The older I get, the more fixated I become on the provisions of God. I suppose most Christians come to this realization that the older they get the more obvious His hand is in their daily life. And, apparently, I am getting older because I am obsessed with how AWESOME God is and how perfectly He provides.
Trent preached a message the other night and referenced the 23rd Psalm. Now, we have ALL heard the 23rd Psalm a million times, if one…but something about it this time just struck me differently.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He MAKETH me. Maketh me? He MAKES me lie down? That struck me funny. I've always been taught that God is a gentleman. He doesn't MAKE us do anything…but here, He is MAKING me lie down… Where? In green pastures. Hmmm…
After Trent read that part of the text, I admittedly checked out of the sermon for a bit…this was bugging me. Why would God MAKE me lie down…and what is so significant of green pastures?
So, I started digesting this…green pastures…what does it take to make a pasture green? Well, it takes water, sunlight and good soil (nutrients). The basic necessities of life. Oh, He MAKES me lie down (rest) *IN* the basic building blocks of LIFE.
Well, this got me pretty excited! You mean, God makes me rest in the basic provisions of LIFE? Everything I need to live, he provides and I can REST in that?
I nearly took a victory lap! I don't have to worry about the necessities…He's got that covered. I can REST in that.
Well, after church, on our way to Oklahoma, I asked Trent about what I had read and he let me borrow his study program and I found something that had me nearly shouting in the truck. Check this out in Barnes Notes (italics are mine):
The idea is that of calmness and repose, as suggested by the image of flocks " lying down on the grass." But this is not the only idea. It is that of flocks that lie down on the grass " fully fed" or " satisfied," their wants being completely supplied. The exact point of contemplation in the mind of the poet, I apprehend, is that of a flock in young and luxuriant grass, surrounded by abundance, and, having satisfied their wants, lying down amidst this luxuriance with calm contentment. It is not merely a flock enjoying repose; it is a flock whose wants are supplied, lying down in the midst of abundance. Applied to the psalmist himself, or to the people of God generally, the idea is, that the wants of the soul are met and satisfied, and that, in the full enjoyment of this, there is the conviction of abundance - the repose of the soul at present satisfied, and feeling that in such abundance want will always be unknown.
So, the next time you are praying for something you "need". I challenge you to ask yourself: "Is this something I need to LIVE?" If the answer is yes, stop worrying about it. You can REST in the security that He will PROVIDE it. And in THIS abundance of needs being met, we will never have to WANT for anything. He supplies it all.
I am so thankful to serve a God that gives me peace and rest in my daily needs. I don't have to worry or mentally wrestle how I am going to provide for my kids. I can rest and trust the SHEPHERD to supply those needs and rest in this provision.