Early on in my walk as a Believer, a mentor of mine pulled me aside and explained to me that throughout my life I would always find myself somewhere within Psalm 23.
I was going through a hard time adjusting—trying to make the jump from my previous life as a Believer. It was not an easy transition for me. So, when this Father of the faith pulled me aside I was in desperate need of encouragement.
I raced home afterward to read this treasured Psalm that is so often used to console us in death, but was really written for those of us experiencing life in the here and now.
Let’s break it down…
“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.”—Psalm 23:1 [AMP]
This entire Psalm is a reminder of God’s covenant promises to us. Just like the shepherd risks his own life to protect his helpless flock, so our Heavenly Father watches after each one of us.
The statement, “I shall not want” is a reminder that as a covenant child, I can rely on God to provide for me.
When lack appears in our lives, as it often can, instead of walking in fear we are reminded that when we place our faith in Him, we will have provision.
“He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.”—Psalm 23:2 [AMP]
When I first read this scripture, I was under the assumption that this meant the world around me would slow down, while I rested in Him…
But that has never been my experience, just the opposite. When I rest in Him, the world at large continues to rush by, but despite this, God is faithful to provide resting places along life’s busy, often hectic journey, bringing rest to His saints.
“He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”—Psalm 23:3 [AMP]
God will reroute us when we begin to veer off course. It says that He does this to protect His good name. This is not because of His personal ego, this is because He wants others to see His faithfulness in our lives. He wants to prove to those around us, that His children when they fall, will get back up again. He corrects us, in order that we might show others that by our living a Godly life within the boundaries set in His Word, He truly has abundant blessings.
“Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.”—Psalm 23:4 [AMP]
God doesn’t promise us that we will not confront frightening things. However, He reminds us that during those times, He is standing with us. If we choose to listen He will direct each one of our steps, even through the most difficult experiences.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil; my cup overflows.”—Psalm 23:5 [AMP]
He also doesn’t promise that our lives will be without confrontation. As the Body of Christ, our very lives should contradict the forces of darkness at work around us. However, God provides special meeting times called the Feasts of the Lord where Believers are invited to place their feet beneath His table. Each one providing quality instruction as we move throughout the year.
“Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”—Psalm 23:6 [AMP]
Finally, at the close of our lives, we should be able to look back upon our walk with Him, and see that He has provided us with a quality and more than abundant life, dwelling in His presence.
We hope that you have enjoyed this walk through the 23rd Psalm…
This Psalm has become a great source of encouragement for me over the years. Understanding that God is my source of strength and support in every area of my life allows me to find joy and strength in every season. May you be greatly encouraged, and may you feel the tangible presence and love of our Heavenly Father who has not allowed one detail of our lives to go unnoticed.