Psalm 23:1-3 ESV
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.”
Because the Lord Jesus is my Shepherd, I am not lacking in any good thing. I have all that I need to survive, for as long as the Lord wants me to live. I trust completely in his sovereignty over my life. And, I believe that he is working everything in my life for my ultimate good, as he defines good.
I have no cause to fear anything, for I know God is in control. I know that nothing will come my way unless God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. And, I believe he will bring good out of it in my life, even out of some of the most painful of circumstances I have had and may yet have to face in my life. For, he is a loving God. So, I rest in him secure.
He teaches me to rest in him, and to find my security in him alone. He instructs me in the way he would have me to go. He leads me to peace in him, and to find my all sufficiency in him alone. He counsels and helps me when I don’t know what to do or what to say, or which way to turn. And, he leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Amen!
Psalm 23:4 ESV
“Even 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.”
I have had many dark valleys in my life, but the Lord has brought me through them all to safety. And the way things are going in our world today, and based on prophecy of Scripture, I know there are many more to come, and that they are only going to get more severe with the passing of time.
When we read prophecy of Scripture, we know the kinds of things that are coming and that are already here. So, none of what is going on in our world or in our nations should unsettle us. The Bible foretold this all a long time ago. So, we don’t have to be afraid. And, we definitely should not let it lead us to fight among ourselves, especially over things which may not even exist, in reality. For, Satan is the great deceiver, remember?
No matter what we go through, though, if we are walking with Jesus in close fellowship with him, we can be assured that he is with us, that he is watching over us, and that he will lead us step by step in what to do. He will prod us if we are going the wrong direction, and he will show us the right way to go. And, he will help us through every circumstance that we will face.
Psalm 23:5-6 ESV
“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
The Sovereignty of God
I was talking with someone this evening about what I consider to be the biggest turning point in my Christian walk. The year was 2002. I was reading through a book called, “The Bondage Breaker,” by Neil T. Anderson (1).
And, I came to the part about asking God if there was anyone I had not yet forgiven. The only name he gave me was “Jesus.” The Holy Spirit immediately pricked my heart, and I knew right away that this was of God, and that he was revealing this to me.
And, I understood immediately what that meant, too, although I had never considered it before. The Holy Spirit revealed to my heart that, because of all the abuse I had faced in my life, that I was holding unforgiveness in my heart toward Jesus for not protecting me from it all, and there was much that I had suffered, too (over the span of 70 years now)!
And, the reason all this unforgiveness was in my heart, too, was because I didn’t trust in the sovereignty of God over my life. Intellectually I did. But, in practice, I didn’t. For my actions revealed the truth about what I believed, even though in my mind I believed the opposite, or so I thought.
So, at that moment in time, I accepted God’s sovereign plan for my life. And I have had to continue to accept it, and to yield to God’s purpose for my life, even at times when I didn’t understand it all.
And, I still must do that. I must believe that God has my best in mind, and that he is working all things in my life for my good, and that his purposes are way above what I am going to always comprehend. But I still have to trust him and yield to his control. And, I must rest in HIM in all things.
The enemy wants me living in fear. The enemy wants me lamenting my suffering. The enemy wants me escaping reality as a way of dealing with the pain. So, when I trust God’s sovereign plan for my life, and I don’t cave to what the enemy wants for my life, then God gets the victory, and I am able to live in that victory over the enemy. Glory to God!
Armor of God
The second half of this, which I found in the same book, was my discovery of what it means that Jesus won the battle against Satan for us, and how that works in our everyday lives.
I was severely abused as a child. I was deathly afraid of my dad. So, when he would come at me, I would cross my arms in front of my face, hoping to not get hit, yet pretty sure I was going to get hit anyway.
What I realized is that, a lot of times, I was resisting Satan’s advances against me in the same way, hoping to not get hit, but fairly sure I was going to get hit anyway. So, I had a defeatist approach to Satan’s attacks against me. So, there were times when he did defeat me, and I caved.
So, what I learned is that this battle has already been won. Satan has no power over me. Jesus already defeated him at the cross. There is not a question as to who is going to win. Satan is already a defeated foe.
So, I must take up that shield of faith and that Sword of the Spirit, and I have to fight Satan with full confidence, based on God’s Holy Word, and fight his lies with the truth. I realized I had to use offensive weapons against my enemy, not just defensive ones, especially not ones with holes in them.
And, through the power of the Spirit, I have been able to live in victory over the enemy of my soul, and to trust in the sovereignty of God over my life.
And, two years later the Lord Jesus called me to this present ministry of writing what he teaches me each day from his word, and of placing these writings on the internet, and the Lord takes it from there.
But this would not have happened if I had not yielded to the Lord’s sovereign plan for my life and if I had not learned how to resist Satan.
Soldiers of Christ Arise
Lyrics by Charles Wesley, pub. 1741
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies, through His Eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.
Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul;
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole.
From strength to strength go on; wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well-fought day.
*Caution: This link may contain ads
*Not an endorsement of everything written in this book or of the author