Verse two of Psalm twenty-three is one of the most beautiful verses in all the Word of God. It describes Jesus, the Shepherd, providing nourishment and rest for His sheep. Green pastures and still waters give a picture of rest, contentment, and refreshment. The green pastures are a picture of the nourishment that we receive from the Word of God. The still waters are a picture of the peace that we have in Christ.
Feeding on the Word (Green Pastures). Just as we cannot survive physically without food, we cannot survive spiritually without feeding on the green pastures of God’s Word. Feeding on the Word of God does three things for us. (1) God’s Word Encourages us. There is nothing that will encourage you more than the Word of God. When you are down, read the Word. When you are sad, read the Word. When you are depressed, read the Word. When you don’t know what to do, read the Word. When you are confused, read the Word. Look at Psalm 19:7-10. The Psalmist describes the Word of God as rejoicing the heart and enlightening the eyes. It is desirable and it is sweeter than honey. My friend, the most precious moments of your day is those moments spent in the Word of God. (2) God’s Word Equips us. We are called by God to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ to this world. However, He does not leave us on our own nor does He expect us to be on our own. He has given us the instructions that we need. He has shown us exactly how we are to live. That instruction is found in the Word of God. The Bible is the Christian’s instruction manual. The greatest textbook for the Christian is the Bible. (3) God’s Word Empowers us. As we feed on the Word of God, we receive the spiritual energy we need to carry out God’s purpose for our lives. The more we are in the Word, the more we are filled with the Spirit. The Word of God is our authority. It is our power. Without God’s Word we are nothing, with God’s Word we can move mountains. Dear friend, are you feeding on God’s Word? Are you following the Shepherd to those green pastures?
Resting in Christ (Still Waters). One of my favorite things to do is to find a nice warm spot on the shore of a lake and let the warm sun touch my face as I stare out over the water. One of the most beautiful and peaceful sights is a body of water that is perfectly still and calm. Sitting beside still waters brings calm. It has a way of diminishing all the worries and cares of this life. As the Shepherd leads us beside the still waters, He is causing us to rest in Him. Resting in Jesus brings about three basic things in our life. (1) It brings Peace. Philippians 4:7 describes the peace of God as passing all understanding. Think about it. How can we have peace in the midst of heartache? How can we have peace in the midst of loss? How can we have peace in the midst of financial struggles? How can we have peace in the midst of conflict? When we trust in Jesus, our Shepherd, He gives us a peace that goes beyond all the cares of this life. He overshadows us with peace. He overwhelms us with peace. So that whatever we may face, however difficult the situation, we know all is well because Jesus is our Shepherd. (2) It brings Life. Resting in Jesus breathes life into our weary soul. When we are weak and tired, Jesus gives us life. When we are spiritually complacent and backslidden, Jesus gives us life. When we don’t care anymore, Jesus gives us life. Resting in Jesus, trusting in Jesus; will revive you and cause you to once again experience the abundant life that He came to give you. (3) It brings Joy. When you spend time beside the still waters, you are filled with a joy that overcomes every concern that you have. This is one of the most amazing things about being a Christian. In the midst of the most difficult situations in our lives, we can be filled with joy. Knowing the Jesus is in control and that everything is okay, puts a smile on our face. You will never experience true joy until you experience Jesus.
Our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He loves us and He cares for us. He is constantly working through various means to bring us to a place where we will feed on His Word so that we may be encouraged, equipped, and empowered. He is also leading us to still waters where we can experience His peace, life, and joy. However, to enjoy those green pastures and still waters, we must submit to His Lordship and we must follow Him wherever He leads us. Have you submitted to the Lordship of Christ today? Are you following Him?