Psalm 23 is one of the most well known and often quoted chapters in the entire Bible – but do we really see what is going on in Psalm 23? We may even know it by heart, but do we see God’s economy in this psalm? Do we see the organic shepherding of the Pneumatic Christ in Psalm 23? We need to have our eyes opened by the Lord and our mind renewed in His Word so that we would not take this psalm for ourselves only but read it in the light of God’s economy!
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…
This morning we were enjoying verse four of Psalm 23, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I do not fear evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. This is the third stage of Christ’s organic shepherding, where we experience the presence of the resurrected pneumatic Christ even through the valley of the shadow of death. Even though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death – we as believers in Christ and sheep in the flock of God do not fear evil because the Lord as the Spirit is with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). His presence is with us, the Lord is with our spirit, and we can experience Him even in tough conditions and hard situations.
As human beings living on the earth we cannot avoid troubles and hardships – even though we may want to avoid hard situations as much as possible, they can happen. A father may lose his job, or a wife may become sick in bed for many days – this brings the spouse and the whole family to pass through the valley of the shadow of death… It’s not “passing through death”, but it’s the “valley of the shadow of death”, in which we feel like everything is pointless, there’s no reason, nothing can change this situation, death is very near… The children of some saints may have an accident, or some saints may have children who are crippled – we do not invite these hardships but things like these could happen… What should we do as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death?
… I fear no evil for You are with me – the Lord is with our spirit!
This morning I was so encouraged that even there, in the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord Jesus is with us! We don’t need to struggle, we don’t need to attempt to get out of there, and we don’t need to run from that situation. The hardest thing to do humanly and the best thing to do spiritually is to rest in the Lord and enjoy His presence in the valley! The more we try to get out of it or struggle, the more the valley extends. The more we speak about it and complain to others about it, the more the valley enlarges.
“Our resting in the Lord will shorten the valley, reduce the shadow, and remove the death” (life-study of the Psalms). The Lord promised: He is with us! Not just in a general way as in Matt. 28:20 but in a specific way He is with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). The tests and the valley may tempt us to do something to get out of there or change it, but if we rest in the Lord and enjoy His invisible sweet presence, we will be shepherded and the Lord will be all we need.
… Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me …
In the valley of the shadow of death we experience the Lord’s rod and His staff – the rod is for protection against the enemies and the beasts, and the staff is for training, for direction, for guidance, and for sustenance. As we rest in the Lord in our walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He protects us from the enemies with His rod and He trains us, instructs us, guides us, and sustains us with His staff.
Even in the valley of the shadow of death, when we enjoy His sweet presence, He protects us and He guides us with His rod and His staff … [sharing inspired from the life-study of the Psalms, as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (1); you can get the morning revival book online or become a fan on Facebook for more updates. Intro: through the valley of the shadow of death…]
Our dear Shepherd, we love You! Thank You for being with us even as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. May we rest in You in any death situation, and may we not struggle to change it or get out of it. Lord, enlighten us to see what Your desire is – You are with our spirit! You are shepherding us all the time – even in the valley of the shadow of death. We praise You for Your protecting rod and Your guiding staff… we love You, Lord!
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