Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rest




The LORD is my shepherd;
       I shall not want.
     He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul;
         He leads me in the paths of righteousness
         For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

 
These verses have been on my mind and heart for a couple of weeks now.  I was teaching a study on the names of God. When I got to Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord Is My Shepherd, I was struck by how perfect Psalm 23 really is.

First of all, those first nine words are so awesome. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I don't want for anything.  Park there a moment.  Dwell on this fact. 


In the natural, a Shepherd provides everything the sheep needs.  He shelters them, protects them, provides for them, leads and guides. All the sheep have to do is follow.


Spiritually speaking, it's the same deal with us.  If we are obedient to the great Shepherd, His promise to us is that we won't want.  If we truly believe that, we don't have anything to worry about!  And if you are not worried, then your heart is at rest.

Is there something you need?  The Shepherd provides shelter, food and water for the sheep.  He anoints them (gives them medicines ... or you could look at it as health and beauty aids).  The sheep trust Him to provide what they need.  God promises you won't see "... the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Psalm 37:25) You can rest knowing your Shepherd will provide!


You don't know the path to take? Come sit at the Shepherd's feet.  He promises to lead you in paths of righteousness - the path of right standing.  What better place could you be?  The bible says, "A good man's steps are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23) If you are trusting the Lord, and doing what you feel He is leading you to do, then you have no worries. Everything will be all right, you can rest.

I've heard some say, "What if I mess up and take the wrong path?" Honey, He is Big enough that He can get you back into that right path!

What if you are facing physical danger?  Nestle close to the Shepherd. He will protect you and you will fear no evil.  You can rest knowing He is on the job.


Have you been treated unfairly? Take it to your Shepherd.  You shall not want for justice. He says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."  (Romans 12:9) He will take care of it, you can rest knowing it's His problem now.

I'm so thankful for God's Word.  I love it so much that He promises that I shall not want.  Then He caps it off by telling me that goodness and mercy are going to follow me around forever!  A sheep can't ask for more than that!

No need to worry or fret ... no need for stress ... you can rest!


I wrote this devotional for my series, Words to Stand On.  I felt it also tied in with the theme at Thankful Thursday this week.  Iris at Grace Alone wrote of being thankful for vacation.  I began thinking about how a vacation is supposed to be a time of rest (although often we are glad to be back from vacation to get some rest!) So, I am linking this post to Thankful Thursday.



If you would like to join other thankful hearts, join this month's hostess, Iris, at her blog:  Grace Alone.

7 comments:

STILLMAGNOLIA said...

Rest sounds lovely right now. Resting in the Lord sounds even better.

pam said...

So good to dwell in His Word...to ponder what we too often take for granted and really allow Him to bring His Words to life within us. Great post!

Denise said...

Thanks for such a peaceful post.

eph2810 said...

I love what you said here: "Honey, He is Big enough that He can get you back into that right path!"

I totally agree with you on rest; the true rest is found in Him alone :)

Thank you for sharing your grateful heart with us.

Love & peace,
<>< Iris

Karyn said...

Good word, Jerri. Trusting Jesus is the only place to truly get rest. It is good to stop when reading a familiar passage like this - stop and really think about what it says. Thanks for doing that here.

Irritable Mother said...

I can rest.
Ah, yes. Thank You, Jesus!
And that bit about not worrying? Since that is my tendency, I am always thankful for reminders which HE has it all under control. *peaceful sigh*
Have a blessed weekend!

Melli said...

This is beautiful Jerri - nicely done. I do wonder though, whenever I hear this preached... what about the poor in the 3rd world countries? What about those lambs who are eating from the dumps? Surely they are in want. They want full tummies, and shoes on their feet... and healthy bodies... Spiritually they may not be in want - they may know Jesus and trust Him fully to take care of them... or let them die and come home to Him... but somehow I can not believe that they can live their lives not wanting. I always think how EASY it is for US to trust Him... He HAS given us everything! PLUS a LOT! And it hurts my heart how many in this country do not recognize that HE has done it all!

I'm sorry... my "fosters" are heavy on my mind today...