire and, when needed, dangers to drive us from the desert and into His pleasant pasture. Second He leads me beside quiet waters, leading means He is out front not driving the sheep. He knows the way and faces the danger first, He leads because we are lost. He doesn’t point the way He provides the way, He doesn’t tells us where to find water, He takes us to water. The water He leads us to is what we need, it is still so we are able to drink without drowning. He doesn’t lead us to the rapids or the waterfall to feel its power because He is our power, He leads us to a place of tranquility where we can rest and relax. Water keeps us alive, it refreshes and revives us. Only water can quench our thirst, we thirst for what we need yet we often try to substitute His water for the world. Psalm 42:1 says that “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” What are you thirsting for today? Do you long for the Lord or have you been substituting the Savior for something that will never satisfy? The sad reality is that many of us are drowning in the drought.  John 4:14 tells us that the water that the Shepherd provides is “A well of water springing up into everlasting life” Only the Shepherd can refreshes the soul. Today I invite you again 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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