“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” Sound familiar?
Psalm 23 is likely one of the most recognizable chapters in the Bible. We learn it in Sunday School, see it in funeral programs, and notice it on church décor. Even those who do not attend church have likely heard this psalm a few times during their life.
When verses and chapters become familiar to us, we tend to not pay as close of attention to them. When we see it in our Bibles, it can be tempting to think, “Oh, I know what this says already. Why read it again?”
Here’s why: because the Bible is a “living document.” In 2 Timothy 16-17, Paul writes, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The word of God always has something new to glean and learn, even if it’s from a familiar passage.
Recently, I was reading through Psalms and came across chapter 23. I almost skipped it, but decided to read it again, and as I did, the familiarity faded and I felt as though I was reading it with new eyes. As I read, three questions came to mind that I was challenged with that I wanted to challenge you with as well.
Question 1: Am I allowing God to lead me?
God is always in control of what is happening, but we also have free will. With that, we can choose to let God lead our lives or be led by our fleshly desires. The opening of Psalm 23 beautifully shows what we can gain from surrendering and allowing God to lead our lives.
Psalm 23 verses 1-3 state:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
As I read this again, I realized that if God is my shepherd, which means you give him control of your life, look at what there is to gain. God will meet your needs, give you peace, restore you, and lead you down a path of righteousness and not destruction. How wonderful does that sound?!
However, we have to surrender to God and allow Him to lead in order to gain this. So if your world seems chaotic or unfulfilling, ask yourself, “Am I allowing God to lead me?”
Three life changing takeaways from Psalm 23. Click to read! Click To Tweet
2) Am I camping in the valley?
Psalm 23 verse 4 states:
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.
Recently, I heard a pastor say that this verse clearly states that the “valleys” of life are to be walked through, but some people tend to pitch a tent and camp there.
Sometimes in life, we get bogged down in our circumstances and just decide that’s the way it will always be and figuratively pitch our tent in the valley. We are robbed of all joy that can come from our relationship with God.
During the valleys of life, we must remember the last two lines of this verse, that God is with us and will comfort us as we WALK. If we choose to camp, we are choosing to essentially wallow in our misery.
If you are going through a valley in your life right now, are you walking or camping?
Are you camping in the valley of despair? Click to find out. Click To Tweet
3) Have I lost sight of God’s faithfulness?
Continuing with the valley analogy, sometimes in these valleys of life, we take on a “woe is me” attitude and completely ignore all of the blessings that God has given us.
Verse 5-6 give us a glimpse of those blessings:
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 will dwell in the house of the Lord
If we trust God, this shows that if we were to put our “blessings” in a cup, it will run over the top, goodness and mercy will be following us everywhere and we will spend eternity with God- the ultimate blessing.
Time to ask yourself, “Have I lost sight of God’s faithfulness?” If you feel like you have, even if you are not going through a hard time, stop and make an actual list of all the ways that God has been faithful to you. Even on your worst day, you should be able to come up with at least ten.
As an added bonus, as you write, you will feel your spirit life. You literally cannot dwell on bad thoughts and the blessings of God at the same time. Seriously. Try it!
I hope you find this post challenging and uplifting and remember to not skip the familiar passages; there’s always something new to discover.
Are there any other takeaways from this chapter you could come up with?
Did you ask yourself the questions?
Love to all,
More about our Ministry
At Transformed4More, our goal is to help teenage girls grow in their walk with God and provide practical ways for them to navigate through their critical teenage years. Besides our blog posts, we help in two main ways:
- My favorite is through our FREE resource library. In our library, we also have resources to help with dating, friendships, and spiritual growth. You can see what all it offers here. You can gain access to it all by clicking here or the picture below.