“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. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23 NASB)
The valley of the shadow of death. What does that valley look like for you? It could be the sin you’re struggling with, the death or illness of a loved one, a wayward child, or maybe it’s that situation you’re faced with where all you can do is fall on your knees and cry out to God. Fear no evil. Are you fearful of what the outcome of your valley will be? If you are perhaps you need to take a step back and ask yourself, “Have I really given this situation over to God?” It may be that you’re holding on to that situation or circumstance and haven’t truly released it to the Lord. As long as we have our hands on a situation trying to control the outcome we bind the hands of God to be able to do His work. Release it to the Lord and watch what happens. For You are with Me. In the valleys God is there. On the mountain tops God is there. If you’re not feeling His presence in the season you find yourself in dig deeper into the Word and in worship. God never leaves us or forsakes us. The sad truth is that sometimes when the going gets tough we leave and forsake God! Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Hallelujah that we serve a God who cares for us beyond what we could ever conceive or imagine!!! He is your comfort no matter where you are at in your walk. Let us seek Him first in every situation and circumstance for He is a jealous God. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Though the enemy’s goal is to take you and your family out you DO NOT cower in fear because of the fiery darts that are being thrown at you! No, you take authority of whatever is assailing you, your family, your church and tell satan to BACK HIMSELF UP! The truth is sometimes we too easily forget that the very same authority and power that lives in Jesus Christ and gave Him the grace to be able to endure death upon a cross for our sins LIVES IN US. When the storms of life assail your dominion put on the full armor of God and fight!!! 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (ESV).” We have the power of Christ living in us. Let’s use it! You have anointed my head with oil. God has called you to the season you’re in. Personally, I struggle with some of the places He has me but I rest in the fact that God will never take me where His grace will not sustain me. That’s true for all Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ has anointed each of us to be where we work, to serve where we serve, to worship where we worship and to reach those He has placed in our lives. We are anointed to do His works for the furtherance of His Kingdom. My cup overflows. So often we forget how blessed that we are. I’m guilty of this as much as the next person at times, but the truth is when we neglect to acknowledge how much God has blessed us with we aren’t exhibiting what I like to call an “attitude of gratitude”. Let us be intentional (myself included) about stopping and thanking the Lord for what He gives us from the breath in our lungs to the shoes that cover the soles of our feet to the fact that God has redeemed each of us. We have so much to be thankful for and in the moments where we feel as though our cup is truly overflowing with joy and the goodness of the Holy Spirit let us be intentional about stopping and saying “Thank you, God.” Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life. Oh Lord let that be our prayer, that goodness and lovingkindess will take residence in us all the days of our life. Let us all remember to extend to others the same grace and mercy that you extend to each of us every day. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Let us never get tired of doing good or what is right. There are things God has called us to for which we will not see the harvest for on this Earth. We won’t know the full impact of the faithfulness we cultivate until we are in Heaven. Do not be discouraged if you do not see the fruits of your labor. No matter what things look like in the natural our call as Christians is to be an open vessel for the Lord to do His work in us and through us. Dwell where God has you and He will bless your faithfulness.