Sunday, February 13, 2011

How Do We See God?

Psalm 23

The LORD Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not( want.
 2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name’s sake.
 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

This is a Psalm I've read over and over again - but it took on new meaning this week as I read through its familiar words. After being a Christian for a good long time, it seems normal to say, "Oh yes, God is my savior and my Redeemer." But the question I've been pondering lately is this: "How do I live my life so that I really reflect that in my life and actions and not my words?"

People do say that actions speak louder than words. I have been convicted lately in my life - I say that I know God but I live as if I don't. How can I live like God is an important part of my life? 

I realized that it comes down to how I view God. A lot of the time when I struggle, I don't want to tell God (even though He already knows everything... haha!) because I see Him as this Father who is looking down on me, disapprovingly. While godly fear is important in worshipping the Lord, this kind of fear was unhealthy. It was driving a wedge between me and God - the more I didn't want to tell Him things, the more "fake" my quiet times became, and the more "fake" my prayers were. I was always tiptoeing around certain issues that I didn't want to deal with and didn't want to admit.

I read this Psalm earlier this week and it was like a breath of fresh air. Imagining the scene in my head was really healing - God leading me by still waters, to just BE with Him - no talking, no anything. A shepherd is someone who nurtures and cares for someone or something (in those days, sheep)... but I started to view God as someone who really cares. He doesn't look at me scornfully - He is always there with open arms. He wants to care and nurture my soul - but I haven't been letting Him. I've learned to just give Him the parts of my life which are good and seem perfect - but He doesn't really care about that. He cares about the broken pieces too, and the struggles, and the mistakes - He wants me to bring it all.

I am truly learning how to let God be my Shepherd. 

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