walk in the word
Category: Your Walk With God
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23:2-3
Last week we looked at one of the most familiar and loved verses of Bible. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” This week, we’ll get to the proof.
God does two things to get our attention:
Did you notice that He makes you lie down in green pastures? It literally means the tender grass. This is not the mature grass that’s ready for mowing. It’s the early, nutrient-rich sprouts of grass. In sheep terms, it’s the best grass has to offer. Usually when the grass gets brown the shepherd has to lead them to new fields. This grass is so rich that the sheep never needs to move to be satisfied. This picture is of the Lord’s plentiful supply in one place, always. Green pastures—it’s where God restores your soul.
Question: what should you do in these intimate places with God? Answer: you don’t run or pace; you lie down. I have commended to you before the idea of physically lying down in humility and dependence, prostrate in prayer before the Lord. If you want God to restore your soul, begin by finding a place to meet with Him all by yourself and on your face.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. I think this part is puzzling. It doesn’t say, “He helps you lie down” or “He suggests that lying down in green pastures would be a good idea if you could find time.” Clearly it says: God makes you lie down. Now God is more than capable of making you lie down. You think, “I’ll just press on.” That may work for a while, but the Lord loves you and He knows how desperately you need time with Him. You cannot neglect your relationship with Him for long without a major collapse. He also wants that time and intimacy with you. If you neglect it, the day is coming when He will make you lie down.
You say, “Well I’m lying down, but it’s not very green where I am.” Right. Maybe your green pastures are only green from God’s perspective because of the good they could produce. Maybe your green pasture is a hospital bed. Maybe you’ve recently been to a funeral or you’re in your boss’s office with a pink slip in your hand. Maybe your green pasture is a penetrating loneliness or a painful relationship with a child or your spouse. Maybe it’s a persistent financial need and God has made you lie down in that green pasture. That’s the crisis of soul restoration.
Here’s the process. “He leads me beside still waters” (v.3). This is the place where God continually restores your soul. Shallow waters run fast and make a lot of noise. A fast verse of Scripture in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other doesn’t produce depth. But still waters run very deep. Jesus, your Shepherd, leads you to that deep place and brings quietness to your soul. Your Shepherd will restore your soul beside the still waters.
Do you need that today? “I know I need my soul restored when . . .
Little things put me over the edge. “Why was I so upset about that?
I can’t turn off the day and I’m fearful of starting a new one.
My plate is too full and my heart is too empty.
I can’t find my Bible and I’m not praying about anything specifically.
I have no self-control over temptation.
You can’t miss the fact that Christ repeatedly got alone. There were times when He said, “Sorry. Not today.” He left a group of people on the shore. He walked away from a crowd standing in a field. He removed Himself from the disciples. He woke up before daylight and went to a solitary place to pray. And if Jesus—God, the very Son of God—could not live on this earth without walking beside still waters, without lying down in green pastures, then how arrogant of us to think that we can get by without doing the same.
I want to challenge you to move from being just a hearer of the Word to actually doing it (James 1:22). Make a decision that before this week is over, you will spend three separate hours alone with the Lord. Plan it right now:
If you’re saying, “I need that, I want that, and I’m willing to take that challenge,” make the commitment to do it—three hours alone with Him beside the still waters. Let the restoration begin.
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