The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.
You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.
The other day, this convicting question dropped into my head “when was the last time you really read Psalm 23?” And I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t just let the familiar words flow over my mind and heart but focused on it dripping down and soaking my life with truth that restores and keeps.
And that truth hurt. But hopefully, the hurt will bring change…
Because I know that when I allow Scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to stay in my mind over and again, I am changed. Its wisdom separates me from fear and inaction. Its power energizes me to see more than what’s in front of me. Its knowledge equips me to open my life to more. Its grace helps me to love others and all of us as God does. Its mercy reveals true life awaiting my next step into faith.
Scripture shows us glimpses of the more that I cannot achieve but the more that God has hidden for and from me. The more is what I yearn for and seek. And I find the more when I meet with God in His Word to me.
Some ways that help me to hear from God in Scripture include:
- Praying before I start reading.
- Reading and re-reading the same Scripture(s) in different versions (free online helps such as biblegateway.com are great for this).
- Stopping midway through reading and listening to what’s in my mind and heart.
- Returning to the same Scripture later in the day or the next day.
- Writing down key words or phrases that have caught my attention.
- Meditating on those key words or phrases and waiting to see if other verses come to mind.
- Reading the same Scripture(s) aloud and more than once.
- Praying using those key words and phrases.
Now is always a good time to read God’s Word to us and to be changed forever.
Such change also expects me to share what I’ve learned with others which is this post so I ask the same of you – after you read Psalm 23, please share in the comments below what you learned so all of us can be encouraged too.
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021.