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by Minoli Haththotuwa
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You Are With Me
(The Lord Is My Shepherd - Part 6 - Psalm 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.”

The God of all comfort is reaching out to His kids today. He releases His love and kindness and the power of the Holy Spirit to break the spirits of fear and anxiety off your life. He is calling us to change our confession from fear to faith and to say “I fear no evil for You are with me”!

Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He promised His disciples that He would always be with them (Matthew 28:20) through the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7 and 14:16). He kept His Word. He is always with us because the precious Holy Spirit came to make Him real to us. He is our Comforter and Helper, our very present Strength.

Valleys are a part of life. Everyone has had “valley” experiences in life, some of us more than others, and some “valleys” seem to be longer and darker than others we may have passed through. Those valley experiences are all a part of this earthly life, but they can sometimes feel painful, dark, threatening, or so final that the Psalmist (David) described them as the “valley of the shadow of death”. Friend, whatever you have been going through, or whatever situation you may be facing at this time, God wants you to know that it is a temporary valley you are passing through. You will soon be getting to the other side and climbing the mountain again! You need fear no harm because God has decreed that no weapon formed against you shall prosper and no tongue that rises up against you shall stand (Isaiah 54:17).

He is with you and His rod and staff are in His hands. The rod and staff of the shepherd serve many purposes. The rod is what the shepherd traditionally used to protect himself and his sheep from danger. When we pass under the rod of the Lord by the power of the cross and blood of Jesus, we come into His protection and under His care and authority. We are numbered as one of His own. We enter into an eternal covenant with Him. (“I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” Ezekiel 20:37). The staff is normally a long pole with a curved end, which the shepherd uses to pull sheep out of ditches and thorny bushes, or to bring straying lambs back into the fold. There is much we could say about the rod and staff but most of all, they represent the Father’s loving authority, and His power to protect, sustain, guide and correct us through the murky paths of this life. It makes me feel so secure to know that my Shepherd Dad walks with me always and covers me from danger and deception. When I lose my way, He reaches out His staff and brings me back on track. When the enemy comes with lies and accusations, the rod of my Shepherd rises up s over him and drives him away. There may be daggers sent against me, in the form of cruel words or disappointments, but my Shepherd intercepts them by with a flick of His rod. He stands in front of me and protects me from the terrors of the night and the arrows that fly by day (Psalm 91:5). When I fall into a trap, He reaches down and picks me up. He carries me in His arms until I am strong again. My Shepherd is with me and I am completely safe in His love, hallelujah!

Today our Shepherd Dad says “Do not fear for I am with you”. You may be experiencing fear and anxiety about the future, or about some difficult situation which may seem to be impossible to change. Expect your breakthrough because His rod and staff are in His hands. Perhaps you are a person who experiences fearful dreams and disturbed sleep, but God is saying to you that you can trust yourself to Him. He is extending His rod over you today and breaking the disturbances that come against your sleep. Receive His peace flowing into your sleep right now, in Jesus’ name.

Pray with me: “Father God, we yield ourselves to you today. We renounce fear and anxiety, and choose to trust in You. We choose to come under Your rod and staff and give you full control over our lives. We want to feel and know the complete comfort of Your presence every day in every way. Come Holy Spirit, please fill us up and have Your way, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

Do not fear; He is near!

Minoli Haththotuwa, 04 November 2013

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