(Courtesy of BibleGateway)…
[ The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd. ] [ A Psalm of David. ] The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. [Psalm 23:1-3]
For me, the whole 23rd Psalm is more than a verse… It’s my daily devotional, a heart-felt declaration, my reminder of where I’ve come from, where I am now, where I am going, and answers– Who it really is, that is with me, and for me, along the way. He is more than a song, to me… “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”!!!
If I may today– I would like to share with you ‘something more’ I recently, and finally, “got” out of this passage. It has changed my life again and has left me wondering “How many times can I ‘walk through the valley of the shadow of death’, actually feel like I’ve died, and yet live to tell about it?” (This is not really a question, but rather- a testimony.)
I’ve been waiting for the right time to share, and I believe this is it… The Word actually opened the door for me this morning. “Yeah!” (Sadly, up until today, this door has been closed to me. I feel really bad about this- especially for appearing to have abandoned the few friends I have here. But I do think that it is as important to know where not to go, as it is- to “go there”. Unfortunately, we are not always told why.)
As beautiful and truly meaningful as this whole Psalm is to me, I couldn’t quite grasp what He was telling me in the 2nd and 3rd lines for the longest time, until I asked Him again recently. Sure- they both sounded beautiful, a nice thing to do, and somewhat familiar, but- I wasn’t truly “getting it”… until that day.
It started with a dream, maybe it was a vision, but either way- I woke up from it. But before I did, this is what I saw–
“He makes me lie down in green pastures”. As a kid I can remember lying in a field of cut grass, gazing intently at the majestic, overwhelming, over-powering, sometimes star-filled, but always consuming sky above me- in awe. There is something about the marvelous and glorious works of the Lord that you can’t help but be drawn in and declare it, even to yourself. So here I laid, now with wrinkles on my face for having “been there” many times and decades since, and all I could see was Him. There’s nothing to my right, my left, or anywhere else around me. I was, and am, consumed by Him. And it’s not just the Heavens that can declare His glory now, but me also. I could see that when I’ve been still and looking upward, focused directly on Jesus, everything else in my life falls into alignment. “Now I get it!” He knows exactly where I am and I… Him. “Thank You Lord!”
Proverbs 4:24-26 (NASB)
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 26 Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established.
Luke 4:20 (NASB)
20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NASB) Jesus, the Example
1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
“He leads me beside quiet waters”. Yes, He sure does! And when Jesus was walking with me beside the quiet [still, peaceful, refreshing, tranquil – as other Bible translations have recorded it] waters, I couldn’t help but notice the mirror in the flat calm water- no ripples or waves to speak of. All I could see was a reflection of Jesus and me. And then- there I was. The attention to detail was on me. So as I stared back at myself in the mirror, seeing first-hand my own reflection- and that to others, I was immediately reminded of who I should be –with Jesus. So when I leave this quiet, still, peaceful, refreshing, and tranquil place… I am to remember just who it is I am –with God.
1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (NASB)
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NASB)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
James 1:22-24 (NASB)
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
(“Lord please… Give me Your eyes and heart.”)
Galations 3:26-29 (NASB) Especially for my sisters, out there…
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
So– feeling very awake at present, I can say with confidence… “Jesus led me here, this dream is for real.” ~ For the Lord is my Shepherd… <3
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord.” Psalm 19:1
“He makes me lie down in green pastures”, and when I look up for Him, these are a very few scenes captured, from my perspective…
“He leads me beside quiet waters.”
And, of recent…
If I were to lie down in this snow covered green pasture, lift up my eyes and move my limbs, does it make me an angel? I’m thinking not. But sometimes… it doesn’t hurt to dream. ;)
Psalm 19 The Perfect Revelation of the Lord To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. 6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.