"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will 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 anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:1-6
Whenever I have heard this Psalm taught, it has been shared during a time to comfort families who may have been grieving the loss of a loved one or to provide hope during difficult times. However, I would like to share a different perspective, on how it also offers a great example for abundant living. I hope it encourages and refreshes you as you read it.
Relationship - David begins the Psalm declaring "the Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I want." David found comfort and security in the thought that God cared for him like a shepherd cares for his sheep. Shepherds have great love for their sheep, so much so, that if one sheep was lost, the shepherd would leave the entire flock, to go and find the lost one. This relationship was one of trust, love, concern and dependence. Having an intimate relationship with the Lord gives us abundant confidence and hope that our lives are in the right hands and all our needs (not wants) will be supplied for by the LORD, our shepherd.
Rest - The LORD as a Shepherd knew how to make David rest when he needed it, just as a shepherd would care for his sheep. The implication is that sheep don't always know what they need and what is best for themselves, and so needs the help from the shepherd. The shepherd also knew the good places to make his sheep rest. He faithfully guides the sheep to green pastures. Our lives are more abundant when we have adequate rest and the Lord can help us get the BEST rest possible!
Renewal - It is so important for us to be renewed so we can live abundantly each day. Life can be very overwhelming, challenging and downright hard. This is when we need to be still and let God speak to us so we can be renewed. When we allow ourselves time for meditation and reflection, God will lead us along the right paths, for His glory and for our benefit. David's soul was restored by the figurative green pastures and still waters the shepherd brought him to, just as will we be restored and renewed when we yield to God's guidance. Daily renewal is important to help us stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize.
Abundant living is a choice...we can choose to live a life that is miserable or full of the abundant love and grace that is offered through the love of Jesus Christ. I hope you are ready and refueled to accomplish everything set before your path, while living an abundant life!
Catch you later,
Yolanda, Crown-n-Glory CEO