My Shepherd

The following poem was birthed this past week through a devotion I recorded on YouTube. It was part of a larger series called, The Wednesday Word that I do every Wednesday at 6:45 AM (PST). I was talking about the word “meditate” — more specifically, meditating on God’s Word. I led people through a meditation exercise on Psalm 23:1 and encouraged them to spend some time in that verse. As I followed my own advice that day, the Spirit started to bring this poem to life. It now breathes and thus I present it to you now. To God be the glory!

The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
So why shall I worry?
For I am in His flock.

He leads me in green places,
And by waters still.
So why shall I worry?
He is always my fill.

He doth restore my soul,
in righteousness.
So why shall I worry?
My life is not a mess.

Dark valleys I walk in,
evil around.
But I will not worry.
In Him I’m safe and sound.

My table is prepared,
with enemies near,
But I will not worry.
My anointing is clear.

His goodness and mercy,
will follow me,
all the days of my life,
and with Him I will be.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I have been praying a certain prayer recently. It’s a prayer that God has been faithful to answer not because I am saying the “right” words. It’s been the Holy Spirit slapping me up across the head in the midst of worry and anxiety – refocusing my attention…

I’ve got this.

…I have prayed these words and have felt the peace of God – my sovereign Lord, Father and Creator. Therefore, it is a prayer that I will continue today and in all my tomorrows. Will you pray with me?

Sovereign God, You were faithful yesterday as You took my tomorrow. Receive my today all for Your glory. Take my tomorrow that I may rest in Your peace this day. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Shut up and be at peace

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:6-7]

When I get anxious about something it is usually because I am worried about the outcome or worried about my performance in a certain situation as I face unknown and uncontrollable circumstances.  Sometimes it is a very busy schedule as I wonder how I will get everything done and/or will things get done well. At  times, I worry about expectations from others and myself.

And when I really get anxious, my chest begins to hurt. Sometimes this pain causes more anxiety, but generally I consider this chest pain (heartburn) a gift from God. It’s a little alarm system that God has equipped me with to remind me to calm down, shut up and pray. And with Lent coming up, I anticipate that alarm going off (as it usually does) so hopefully I am paying attention to what I am writing now.

Oh God, I believe, help my unbelief.

The apostle Paul tells the church in Philippi not to worry about anything but rather tell God about it and then trust that everything is under control. This does not mean you become lazy but rather trust that you are not alone. Trust that God will give you what you need and the strength to do it. But most of all, let that trust be a source of peace for you; something that will guard your mind and heart from Satan’s attacks.

A lot of worry and anxiousness stems from a mistrust of God (unless you are dealing with a medical anxiety disorder of some sort). When you get anxious and worry you are saying that God is not big enough or strong enough to handle the situation.

REALLY? Not big enough or strong enough?

Seems silly to think such a thing but this is really what is going on; seeing a problem and thinking it is bigger than it really is or thinking that nothing can help you. Instead, we need to remember that we have a bigger God. This reminds me of something I have seen passed around on social media; a quote that says:

Don’t tell God how big your problems are but tell your problems how big your God is.

I like that except that you should tell God how big those problems are and as you do so remember how big your God is and be at peace. Never believe problems are bigger or stronger than God. And as you are at peace, laugh at Satan and say, “nice try”.

When you become anxious; shut up and listen; shut up and remember; shut up and be at peace. God has overcome this world through Jesus Christ and thus, through faith in Jesus Christ, victory is yours.

So be at peace as you face this day head on with the knowledge that you have a big God going with you.

May God be praised in all you say and do. And may people see your faith being lived out as you face everyday problems and challenges.

Praise be to God!

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ God can handle it

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
[Matthew 6:33-34]

Oh dear Christian, there is so much to worry about in this life and so little that can be changed by worrying. There is so much to worry about in this life and so much that can be lost by worrying. There is so much to worry about in this life but we have such a big God to handle our worries.

But what can be lost by worrying?

First off, we are not guaranteed tomorrow so worrying about tomorrow seems to be a waste of time. Deal with what you can control now and go from there; placing tomorrow in God’s hands.

But second, worrying now takes you away from a great and joyous pursuit: Seeking God’s Kingdom and enjoying all that God is.

When you worry about things that you have no control over you are placing such pursuits over God and actually making said worries a god over God almighty. But you are also robbing yourself the opportunity to enjoy God and see God’s mighty hand at work in your life; however that may look.

When I worry too much and get anxious about the many ministry demands in my life everything is effected. My chest starts to hurt as my heartburn kicks into high gear. I get distracted by such pains thinking that this might be “it”. So I stop what I am doing and maybe go home for a while to rest and calm down, all the while worrying about what I should be doing. I vicious cycle. Grrr.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

What if you actually did that and sought God’s kingdom and his righteousness? I am not giving you permission to be lazy and neglect your to do list, but what if you spent more time enjoying God’s promises and less time worrying about things you can’t control. When you can do that then you can spend more time witnessing to others as you live for God.

Now that sounds like a good plan:
(1) Seek and pursue God
(2) Enjoy God’s promises
(3) Watch God do His Mighty thing in your life
(4) Receive all you truly need

Deal with today and let tomorrow rest in God’s hands. Trust him, God can handle it.

Praise be to God, always and forever.

The Pastor -|—