[ecko_quote source="Psalms 23:1-2"] The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; [/ecko_quote]
In the twenty-third Psalm, God has given us a description of the process He uses in training King’s kids (we are the King’s kids). It’s true that we are instantly transformed into new beings when we are born again. In this new dimension of Christian life, soon after the new birth comes either stagnation or growing toward maturity. This growth is dependent on our willingness to cooperate with what He wants to do in us. Let’s look at what happens in the lives of those who choose to grow
The Lord is my Shepherd (v.1): These first two verses of the Psalm acknowledges Jesus as the Lord. King’s kids in training take every one of life’s circumstances and acknowledge Him to be in charge because once they have become new creatures, “all things are of God (2 Cor 5:18). Knowing that, Kings kids never have to bog down in appearances or feelings; they can rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is in control. The first three words make a positive statement of fact, “The Lord is”. Those who come to God must believe He is, the Scripture says, and that He hears and answers prayer (Heb 11:6).
When the Lord is the Lord in and of our lives, we can say, I shall not want (v.1): These words of the Psalm means that I refuse to be caught lacking for anything in my life. It does not guarantee that I will get everything I ask for, but that I will have everything I need. Most of us would be in a mess if we got everything we asked for. But God is not afraid of saying no when what we request is not His best for us. However, sometimes He lets us have our way in order to teach us something.
In the next verse, we come to the first step of training a sheep, or a King’s kid: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures(v2). According to me, after I had become a King’s kid, I thought I was supposed to run all over the beautiful green pasture, doing my own thing in perfect freedom. But the Lord said, “Down, boy. And stay down until I ask you to move”. Obedience is the first lesson we have to learn in becoming Kings kid in action. We have to obey His instructions to wait when everything of self in us is protesting. We might think “But I have got to get out there and get busy for you, Lord”. Getting ‘busy for the Lord” with all kinds of programmes is one of the commonest ways of evading God’s will. It generally means that we are doing our own thing, and God never honours that.
God has given us a number of persuasive checkpoints for determining whether we are doing our thing or His thing i.e. doing His will. When a servant of God comes back from an assignment totally exhausted, we can know that he has been working like a bee out there operating his own programme, under his own power. But when God’s servant has been out there forty years and is still as fresh as Moses was after the wilderness, we can know he is been operating in the power of God. We can tell it every time.
Learning to lie down and do nothing is the hardest thing imaginable for a King’s kid who is all fired up, raring to get out there and serve Jesus. Early in my Christian life, I did a lot of complaining about it. “ Lord, you are wasting my time, “ I’d point out to Him, “ you must not have understood how valuable I am to your kingdom”. It seemed as if He said, “ I think I do”. Elijah complained to God one time in about the same way I did ( I King 19). He said, in effect, Lord, it’s a good thing you have got me on your team. Without me, why, you’d be out of business, because I am the only one left who is faithful to you”.
Did God say, “ That’s right. I can’t afford to lose you?. No way, What He said was, “ I have got news for you, Elijah, I have got seven thousand more who have not bowed their knees to Baal. I can wheel them out of the crack any time I need them. And since you think you are all that indispensable. I am going to have to put you on the shelf for a while. I will prove I can get along perfectly well without you.
I can use you if you will be obedient, of course, but you have got to learn to lie down and wait before you can walk in my victory. Before you can be led by my Spirit, you have got to get to the place where you are willing to obey me in spite of circumstances. Before we can ever go out on our own, we have to learn to follow where He leads us.
To be continued...