Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Prayer to be still

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David

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 guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
For Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Father, I love studying Your names.  I wish I could study them on my own, but I lack the education to.

Each name is a portion of Your character, a part of You and who You are.  They reveal a tender part of You.

Like being my Shepherd, a tender care taker who not only looks out for my safety, my nourishment, my protection, but who has adopted me as one of Your own.

When studying this name for You, I learned that a shepherd will sometimes discipline a wayward sheep by breaking its leg.  Then as the lamb heals, that same shepherd will carry that sheep in the crook of his arm, close to his heart.  Until, healed, that lamb prefers to stay close to that shepherd.

And I am like that lamb, right?

I had not noticed the intensity of the verse 2 before.  (How could I have missed it?  Could it be that this part of the living Word was not yet alive for me?)

"He makes me lie down in green pastures."  He makes me lie down.  You, You make me lie down.  You make me rest.  You tell me I need refreshment, to be still and close to You.

You show me that I am a foolish sheep wanting my own way, not realizing that Your way is best.  Was I too busy doing?  Was I too busy filling my day with service to You that You turned and made me lie down.  You gave me the Pain that forces me to stop and lie down.

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to ceasae to the end of the earth,
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
'Cease striving and know that I AM God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.'
The LORD of Hosts is with us,
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. [Selah.
Psalm 46:8-11

Be still.  Cease striving.  Stop doing, working, trying.  

To be still is defined by Strong's as "to sink, to let drop, abandon, relax."

Exalted, on the other hand, is defined as "to rise up".  

Thus I am to be still, drop my work to rest, to sink down low.  And You, Father, are to rise up!  Whoa!  What an awesome picture!  It reminds me of John the Baptist's words, "'A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.  You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.'  He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice.  And so this joy of mine has been made full.  He must increase, but I must decrease.'"  (John 3:37-30)

Father, if I allowed myself to be exalted above You in any way, took credit for something that was truly a gift from You, forgive me.  Pride can come even when I was teaching and encouraging others.

I admit I was proud.  Proud to be used by You.  (You would use me?  Needed me!)  I should have humbly conveyed my unworthiness to You, the fact that I on my own could not achieve anything.  But You could fill me with Your Spirit and use me.

I see now that You do make me lie down in green pastures.  Help me to be still, quiet, restful that I may know that You are the Great I AM God.  Like the sheep I am restless, antsy, uncertain even.

I want to be still and know You as God, to know You as my Shepherd.  I open my hands and release whatever it is I've been holding on to and I accept this peace, this quiet, this restfulness from You.  

And with the still-ness, I know You better
.  Amen.

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