New King James Version (NKJV)
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
I have been going through a rather tough week where the enemy has tried to steal territory from me and I allowed it to steal my joy, but God gave me this passage from the 23rd Psalm. I am trying to understand how not to be a Christian doormat, speak the truth, and yet still let God be in control of every situation. When I first started out in life I thought that I would like to be in the business world but one thing that bothered me was the back biting, back stabbing and deceitfulness that goes into getting ahead and it made me think twice. Yet I have found that we encounter the same kinds of situations in our everyday lives and how we handle it can really show how Jesus is working in our lives and how we are different from the world.
Conflict is another area that has been in the forefront of what God is teaching me this week. How we handle conflict is very important. God told us how in his word in Matt. 18:15 where it first says we should go and talk to our brother and if he does not listen then take two or more with you as witnesses and if that doesn’t work then tell the church. So many go and tell others of the problem seeking to find a solution where they are right instead of facing the problem head on with the person for what it is and talking it through. Is it necessary for us to hurt our brother or try to usurp what is not ours to for whatever reason even if we think it is valid? But God in his still small voice whispers to me that it will all work out. I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future. I know that God is bigger than my problem. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. God knows the heart of the perpetrator and will prepare a table in the presence of my enemies. He will take care of me even when my fellow man may not. I look at Joseph and how he suffered under unfair jealousy of his brothers, but through the hard times he held on and God, not Joseph, prepared the way. Joseph’s part was to be faithful and trust. I think about chapel today and how it was voiced that this world promises all the riches and happiness if you only do this or have this. But in the light of eternity, what is truly important? Is it our job, being right, our possessions or our fellow man? When we stop to evaluate our motives and how they affect others we can pattern our responses after Jesus and not self. Jesus will lead me in the path of righteousness, by still waters, restoring my soul. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will go and live in the house of the Lord forever.
By Candy Vietzke