One of the most famous Psalms is Psalm 23. Christians and none Christians alike can quote a few verses if not all. This morning, I laid in bed during a difficult time for me. I went to read Psalms 23. It’s almost like an automatic response: here comes distress, let me turn to Psalms 23. There’s an unspoken guarantee that a verse or two will bring encouragement. While reading, I basically knew what sentence would come next because it’s a very familiar text. However, the scripture felt a little different.
I kept reading and it felt like forever had passed before I arrived to “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…..” For some odd reason I always thought that verse came earlier. I was in such a rush to read “ Even though I walk” I almost missed the importance of what David said in the earlier verses. The first thing David did, was reaffirm to himself who God is.
“Lord, You are my Shepherd. I shall not want.”Psalm 23:1 NASBDavid used the word shall….. showing us that he’s speaking to the future— David is confirming that regardless of what’s to come he SHALL not want. Even if right now it seems like I am in lack, because God is my shepherd I shall not want.
He continues “ He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul, He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”Psalm 23: 2 NASB David declares who God is, what He will do and what He has done! It is only after these declarations that he reflects on his current situation- the valley of the shadow of death. David’s current circumstance is reflected through the light of God’s character and His promises.
If only we can see our situations in light of God’s character and His promises. Imagine the difference in our responses to the “ valley of the shadow of death”.
It is so interesting to me that David called this season of his life the valley of the shadow of death. A shadow is only created when an object prevents light from shining through it. So instead of seeing the light itself, we see the silhouette of the object.
It makes me wonder, What is preventing God’s light from shining in our circumstances? The truth is that answer is usually the person staring back at us in the mirror.
David was so sure of God’s promises that even his words aligned with God’s character. He never confessed that he was in the valley of death. No it was the shadow of death. Which means that death might have wanted to overtake him and take him out, BUT BECAUSE GOD WAS HIS SHEPHERD DEATH ITSELF COULD NOT CONSUME HIM. The enemy could only use death’s shadow to intimidate David.
I pray that we see God’s light that’s shining in the midst of the circumstance. His light creates a shadow symbolizing and assuring us of His continual presence. Regardless of where we are, even if it’s in the midst of death itself. Death stood in the valley but behind it God shined His light confirming to David that His life would not end here. I want to encourage someone today, that your life won’t end here. There is so much more to come. In this life and eternity!
A shadow in and of itself can not hurt you, it is meant only to intimidate you! Refuse to be moved by what you see and instead stand on God’s Word! Declare that God is your Shepherd! You may have to go through the valley to get to the land of plenty!
Faith does not require visibility to believe. Faith requires knowledge; knowing who God is. Knowing that nothing is impossible with God. We can then stand in confidence saying “ I shall not fear my current situations. I know who is with me! I know who my Shepherd is!”
I think we worry and are afraid because we never look at our situations in light of who God is! We look at God in light of our situations. The situation becomes more real to us than God and His word.
“ By faith [ that is with inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the world’s [ universe, ages] were framed and created [ formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.Hebrews 11:3 AMPFACT: Your life is not formed by what you see; it is what you do not see that will define the quality of your life. God wants us to understand, that what we can access with our five senses are not as impactful as what we can access with our spirit. Consider this, before you actually do or think something there are spiritual suggestions. As Christians, that suggestion is given to us by the Holy Spirit. Who speaks a word and we decide if and how we will act. None of these things are visible. Our world was and is formed by so much that we will never see, yet we know it’s there. This was God’s intention, this is His Word! He spoke and it was—- If we navigate from God’s intentions whose intentions are we pursuing?What if David allowed what was visible to Him to lead his life? Aww man, poor David, poor us. Imagine if we allow what we see to guide our life? The reality is –this world and its systems are broken. God is the only true and constant thing. God who will stand the test of time and cannot be shaken. God who we cannot see! If we take our life out of God’s hands, we put our life in the hands of what we can see. We are then led by what is broken and temporary! This was never the intention of God, our Shepherd!
Financial lack is temporary
Pain is temporary
Sickness is temporary
Worry is temporary
But it becomes permanent when we don’t SEE and KNOW GOD FOR WHO HE IS!
All of these things are just shadows. God is right there shining His light; in His mercy and love He reassures us of His presence.
When we understand that our life is made up of what we do not see, our choices depend less on what’s in front of us and more on who is within us. We won’t be motivated by our circumstances but by God’s will!
I wrote this a few weeks ago and the Lord is showing me that even in the midst of the valley the shadow will remain, but as long as the shadow is there I know for a FACT that His light is there. It’s not easy right now and it’s hard to push through my feelings but I choose to keep walking! I choose Him, I choose trust!
After the valley, God in His mercy prepares a table for us! Keep walking the time to eat is coming! It won’t just be one plate it’s a WHOLE TABLE!
With Love through Christ, Nadesha
But just as it is written [ in scriptures] “ Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him [ who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed]. 1 Corinthians 2: 9 AMP