Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What Can God Do For You?

I’ve been meditating on Psalm 23 lately—a chapter I’m sure we’re all familiar with. I used to think of it as the funeral chapter, but I’ve found great comfort in the power of these words that speak to who God is and what He’s doing in me.

The chapter describes Him as a good shepherd, caring for us with tenderness and compassion. Providing our needs. Giving us rest. Restoring our soul. Guiding. Protecting. Comforting.

Not only do we see who God is in these verses, but we see each of these actions—He’s moving on our behalf. I don’t have to lead myself to still waters. I don’t know have to know where the green grass is. He does that for me. I don’t have to protect or comfort myself. He will. He restores my soul—an act only He can do.

I’ve been most struck this week by verse 3. I’m often reading in the ESV version, which says, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” But for some reason, I ran across this verse in a devotional in the NIV version: “He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake.” And so I peeked over at the NLT version: “He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”

You already know this is a season of waiting for us—still. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder if I’m on the right path. I can stress myself out wondering if I’ve missed something God had for me. Was I supposed to do this? Is this where you have me? Is this what you want? Is this the right place? The right season? The right decision?

But what comfort I find in His word: He guides me along the right path. And you know why?

To bring honor to His name.

These versions remind me of Proverbs 16:19, which says, we make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

God told me a long time ago, “You can’t mess this up.” And what I think He means is not that I don’t have autonomy or that I’m not responsible for my own actions, but that His plan is so good, the timing so perfect, I won’t miss it. I won’t jynx it, or ruin it, or lose out.

It’s just not possible.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for, friends. Maybe it’s a job offer. A promotion. A move. Maybe it’s a dream, a YES, an answered prayer. Or maybe you find yourself uncertain, worried about the future, worried about the plan, the provision.

Wherever you find yourself, I hope you’ll take comfort in His word: He’s guiding you along the right path, bringing honor to His name.

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