"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Reflect on Psalm 23 and briefly share where you feel God has you resting beside still waters, in need of comfort and assurance, in the dark valley of death, and before the presence of your enemies.
Psalm 23 (KJV)23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Because I’m a parent, it seems that moments of “resting beside still waters” are much rarer than they used to be. However, there are moments when I feel this calm and comforting touch from God where He leads me into His presence. These times seem to come only when I am alone with Him and when the atmosphere is primed for His presence. This happens usually when I am listening to worship music whether driving or doing work for His Kingdom. It is during this time that some of my best work and writing is done, however I give Him the glory. There are moments when what comes out on the keyboard is greater than I would have ever imagined myself writing or performing. That is why I know it is only Him and not my abilities. He never ceases to amaze me with the things He does for and through me.
The moments that I feel ”in need of comfort, assurance, and in the dark valley of death” are unfortunately present between the times of “resting beside still waters”. These moments come when I am under attack whether big or small, it seems God is a million miles away. I call it my roller coaster of faith. I am sure many others feel the same way, but when the enemy comes against me, I often forget “He abides with me”. All I must do is call upon His presence by inviting Him in the situation and He takes the wheel from there. Calling on God eliminates the need to feel alone and as if I am “in the dark valley of death.” His presence brings light to dark and exposes all evil for what it is.
Professional and ministry failure also brings me to feel that I am in need of “comfort and assurance.” When God comes on the scene, all that sorrow is replaced with the wisdom and understanding of God. Success is only found in our failures. If we try, then fail, then try again making the necessary adjustments, we are sure to eventually achieve anything God sets our hearts to. It is even better when it is in the presence of my enemies. Many trials involving my enemies are only “set ups” by God, to showcase His glory through me. I have had people tell me how crazy it is for me to pursue ministry and give my life in service. Many of them have not said it with their mouths, but have indirectly said it with their actions, expressions, and lack of support. It is no longer popular to work for the Lord, but only to look out for oneself in today’s society. When God brings success, it is amazing that it is within viewing range of the enemy somehow. Thank God for His blessings on me!