Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Psalm 23 - #3

Psalm 23:2 . . . he leadeth me beside the still waters.

The fact that God leads us is a fascinating thing. This infers that we are not simply lying down in green pastures as God's sheep--we are on a journey and need for someone to lead us on this journey. We must get up and follow the Shepherd. Notice John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: This is the duty of a believer: to follow the Shepherd, not to constantly lie down in green pastures or expect the Lord to continually put us in a place of contentment and relaxation. We must fight the battle before us. The Shepherd will go before us and lead us on through the battle.

While he is leading us, he will supply us with spiritual necessity. Not only is it necessary for us to lie down in his pastures and enjoy God's graces, but it is also necessary for us to be refreshed along the way with the waters that he supplies. The plural of water (MAYIM in the Hebrew) speaks of cleansing. These waters are not only for refreshment and hydration for our bodies, but they are also for our cleansing. Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. This cleansing is necessary, because our old natures surge up as we travel along this life. This cleansing comes from the word of God, which is like water being poured over a wound for healing. The word of God is refreshment and helps us in times of trouble.

In the cold of winter, the flesh on our bodies tends to become dry and cracked. For healing, this takes water and a protection so that the moisture will not leave our skin. We use hand lotion to keep the moisture from going out of our skin. As long as the moisture is in the skin, the skin will heal; but when the water dissipates from the skin, then the skin begins to crack again.

We are in a dry, weary land, and we need water. Remember that God gave the Israelites water when they were in the desert. Without this water, they would die. Can we realize that God is daily sustaining us with the water of his word and the oil of his Holy Spirit? Remember that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). This is the protection like a lotion that keeps the moisture in; and as we read God's word and are obedient to him, the moisture comes into our lives, and the Holy Spirit protects us by keeping the moisture in it.

But the moisture will not stay in our hands forever even with the lotion applied to the hands; so it is with our lives. We cannot study God's word once and expect the moisture from his word to stay with us forever. We must study it day by day even as we must apply the hand lotion every day. Our lives get dry from staying so long away from God's word. Therefore, we need to have a daily supply of God's word in reading, studying and meditation. Then the Holy Spirit will seal that in our lives, but he will not seal it there forever. We must go back for a refreshing new supply of water.

Water is a healing agent. One of the first things one uses in medicine is water. We bathe with water and clean wounds with water. God's word (like water) is a cleaning agent and will cleanse the sinner of the most horrible of sins. Eph. 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

As we journey this Christian life, we should expect God, our Shepherd, to give us water as needed along the way and to energize the churches of God with this same water. The Christian journey is a dusty one, and we accumulate this dust in our lives, which signifies sin. But the water of regeneration and the water of the word keep these sins at bay and keep us serving our Master, who supplies all the water we need.

Someone said a long time ago, "Still waters run deep." This is true with God's supply of water. There is no shortage, the well is deep, and who can go into the depths to draw out this water for us? Only our Shepherd, just as he did with the woman at the well in John Chapter Four.