PSALM 23


1.  The Lord is my Shepherd.  As long as He is LORD He can operate as my Shepherd.  At any time He is not my Lord, then something or someone else takes charge over me.  I am the only one who can determine the Position Jesus holds in my life.  He will gladly function as my Shepherd…. as long as I allow Him to. 

2.  I shall not want.  When I recognize Him as Lord and allow Him to function as Lord, I will never want for any good thing.  It is my choice that determines how I live.  If I have chosen Him to be Lord, then this choice has positioned me in a place of abundance…. no lack and no need.  Hallelujah.

3.  He maketh me….  Some of the things He “makes” (commands, requests, orders, tells) me to do are contrary to what I want to do.  And sometimes what He orders me to do seem inappropriate and unnecessary.  This sheep was going places and the Shepherd told him to “lie down.”  Can you imagine the excuses the sheep might have given?  “But, I don’t want to lie down, I’m not even tired yet.”  “I can’t stop now; I’ve got too much to do.”  “I’ve got to hurry and get to the place I’m going…. I’m already late now.”  “But I want to go.  They need me over there.” 

4.  To lie down.  Lie down.  Lay down.  Be still.  Be quiet.  Stop what you are doing.  Quit it.  “Stay.”  “Settle.”  Cool it.  God says:  I want to spend some time with just you, not you and your busy-ness.  Just you.  Just you and Me.  I want you to talk with Me.  Visit with Me.  Slow down and Consider Me.  You are in too much of a hurry.  Lie Down. 

5.  In green pastures.  Once I stop, I discover that the place He stopped me is a place of Green Pastures.  I was hurrying to get to some better place, but God stopped me and I discovered that Where I Am is the Best Place.  The place of nurture.  Rest.  Peace.  Sustenance.  Where He wants me is always the Best Place.  It may look better just a little further on, but here is best.  He placed me and put me and established me.  And now, there is Green Pasture all around. 

6.  He leadeth me beside the still waters.  Still.  There is something about this being “still.”  This means quiet.  Approachable.  Drinkable.  Available.  Where I was going, the water was too swift and troubled to slake my thirst.  I couldn’t even get one drink.  But here, the water is still and I can drink to my heart’s content.  He leadeth.  Not shoveth.  But leadeth.  He has already been where He is taking me.  He is even holding my hand in His.  Therefore, I have nothing to fear. 

7.  He restoreth my soul.  Restoreth.  Our God (Shepherd) is a restoring, reviving, reconciling, renewing God.  Where I have been has been a place of great weariness.  The course has been exhausting.  I am drained, Spirit, Soul and Body.  But He restores.  Connecting with Him provides strength.  Energy.  Determination.  Perseverance.  A new beginning.  A fresh start.  Renewed strength.  As He restores my soul (my heart) His strength flows outward into all the tiredness of my spirit and body.  I am Restored and ready to continue.

8. He leadeth me in the paths of Righteousness for His Name’s sake

He leads.  Makes a way.  Shows the path.  Illuminates the course of my life.  Righteousness is the way I want to live but often is not the road on which I travel.  So He takes my hand in His, and He Leads me. He sets the pace and shows the example. He Guides me.  Keeps me surrounded by Righteousness. Right living. Purity of thought. A life focused on Spiritual things. He Protects me from any wrong step heading in a wrong direction. All of this because of His Name’s Sake.  Because of Who He Is and What He does… He insures our integrity and binds us to His Standard… And makes us Like Him.

9. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.. I will fear no evil.  Valleys are dark places.  Especially the one marked Death. Seems no one wants to go there, but it is destined for all of us.  But in the process, we will fear no pitfall or loss of confidence.  We experience all the shadows of death, but see them only as shadows.  Ethereal things.  Not Real.  Only reflections. And He is With Us.  Every step of the way.  Held by His Grip and safe from death things. “For thou are with me…”  And that’s always enough

10. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  His correction is for our protection. His “rod” gently nudges us if we begin to stray.  His “staff” is equal to a “crutch” if we are wounded along the way.  Both his Correction and His Protection are basic characteristics of a Good Shepherd.  We are encapsulated in His Divine Protection and everything is going to be all right.   

11.  Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies. When those who desire my demise and death are surrounding me, when impossibilities threaten, and there is no one is there to encourage, to help, to stand by… Guess what the Good Shepherd does…. He Prepares a Feast for me… a private party with the most delectable and delicious nourishments available, and then, He pulls up a chair, sits down and feasts with me.  While our bewildered enemies stare in wonderment at such a reversal of their evil intent.  I am safe.  I am secure.  I am blessed beyond measure.  HE IS WIH ME.

12.  Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.  The Good Shepherd makes sure all my needs are met… He anoints my head with oil… “Anoint” signifies pouring over me all things that make me “fat” (Heb Dawshane)and prosperous and continues to abundantly provide… until my cup runs over.  I am enabled to live a life continually running over with His Blessings and I can rest secure in all life situations.  His Supply is endless and my cup is always Full.

13. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…  For certain, without doubt, definitely and unquestionable, HIS goodness (not mine, but HIS)and HIS mercy shall literally chase after  me all the days of my life.  I will never be able to outrun the love and faithfulness of the Good Shepherd… they and HE will always be on my heels as long as I live.  Then I will come Home where He lives and stay Home.. at His House throughout eternity.. Forever.    

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  Joh 10:11 

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