Saturday, February 1, 2014
WE SHALL NOT WANT
Well, this morning I am back into the Psalms: chapter 23, verse 1. Sometimes I do not get very far before I am stunned by what I am thinking.
It all started with the difference between the King James and the New International Versions: …I shall not want or I shall not be in want. I have long surmised that those extra words in the NIV were superfluous and I still prefer to quote the KJV on this.
Truth is that either way, this promise can be easily misinterpreted to mean that our lives with Christ will be a “Bed of Roses.” We will coast along with all the grand elegance of a king or queen entering a room and all will be well for us forever. Wrong.
Even if our lives can be said to be a “Bed of Roses” with Christ, we must always remember that non-hybrid roses come with lots and lots of thorns. These thorns are actually there to prevent us from fooling with them and, therefore, not cutting them and taking them into the house to die. They are meant to beautify the world around us as they are, but we have found a way to enjoy them indoors in spite of the thorns…gloves!
Meanwhile, this is not to say that we should not cut them. The roses are doomed to die on the bush if not in our vases. And taking the bloom off the bush actually encourages the bush to grow more roses. It’s a win-win situation. But many a gallant gentlemen has ended up with pricked fingers in his efforts to bring a lady a rose or two.
Our lives follow suit: If we know the Lord, we will blossom and God will use pruning to bring us to producing even more blooms. We will have thorns in our lives, but God will never abandon us to those thorns in an effort to not be hurt by the thorns when He is working with us. He will go out of his way to make sure that all that we truly need is provided for us in abundance:
Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be pour into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
Basically, the more of ourselves we give to God, the more abundant our lives will be in our relationship to Him.
You see, this is not about physical things or earthly gain; this is about our relationship with God, Himself, and the heavenly gains we will receive from it. Many of those gains will benefit our walk here on the earth; but all will benefit our future relationship with God and our Lord Jesus Christ when we meet them in Heaven.
Psalm 23 is all about our relationship with our Lord through a look at the relationship He has chosen to have with us as our Lord. He generously wills to provide abundant life (John 10:10); but our abundance is in our relationship with Him and what we do to keep ourselves close to Him. So long as we keep giving ourselves and all that we have to Him, He will keep providing abundance. But, regardless of whether we choose to walk that closely with Him or not, He will never abandon us. He is our Shepherd. He will keep us moving along toward a more abundant life, even if we refuse an abundant life right up to going to meet Him in Heaven.
He is our Shepherd. He the one we are to recognize. He is the one we are to follow. He is the one we must focus on every single day. He will lead us to wonderment and glorious living. No one else and nothing else can do that.
May we be absolutely habitual in aiming our life toward you, Lord, every single day or our lives. May we give so much of ourselves to you that we can be fully used of you to bring abundance into other lives, and into ours as well. May we “be still and know that You are God” and follow you to still waters and green pastures no matter how hopeless that seems to us at the time.
Lord, help us to believe that Psalm 23 can be true in our lives as we aim to follow you, and only you, in this life. In Jesus name and for his sake, Amen