Part 8: Listen from the perspective that God has purposed to be our friend!
“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough.”Psalm 23:1 Passion Bible Translation
David’s perspective in Psalm 23 reveals a depth of intimacy in his relationship with the Lord.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit in the life of those born again into God’s family is always more than enough. But we have to dig deeper into this famous passage to grasp more than a few memorized verses. Here’s my take on the 23 Psalm from the New King James Version.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. Why? Because Jesus is more than enough. He calls me friend. I abide in Him and He abides in me. (John 15) I’m a joint heir with the Son of God!
His grace is sufficient for all that concerns, challenges and confronts me in this life.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He knows the relationships and scriptures that nourish me. He makes me shut it down and relax with those people. I lay down the front I may assume so that I become transparent with Him. By His Spirit, He leads me to passages in His written word that fix my heart on Him. His Word surprises me with delicious truths that set me free and in them I discover and rediscover Him, and consequently Him as my portion.
He leads me beside the still waters. These are places of reflection where I see myself in Christ. Places He takes me to re-evaluate my lifestyle, my decisions and choices, to make course corrections as needed. Like James 1:25 admonishes us to do, I look into the perfect law of liberty and reassess whether my life is reflective of doing the Word or being a forgetful hearer!
He restores my soul. This requires listening with great expectation for a fresh infilling of His Spirit and Word. How? First, He helps me get myself back together and recover who He says I am. This is the result of reflecting and resting in His presence. It’s always a work of His grace, not of my works. This restoration begins with acknowledging Him as my Lord and Shepherd. This acknowledging leads me to the places He has prepared to nourish me and then to reflect on the difference between His will and my life. There, in that intersection of life, He turns me back to His purpose.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. I learn over and over that listening continually keeps me from leaning to my understanding. These paths grow brighter and brighter as I learn to walk in the Light as He is the Light.
His presence is our provision. In Christ we are complete; we are restored. He calls us friend!