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He Restores My Soul

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. —psalm 23:1-3

Do you ever sense in yourself a weariness that is more than physical? Do you find yourself saying, “I am so depleted; I don’t have energy”? If so, you have a soul that needs to be restored.

The soul is the immaterial part of us—the part that is spiritual, eternal, and created in the image of God. It is also the part that gets so depleted in this world, desperately needing to be restored. Modern life has many things that hinder the restoration of our souls. These can include: people, busyness, problems, and coveting.

In Psalm 23, David declares how God’s providential care over his life resulted in the restoration of his soul. The word restore here means “to replenish” or “to return to its original state.” When God restores your soul, He keeps you going. He returns enjoyment to life. This is not mere physical restoration; He restores your soul.

How?  Here are five things that God uses to restore us:

Sleep. Only a third get the recommended eight or more hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, find a way to get it (but not in church!)

Rest. A common picture in Scripture is that of us resting in the Lord, and waiting patiently for Him. Have you ever awakened from a full night’s sleep still tired? You need rest to restore your soul.

Reflection. When you are well-rested, you are ready for reflection. Reflection is the soul gazing upon itself.

Look back - what’s unimportant that has held my attention?

  1. Look up - what is God saying to me in His Word?
  2. Look around - Who am I neglecting? Who have I hurt? Whose needs should I be meeting?
  3. Look ahead -What’s ahead?  How should I be different?

If, however, you try to reflect when you are low on sleep or in need of rest, you will get into a negative thinking pattern that will only be destructive.

Diversion. Do something different from your normal burdens and responsibilities. It’s healthy, and it will restore your soul.

Ministry. When all of these things are in place, ministry becomes a joy and a source of renewal.

We need sleep, rest, reflection, diversion, and ministry. Only then, will we be able to say with David, “He restores my soul.”

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, there are times when I get so weary, I just know I can’t do one more thing. I need You to restore my soul! Help me to get more sleep and rest in quiet times with You. Teach me how to properly reflect on things I should notice, and give me enough diversions to keep me energized! Lastly, show me how I can be used in Your kingdom here, so that the focus of my life is all about You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal:

  • Am I feeling especially weary these days?
  • What are some changes I can make in my lifestyle this week that can help me feel restored?
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