“He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters.” (NKJV)
Today’s Word is especially for all the busy ‘sheep’ who are constantly running on a non-stop treadmill. Today the Shepherd is calling you into the quietness of His presence, and into the stillness of His very special rest. He longs for all His sons and daughters to come and sit with Him and just lean on His breast as He says “come, lie down in my green pastures; come drink of the crystal living waters I have for you. I want to see you refreshed and whole. I want you to be filled with my presence and my strength, and walking in victory all the way.”
1. Stop and rest. From the beginning of the world, God required His people to set aside time for rest. This is so important to Him that He made it the subject of one of the ten commandments. As with all the laws of the Lord, this was meant to be a blessing to us, as we took time to turn aside from the busyness of the world and simply rest in Him. Most of us would never use a machine daily without giving it some resting time and recharging its battery or refilling it with fuel, but we do that to ourselves, working seven days a week and never taking any time to be restored. Green pastures are what every sheep would want to have – succulent fresh grass which is good to eat and good to rest upon. When we live in the Lord, we have what anyone would ever need – the Source of life and strength, and He is living on the inside of each of us! We have everything we need when we have Jesus, and He is asking us to lean into Him, to rest on Him, to come away and be with Him. In His presence we are renewed and restored. Many of us may not be able to spend many hours in the Presence, but we can turn aside from the daily grind for short pockets of time, invite the Holy Spirit to come, and just step into HIM. This is a great way to lie down briefly on those cooling green pastures and get your batteries recharged! The Psalmist wrote “He makes me to lie down in green pastures” and this is often true. When we continue without times of rest, the Lord finds ways of making us take a break!
2. Learn to be led. The sheep do not have to seek their own pasture because the shepherd leads them to it. Especially in the dry, desert regions of the Bible, sheep could get pretty stressed out if they had to find their own green grassy fields, but this is the job of the shepherd. He is responsible for meeting all the needs the sheep could have, and all He needs from them is that they follow Him to where they have to go. It may seem pretty simple but it is one of the hardest things to do. Most of us have been walking our own way for most of our life, making our own decisions and working hard to survive in a difficult world, so learning to be led by the Lord means we have to unlearn our own way, and learn to hear His voice and yield to it. The good news is that the Holy Spirit helps us when we invite Him to, and He makes it all possible when we step into partnership with Him. What God has for us is so much better than anything we could work out for ourselves, so why settle for ‘good’, when we could have the best! The Shepherd wants to lead you into all the fullness of His wonderful plans for you; do you trust Him enough to say ‘yes’ to Him and to follow where He leads?
Perhaps you are reading this message today while filled with stress and anxiety about your life, your decisions, your finances or your future. Lay all your burdens down and come and rest at His feet. You do not have to struggle and strive in your own strength anymore. The Shepherd has a good plan for your victory but you will need to let Him lead you to where you need to be. So take a step in the right direction and pray this simple prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit and take over. Help me to hear Your voice. I ask You to lead me step by step into all the awesome plans the Father has for me and into the fullness of everything Jesus died to give me. I yield to you, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”
I believe that the Father’s heart is so pleased that you just prayed this prayer. With Him you can scale the highest heights and reach the stars, and it all happens as you allow the Shepherd to lead you, and you lie down in sweet communion in His arms where all things become possible. You are on the brink of your breakthrough!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 07 October 2013