Our Christian life is not a spiritual food parcel we receive and have to live off for the rest of our earthly days. It comes out of a relationship with God who lavishes blessings onto and into our lives. Do you feel like you are in a drought, scratching around for sustenance? If so, then maybe it’s time for fresh pastures.
This morning as I sat with God, I was aware that I had a list of things I thought needed to be done in my prayer time. There was worship, Bible reading, thanksgiving, prayer for family, church, friends, and for my own situations. It felt heavy. So I asked God “What shall we do?” His reply: “Just sit quietly with me”. I wrestled with what He said for a moment because all those things I have listed are good and important, and let‘s face it, I know I can be a tad task oriented! But I eventually settled down and sat with God, hot cup of tea in hand as the sun rose. The thing is, God’s presence was in that place of rest where it hadn’t been when I faced my to-do list. In doing what God asked I found it became life to me, and he fed me spiritually.
In John 10:10, Jesus says:
‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’.
The word ‘abundantly’ speaks of two facets, a life that exceeds every boundary in both quantity and quality. This is a life which causes us to grow in every area. We never run out of that life, and the life which Jesus brought far exceeds the quality of anything that went before. This is true for each of us, yet we can sometimes feel we are starved, which is a complete contradiction to the life Jesus promised us.
In Psalm 23:2 we read:
‘He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.’
The imagery of the Psalm is of a shepherd looking after His flock, the same imagery that Jesus is talking about in John 10. The flock is led by the shepherd to green pastures.The sheep get to feast on the lush grass until they are filled and lay down to rest. They have eaten all they can, yet the field remains green with fresh growth. The shepherd also leads them beside quiet waters; places that are safe to drink from. The image is less roaring rapids and more a summer‘s afternoon beside a lazy river.
Both the field and the river are identified by their quality and their quantity. They sum up the promise of Jesus to give us a lush and extravagant life. “So, why is that not my experience,” you may ask? In both John 10 and Psalm 23, the shepherd is the central character. He is said to lead us. The Psalmist tells us, but Jesus shares how in John 10:
‘But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.‘ (John 10:2-4)
Jesus calls us and we follow Him because we hear and know His voice. Our Christian life is not designed to be lived independent of God. It is a relational life; a life lived in loving relationship with a loving God. We find God leads us to green pastures and still waters.We get to know Him, to spend time with Him, to value what He has to say,to enjoy following Him wherever He goes because we love Him.
Related Post: What Does Jesus Mean By “Remain In His Love”?
If you take time each day to get aside with God and ask Him to lead you, He will. He will lead you into fresh pastures and beside still waters. Places of excessive life both in quantity and quality.
This is His promise to each one of us.
What examples do you have of God leading you? Please leave a comment below.
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