The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. ²He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, ³he restores my soul. ~Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord doesn’t want his people to be in want. But, when we look to Kings, Queens and Presidents for our needs then we are no longer looking to our good, great, and chief Shepherd but to others to fill us. We are no longer aligning to the promises of God if we associate ourselves with the world. We no longer stand for righteousness if we need to be securing at the expense of our integrity.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. (Psalm 34:8, 9) We can do everything through him who gives us strength. (Phili. 4:13) Our God is a jealous God and no good thing will come when we turn our back on Jesus Christ to fill our need elsewhere.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. We in ourselves cannot lie down in the things of God. The Lord causes us, commands, compels us to do what is right. We in and of ourselves there is not one good¹ but with Jesus Christ living inside of us we have this power that surpasses anything on this earth. (1Peter 1:5) We who are saved by Christ through faith we are shielded by God’s power. Our faith is in Christ and not in the Kings, Queens, and Presidents of this world. We seek God’s favor and we look to him for answers on who we vote for first and foremost because we are not our own we have been bought with a price. (1Corinthians 6:20) We do not seek shelter in our leaders and comrades but in God alone.
The King Asa of Israel inquired of King Ben-hadad who is not an Israelite or a God fearing man for advice. (2Chronicles 15) King Asa made a covenant with God that they would seek God with all their heart. Jesus said “be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”. (2Chronicles 15:7) But, King Asa broke his promise and sought the counsel of a foreign, ungodly King. King Asa had peace for many, many years before he sinned before his God. We don’t consciously give up but slowly we let the world in, because we love stuff/things. The Lord says in his word “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) Jesus Christ makes King Asa lie down in green pastures because on our own we consult with our enemy on things that matter most to us. King Asa’s did not repent but his punishment was mercy from God; he was afflicted with a disease. (2Chronicles 16:12)
When we learn to lie down in green pastures then we can be lead beside quiet waters, he restores our soul. Why would King Asa exchange peace for disobedience?
It is our sinful nature and the hidden desires that awaken our flesh to want more. (Romans 7:14-17)
In the last several months my eating regime has change because I no longer eat dairy and wheat; wheat is in everything. I suffer from migraines and God show me what was causing it and Praise God! We experience learning curves: gluten free doesn’t mean wheat free. But, lately I found myself in sin. Living in a small town has its disadvantages like variety of organic or prices for wheat free and dairy free are outrages. So, lately when I enter the grocery store I have come unglued and screaming in my head “I hate coming here; Lord there is nothing I can eat here… I hate this feeling inside me… I hate it…everything is so expensive…ehhhhh!!!” We have two restaurants that serve Mexican which has corn tortillas which is on my lists. But, also I become selfish to my needs before others in my renew group and church family. Just because I have new needs doesn’t give me the right to push it on my fellow believers. I realized I was ungrateful with God for not totally healing me. Jesus Christ was making me lie down into this new life he has given me and I was fighting with him. Repenting of my sin towards him he was able to lead me along the quiet waters and restore my soul. This journey has become a new adventure with Jesus Christ which is pain free. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3)
Are you fighting with God for making you lie down in green pastures? Do not be like King Asa’s and fight with God and then not repent. He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. (Proverbs 28:26)
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, ²for they will prolong your life for many years and bring you prosperity. ³Let love and faithfulness never leave you: bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. ⁴Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. ⁵Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ⁶in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.⁷Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. ⁸This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:1-8)
O Lord we thank you that you surrendered yourself so we could live and live for your cause. Thank you that you make us to lie down in green pastures and lead us beside the still waters and you restore our souls.
Father, I pray that “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (1Chronicles 7:14) In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.