What are you reading that encourages your soul? How is the Bible bringing life to your day? Have you shared it with anyone lately?
The verse, Hebrews 10:24 reminds us to consider the ways we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. When we share the ways God moves within our soul, the impact and power of prayer, and the significance of Scripture, we spur each other toward depth with God. Opening our hearts and sharing our journey with its ups and downs stimulates others, motivating them to move closer to Jesus in their own spiritual journeys.
So, where have I been sitting with the Lord, lately? Among other passages, Psalm 23 has been a place of consolation. While perhaps one of the most familiar Psalms, God, by His Spirit, has used these God-breathed words to impact my soul.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
The first verse reminds me that God is my guide and that I have everything I need. In Him all my needs are met. I am not deficient as He satisfies me. Do you realize you lack nothing?
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
This verse illustrates my experience with Jesus. The Lord makes us lie down. This isn’t a request. There is power and authority in His movement toward us. He prevails upon us so we are still. In what areas of your life is God making you lie down?
Green pastures sound lovely. It causes me to think of a lush, verdant field. One of the practices my nutritionist suggests is walking barefoot in the grass. So, on evening walks with Joy, I enjoy strolling through the field with my toes touching the grassy blades. For centuries people walked barefoot everywhere, but today we cover our soles with rubber. I think we’ve lost something along the way. Try it. Walk in the grass for a few days and notice how it impacts you.
He leads me beside quiet waters,
I love that our God who is present with us leads us beside quiet waters. The waters provide peace and nourishment to our parched souls. I imagine God taking my hand and leading me. I am thankful that He leads and I follow. I can trust the way He takes me.
Erroneously, I assumed the path beside the quiet waters would also be “quiet” or free from debris and turmoil. I now understand that although God leads, the path is not always clear and smooth. Thorns, pebbles, and twigs often litter the route. Pain and peace coincide together along the way with Jesus, yet, the gentle hand and presence of the Lord never leaves our side. In what ways do you follow the Shepherd?
He refreshes my soul.
Do you desire refreshment? I know I do. Too often, I desire refreshment from God before being held to the ground or while following a twisted path. Refreshment follows both God’s direct intervention in our lives as well as His gentle leading along calm waters.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Again, God guides. He leads us along right paths so that He is honored and glorified. Do you trust Him to lead you? Is your faith in God’s direction, or do you attempt to sort life yourself? How are you experiencing God’s glory along the path you currently tread?
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Walking through the dark valley is not optional. It will happen, we just don’t know God’s timing for the treacherous encounter. Fortunately, God’s very companionship in the midst of the agonizing time offers comfort, correction, and connectedness in the space of suffering, confusion, shame, conviction, and uncertainty. His perfect love casts fear away in the darkness.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
God lavishes His abundance upon us in our time of need. He takes care of the preparations and knows what is needed to nourish our souls. God often does this while others look on, those who have intentionally and unintentionally participated in wounding our souls. God’s focus is our presence at the table. His tender care and planning attend to us when we feel beaten and broken by others.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
God blesses us in our messiness. He causes our emptiness to be filled and then we overflow with His goodness and grace. Our cup spills over because God is generous. He bestows favor and dedication upon us as we embrace His presence and protection. In what ways do you notice God’s blessing in your life today? Do you thank Him for blessing those around you? With what is your cup overflowing?
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
Imagine goodness and love trailing behind you every moment of every day. It is as though you are wearing a veil and these traits of God’s character follow you wherever you go. Look at them. Notice God’s goodness; His generosity. Notice God’s perfect love; His sacrifice and redemption.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
We get to enjoy God’s presence forever. Now, He houses within us by the Holy Spirit. Soon, we will dwell with our triune God all the days of our lives where nothing is hidden from His gaze. What impact does being with God forever have upon your living both now and in the future?
God meets us as we commune with Him through His life-giving Word. Share your stories of encountering God with others. Receive God’s attention as you listen to the spiritual adventures of those around you.
Spur each other on in their spiritual journey with the Great Shepherd of their soul.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.
Louf OCSO, Andre. Grace Can Do More: Spiritual Accompaniment and Spiritual Growth. Dubuque, IA. 2002.
David C. Benner. Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction. Downer’s Grove, IL. 2004.
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
October 10 – Denver, CO
Speaking at the ECFA Governance Forum at Denver Seminary