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Beside Quiet Waters

When I first became a Christian, it seemed like everyone was referring to Psalm 23. That was their favorite scripture, or that was what was put inside the memorial folders at funerals. Personally, I thought it was overused and typical. Now that I look back on that thought or memory I think of how I could ever think of God’s word as overused or typical? He clearly instructs us in His word that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Psalm 23 (NKJV) reads:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I share this scripture with you because the truth of the matter, He is our Shepherd and we are His sheep. In my spirit I heard, “The Lord is my Shepherd, He leads me beside quiet waters.” What does it mean to be lead by quiet waters? It requires trust and it requires submission. What are you struggling with today that could be given to your Shepherd? Maybe it is a relationship, maybe it is your financial situation, maybe it’s a health issue, or maybe it is just an everyday life thing that you are going through. Do you trust God to take care of it? Often times we say we trust God, but do we keep what we’ve given Him truly submitted to Him?

When we try to do things in our own strength and in our own way, we are saying “God, I can do better than you…I don’t trust you.” My dear brother and sister, on our own, we are weak, but with God we are strong. Philippians 4:13 puts it this way, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The LORD is our Shepherd, we shall not want. Keeping our circumstances surrendered to Him and trusting Him, we shall not be lacking any good thing. He restores our soul. Doing things on our own breaks us down, makes us weary, and maybe even a little depressed. He leads us in paths of righteousness. If we allow Him, He will show us the better way, a way that will glorify Him, and will be for our good. He promises to always be with us, never to leave us or forsake us. He will bring correction and protection, just as a good good Father does. And, His mercies are new every morning. Through CHRIST I can do all things.

I share this, because this is something that I need as well. Sometimes the things we face in life can cause us to react from our flesh. Maybe we get angry or overwhelmed. We wear that emotion on our face, in our body language…what does this show the world? Nonbelievers? That we do not trust our God, that our fear is bigger than our faith. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 NKJV, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” I’m just as guilty of wearing my emotions for all to see. God created us to be an emotional being. But He also gives us the ability to overcome these emotions by the truth and the Spirit of God that dwells in us. Jesus also said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32, NKJV). We don’t always get things right. This is why we need a Savior. He gave us a beautiful gift, the Holy Spirit. He will guide us into all truth. And as I’ve said before, His mercies are new every morning.

Jesus was with His disciples for three years, and they still weren’t getting everything right. There was never any condemnation there. Jesus was gentle, loving, and Shepherding His sheep beside quiet waters. He never gave up on His disciples, and He will never give up on you. Peter denied Jesus three times before He was crucified…but Jesus came back to Peter and asked him three times, “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” He built Peter back up and once again, Peter had a holy fire burning within to follow the Lord and to spread the gospel. If the Lord can use Peter, He can use you too! We truly serve an amazing God!

©2023 Leslie Wittenmyer—All rights reserved

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