I praise you that as I awoke this morning, Lord, you were there: my Shepherd, my Lord, my King. I praise you that this day I shall not want, for you in your wisdom, your riches, your power have provided all that I need and much more— as your Word says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3,4
You as my Shepherd make me to lie down in green pastures—you don’t ask, you make me lie down. You select the pasture I need now and keep me there as long as is needed so I can grow and deepen, mature and develop.
Joseph in the OT didn’t particularly want to be a slave, or go to prison, but that was the green pasture you had for him where he learned to deny self, to live for you and to be a good administrator. Then he was equipped to save many others, including his family, the Egyptians, the line of Jesus and eventually us!
As your Word says, whatever comes to us is our present green pasture: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’ James 1:2-4
You lead me beside the still waters—you give me time to be with you, to take in, to gain eternal perspective. You lead but I must both follow and drink, I must spend time in your Word, in worship, in intercession and confession, pouring out my heart, lifting my soul to you. And I can do this because you are “good and ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy to all who come to you.” Psalm 86:5
As I cooperate, you will restore my soul: you will bring refreshment, perspective, understanding, greater faith and more praise. You restore my soul to more of it’s pre-fall perspective, making me more like yourself. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory….” 2 Cor 3:18
You will then lead me in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake—and again, I must choose to follow. I can be sure that where you lead me will be right, righteous, pure, positive and godly. If I sense leading which is not one of these, then I can know that this is not you leading me, but subtle and sneaky call of the world, the flesh and the devil. I want to give you glory in all I do, so for the sake of your name will gladly follow your righteous lead, no matter how much self denial it requires.