[ecko_quote source=" Psalms 23:4"]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[/ecko_quote]
As I submit myself fully to God’s leadership in the paths of righteousness, I don’t find myself in a restricted kind of life. He allows me lots of choices. “Lord,” I tell Him, “here are two ways I can go in this situation. They look almost opposite to me. My wisdom is not good enough to sort them out; my trust has to be in you. I am going to take the path that seems most reasonable to me, but I will trust you to block it if that’s not in line with your best will for me”. I don’t sit and shiver and quake, fearful that I might slip-up. I get the body in motion because there is no way you can steer a parked car. If I keep moving, God can lead me.
Suppose I make a wrong turn? I have done that, more than once, and God has always been faithful to correct me. Often, I have had to make a wrong turn in order to find the right road. God never promised to make us goof -proof ( blunder free) overnight. That’s what Shepherd’s staff is for, to fish the sheep out of trouble.
The Psalmist seemed to know that we might land in dire circumstances from time to time. The next he says is “ Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (v4). Death is a shadow, an illusion. In addition, death for the Christian is graduation day, nothing to be feared. My mother graduated that way. She slept in the night and woke up across the border. King’s kids can graduate with no fear of evil. I know that personally because I have encountered certain death on a number of occasions since I have known Jesus. I feared no evil right in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death.
The absence of fear always means the presence of the Lord, just as the Psalmist went on to say: For thou art with me (v4). The sheep and the Shepherd are walking together now because the sheep has learned to pace his walk to that of the one who can keep him from all harm. Thy rod and they staff they comfort me (v4). The rod of correction that had to be used to force the sheep into submissiveness is no longer a torment to him because now he finds it a great delight to do the will of God. The chastening that had been such a hard thing for him to take has brought joyful results.
When a properly submissive spirit has been cultivated within us, the corrective measures of God are always a comfort to us. If we have any feeling of uneasiness in the face of God’ authority, that’s a sure sign the spirit of rebellion is lurking inside us, waiting to go into action, doing its own thing. It is far more blessed to have our wills so in line with His that the rod and staff are a comfort. They make us not afraid of getting into trouble, or revealing our imperfections because we know His crooked pole can fish us out, time after time, and set us back on the straight path.
Do not ever feel that you must be a perfect Christian. It’s not possible. But Jesus in us is perfect, and by the process of our dying to self and letting Him live His life through us, we will more and more resemble Jesus. The end result of this process is exciting. Look at what John wrote about it “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see him as He is (1 John 3:2)
To be continued...