Recently, the Lord has brought to my attention the truth of His promises in life. Last week, I shared verses that reminded us of the power Jesus's death has in our lives, not just in our deaths. While our faith in the Word of God does give us a security in eternal life when our time on Earth is over, our faith in the Word of God also gives us empowerment to live abundantly now.
Today, I want to share with you the truths of life found in Psalm 23. This chapter of the Bible is often used as comfort for those whose physical lives are ending or as solace for people experiencing the death of a loved one. To be honest, before last week, I didn't even understand the promises theses scriptures hold in death, much less what they mean for me in life, but God opened my eyes to an understanding I would now like to pass along.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. (v.1)
What do shepherds do? They take care of sheep. They see to it that they are protected, fed, watered, and sheltered. In the same way, when we allow the Lord to shepherd us, we will have everything we need. He will protect us. He will shelter us. He will feed us. With God, all of our provisions are met.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (v.2)
When we need rest, we can find it in Him. He shows us where we can lay our weary heads, and He gives us the cool refreshment we need to begin the journey of life again.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. (v.3)
When we choose to serve God, we are declaring that our lives will be a witness to His goodness and righteousness. Because of this, God will not let us down. He does not want us to fail, and He will give us what we need to succeed. He will make new our minds, our wills, and even our emotions. He cares about every part of our being and wants to reconcile every piece of us to Him, so every choice we make will reflect the truth of who He is.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (v.4)
In every situation and in every person where the life of Christ does not reign, the death of flesh does. This means that we are probably walking in a shadow of death every day; however, keep this in mind: there cannot be a shadow where there is no light. When you accept Christ, you receive His light in your life. This spiritual light casts spiritual shadows, revealing to you what areas of your life need to be surrendered, what worldly situations you need to avoid, and who in your life you have the opportunity to show the love of Christ to. Christ's light also reminds us that we need not fear evil because the One who defeated all evil on the cross is continually with us to guide us and comfort us.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. (v.5)
God will not let our enemies harm us. When we trust in Him and obey His commandment to love our enemies and pray for them, we are ensuring that He will stand in front of us, guard us, take up for us, and be our righteous vengeance. Despite what others do to us, His favor and anointing will remain on our lives, and He will cause us to prosper.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (v.6)
Every single day, we can live in the house of the Lord. Every single day, we can experience His goodness and mercy. This scripture doesn't say, "When I die, I will see God's goodness, and when I die, I will live in His house forever." It says just the opposite: ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.
Each of the promises in Psalm 23 belong to us every single day. Every single day, we can find rest, peace, protection, and provision in God. Every single day, we can live in God's fullness and goodness. Don't take for granted what He has given to us for our present lives. Yes, there is so much more to come when we find ourselves in Heaven confronted with the fullness of His glory, but that doesn't mean God expects our lives on Earth to be filled with angst, terror, or poverty. The God we serve is a Father who takes care of His children today.
I pray that as you study the Word this week, God would reveal to you other promises He has for your life now.
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