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Monday, July 16, 2007

Switching Gears?

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…
(Psalm 23:4 – ESV)

Our idea of blessing, favor and grace is warped by sin. The 23rd Psalm gives us an interesting insight that perhaps you haven’t considered before, and even if you have, it is worth visiting often, and seeing it reflected in other passages of scripture. Here in this Psalm, David begins to speak of God as his shepherd, his leader. He states that God leads him to green pastures, and still waters. The Lord restores his soul as he leads David to paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. It is the hand of God moving David into his place of blessing.

The place of blessing takes many different forms however. David isn’t finished describing what the Good Shepherd leads us into and makes us see and experience His hand in. Notice how David seems to switch gears here, from calm to chaotic. What stared out as still waters and green pastures and a restored soul, suddenly turns into the valley, and the shadow of death, with enemies all around. It would seem as if God is leading him to a place of cursing not blessing.

However, upon careful consideration, he is in the same stream. God is still there, He leads us everywhere and is with us all the time, and we will eventually make it all the way home, no matter which route it takes. Twists and turns only heighten our sense of His faithfulness, if we will but understand what David is saying here.

God is not switching gears; He is switching scenery, showing you that He is in full Shepherd mode no matter where your life finds you. His rod and His staff are there; do you see them in that shadowy, dry and dusty place as easily as you do beside the green pasture and still waters? Whether you do or not, He is just as much there as anywhere.

It is walking by faith not sight. When the sight is a green pasture, or still waters, or your cup runs over, praise the Lord. When you enemies are all around you, when you are in a dry and dusty place where death seems to be casting its long shadow over your soul, praise the Lord. If you are a Christian, mercy and goodness will follow you, and if you have this mindset, your testimony to God’s grace in the dark place will shine a light on others who need encouragement as well. That seemingly strange place of blessing will be a blessing to others in need.

He has anointed your head with the oil of His presence; you are to fear no evil. God’s blessing is upon you as a Christian no matter how dark life seems. His grace will lead you in goodness and mercy all the way home, where you will dwell in His house, forever. When God seems to be switching gears, remember to switch the channels of you perception.

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At 11:32 AM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

There's always a clear view atop the perch of verity here.
Our circumstances may be chaotic or tumultuous... Our God: never.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Amen...the Shepherd knows what He is doing...

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous paul said...

Practical application... Got to love that. I had a chance to put this into practice yesterday. And a chace to praise God through it and after it. He is Holy!

JD, whats your week looking like so far?

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thursday or Friday should be good Paul, 2pm either day, let me know....


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