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Hidden Green Pastures

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PSALM 1-1-9

 

ה He

33 TEACH me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 GIVE me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 MAKE me walk (tread forcefully) in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 INCLINE my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 TURN away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
38 ESTABLISH Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.
39 TURN away my reproach which I dread,
For Your judgments are good.
40 BEHOLD, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.

INCLINE: to have a mental tendency, preference, etc.; be disposed/prepared; to settle (a person) in mind, habit, etc.
ESTABLISH: to show to be valid or true; prove; to bring about permanently (Online dictionary)

Me: His much-loved

AT FIRST glance, this strikes me as rigid legalism and there’s nothing delightful to me in that. Yet I know You as a God who desires relationship over legalistic, religious practices. Give me a picture that frames this passage from Your heart’s perspective.

 

The Lord:

I DESIRE to “make you walk in the path” (v.35) in the same way I desire to “make you lie down in green pastures” (psalm 23).

 

Me: His much-loved

YOUR INTENTIONS toward me are always good and never evil.  Every part of me takes delight in this green pasture of provision and comfort. Your Spirit alone knows how to keep me in this mysterious path of Your commandments that leads to one of those pastures.

YOUR ways and thoughts are so much higher that mine, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the profoundness of Your commands are so beyond the reach of my natural mind.

 

The Lord:

I LOVE to surprise you. Consider my profound commandments as a never-ending treasure to seek after rather than an nondescript chore you’re obligated to figure out. My yoke is easy, My burden light. And My Spirit that lives in you is your access to the mind of Christ LINK.

YOU ARE MINE, and I am yours, and out of My wisdom and omniscience, I created you in My image. My Spirit empowers you to walk in a manner worthy of your royal status. The more often you humble yourself in surrender to My Spirit’s supernatural empowerment, the more naturally you will “walk in the path.”

 

Me: His much-loved

YOU also lead me beside still waters and restore my soul. As a dumb sheep, I do occasionally wander into danger. So when my eyes wander to “looking at worthless things” (v.37) Your living Word will mysteriously “revive me”?  I need another picture.

 

The Lord:

I AM the One who personally prepares the table before you in the presence of your enemies. What do you see on the table I prepare?

 

Me: His much-loved

I’M picturing me siting across from You, drinking the wine (Holy Spirit), and dipping the bread (Word) in the saucer of oil (anointing). Your bread strengthens my heart (Psalm 104:15). That 3-part combo right there impels me to want to observe your statues with my whole heart (v.34)

HOW can I know that my heart is inclined to Your ways (v.36) and not my selfish desires?

 

The Lord:

ASK My Spirit to help you measure this in 2 ways:
PRAYERFULLY ask yourself if your current path is an expression of sacrificial service and love toward others. Or does how you live lead only to collecting an upgraded car, a bigger house, the latest fashions, more video games, and trophies for your shelf (1 John 2)? If the latter is true, then ask Holy Spirit to renew your mind. Trust Me when I tell you that seeking first the kingdom and My righteousness is storing up for you real and lasting upgrades and trophies in Heaven, stuff that makes earthly gains look like old, hard cow pies.

NEXT, do you feel a sense of delight that defies your circumstances? In other words, in the natural, you appear to be gaining nothing of value, yet your heart is so overjoyed you are unaware of this “lack” until someone points it out. Does your heart eagerly give up earthly comforts in order to love someone, to meet the need of a stranger or a friend? This is the mind of Christ growing in your heart, and it’s you walking in the path of My commandments.

 

Me: His much-loved

SURPRISES, light burdens, treasures, empowerment, restoration of my soul.  I’ll be seeking more epiphanies of understanding (v.34) so I can keep Your word. You are my ultimate adventure.

 

Do I desire to ‘tread forcefully’ in this path?

If not, what would change my mind?

An Exhortation of the Embattled Spirit

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