Psalm 23 AMPThe Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the [sunless] Or valley of deep darkness.valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with In ancient times it was customary in hot climates for a host to provide his guest with olive oil to put on his head. The Lord blesses and anoints His believers with the Holy Spirit, whom oil symbolizes, to prepare them for His service.oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.
How often we look at the scripture and think, how wonderful. However, after this experience, I think, “How Powerful!”
A couple of days ago, I was spending time with Papa. As I sat, there many of my deep worries and concerns began to pour out of me. This was the Journey and the words; Papa had for me…
“Sit and listen, my dear. You know that I know what holds you in fear. Direct your ears to what I have to say and forget the things that get in the way. I have not forgotten the places you hold dear. I have not forgotten your desire to hold love deeper than fear. I want to remove the hurts from your eyes. I want to give you boldness to face the hurt and find the prize. It isn’t in the fighting. It isn’t in the fear. It comes from when you say who you are and you do it without being pushed away from this fear. I have given you the people you need to walk along. You go places and see my glory remain strong. I know there are things that keep you from seeing everything that is going on. I have placed them there to protect you and give you focus as we move along. See my eyes of love and take my hand. I will lead you on.
At this moment, deep emotions began to pour out of me. I began to share the things that were so heavy in me. I began to pour them out, one by one before my Father.
This time went on and on for quite a while, and I realized I had taken a lot of time doing it. As I looked up, I saw the Father’s tender-loving eyes as he is listening patiently and intently as I rambled on. As I finally slowed down, He smiled and responded,
“Are you done? Are you ready to move on? I am not saying it is over. I am just saying I have wanted you to need to find freedom. To walk in the fullness of what I have given you, but also to find freedom in your families love for you. That no longer will you remain hidden and no longer will you remain separate. You will find each other in the middle of the message. I see your gift growing and with it your champion. He is there beside you, and he hasn’t left you. He is your companion. (He was talking about my husband.) I have a place where I want you to go. It is a place of great shelter. It is a place where storms are growing but yet there is safety in His shelter.” So as I turn I see Jesus standing there. His arms open wide. I quickly move into His arms and feel his love deep inside. He kisses me and Gently whispers ”Are you ready to go?” This is going to be fun for you.”
So as I turn, I see Jesus standing there. His arms open wide. I quickly move into His arms and feel his love deep inside. He kisses me and gently whispers, ”Are you ready to go? This is going to be fun for you.”
I shake my head in agreement as I look into his eyes. Holding His hand, I turn to see Journey is at our side. Moving inside, I see that something has been prepared for us to enjoy the ride. Sitting down next to Him a meal has been prepared. Before us is brought wine and bread and many other things.
Holding me tightly, I lean into His arms. Tired, yet, enjoying this moment. He blesses the food before us, and I look up from where I sit. I am shocked at what I see and many parts of me want to run and have a fit.
For sitting in front of me is the Spirit of Fear. He is ugly and cruel as he sits there watching me. His mocking smile is like a bad memory from when I am at school. Next, comes Anger and right next to him is Rejection. Then came Sorrow and Despair. I look at them and cannot begin to know why they are there. I am completely in shock as I see them sitting watching me. They do not move, they do not say a word, and yet in their presence, I do not want to be. In total shock, I don’t know what to do. With it comes the ever increasing heavy emotions that cause these Spirits to snicker. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to leave. “Jesus, please tell me why?” I say in anger.
Suddenly, I feel Jesus arms around me, gently squeezing me tight, and His soothing whisper reminds me. “This is all a part of the plan.” I don’t know what to do, yet I know that Jesus has something good. Gently, His word comes to me like a sweet song in the night, “I prepare a table in the presence of your enemies and Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. For my Love is strong enough to hold you fast and it goes beyond fear’s wrath. For I have given you the courage and strength, you need. It is our love and in this place of intimacy.
As he said this, a deep understanding of this moment came to me. I realized this was a moment where I was to face my enemies. I looked at them and wanted to cry. For with there, scowl came all the pain parts of me felt inside. How can I sit here, Jesus.” I said. This is so painful with all this dread. He responded,”Speak my words and you will find rest in the middle of their mess. ” So I did.
“I am more than a conqueror. Greater is He that is in me than He that is in this world. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. You prepare a table in the midst of my enemies and your banner over me is Love. Perfect love cast out all fear! Fear…you have no power here. Anger, you have no power over love. Sorrow, my Joy is here, and it is to stay! Dispare…My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and his righteousness.”
As I began to declare these words, it was like every bit of emotion that was coming from them fell off me. Suddenly, I was able to move again. I was able to rest again because I realized I had the advantage. Every emotion they were projecting at me just went right back to them. With this Jesus took the bread and broke it and said, this is my body, take and eat. Then the same with the cup. This is my blood of the new covenant. Take and drink. As I did, I felt like new life was coming back to me again. No more fear and no more shame.
Praise God, in place of sadness and fear, is abundant joy beyond anything I’ve ever felt! He unites us to fear His name and excites us and thrills us beyond all scope of the human imagination!
Photo by wild vibez on Unsplash
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash
Photo by Nils Stahl on Unsplash