This Psalm, Psalm 23, a psalm of blessing, has been stirring my soul for months. You can enjoy verse 1 here.

I recently listened to a podcast from Kristi McLelland, who teaches the Bible in its Middle Eastern cultural context and borrowed the idea of follower vs. believer for my blog post title. You can listen here to Episode 6 of her Pearls series and see how you would describe your life with Jesus.

As you pour a cup of coffee or steep some tea, I pray you still your mind and heart and soak in the truths of Psalm 23:2. Thank you, as always, for joining me here at J’s. Keep up with my random thoughts and posts by signing up to receive them by email:)

Psalm 23:2

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

Rest is almost a dirty word in today’s culture of hyper-busyness. Why is it we don’t feel accomplished or important unless we and our children are moving from activity to activity at the speed of light? Who made the rule that our datebooks must be filled to the brim? When someone asks if we are “staying busy”, would we feel “less than” if we answered with, “Actually, I’m trying to slow down?”

The Living God did not create us to run ourselves into the ground with mind-numbing busyness. As a loving Father, He calls to us to allow Him to lead us to restoration and healing.

He gently whispers an invitation to follow Him to pastures of lush green grass watered by the dew of heaven, soft and cradling, cool and soothing, where you can stretch out, and sleep, safe under the protective eye of your Shepherd. This place of rest is your home. The heart of Jesus is your true home.

Listen to the soft melody of the stream He has led you to… quiet….slow….gentle….unhurried…..carefree…..serene….a lullaby of peace and calm.

Have you ever wondered why He leads us beside still waters? Could it be because you can see your reflection in still water, who you are? And is it because more importantly, you can see the reflection of your Shepherd beside you? Muddy, murky, agitated waters can’t reflect anything but blurred distorted images. What are you seeing in the waters of your life?

 Yeshua, Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, offers His rest to you. He is the Shepherd who calls you to be His follower, not a pew-sitting, arm-chair believer. He’s not asking you to do anything but take His nail-scarred hand and allow Him to lead you to rest, quietness, and peace of mind in the midst of your pain and suffering, confusion, and brokenness. He is the only One who has the healing you have been searching and crying out for.

Do you think that just believing there’s one God is going to get you anywhere? The demons believe that, too, and it terrifies them! James 2:19 Voice

Believing there is one God doesn’t earn you any brownie points. As the truth of scripture tells us, demons know exactly who He is and they are terrified, they shudder in fear.

Believing isn’t enough…..head knowledge, mental assent, and trying to earn favor with good works are all a game of playing religious Russian roulette with your life, here and for eternity.

The only way to true and lasting peace regardless of your circumstances is in surrendering your life to Jesus Christ and living your remaining days on this earth His way, following Him.

I don’t know the specifics of your life, your hopes, and dreams, your fears, and heartaches. But I have lived enough life and suffered enough heartache and brokenness of my own, to boldly tell you that Jesus is the answer….the only answer. He has healed me from the inside out, restored my dignity, and bestowed upon me my true identity as the daughter of the Most High God. I know the coolness of the grass in the pastures of rest and renewal, the quietness and soothing whispers of still streams in the midst of some of the most painful moments of my life.

I leave you with this question, are you a believer or a follower? Are you living life your way, trying to earn brownie points and striving to be “good enough” {impossible to do} or are you a follower of Jesus, living life His way by receiving His amazing grace?

I hope you sincerely pray this scripture from Psalm 139:23-24 and listen for His gentle voice. He already knows what is in your heart…..He wants you to know what is in your heart so you can ask for and receive His gracious healing forgiveness that He purchased for you with His own blood.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 And see if there is in me the worship of false gods,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

They’re busy, busy, busy at worship,
    and love studying all about me.
To all appearances, they’re a nation of right-living people—
    law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
    and love having me on their side.

Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”