Green Pastures

Psalm 23:2He makes me to lie down in green pastures;”

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m heading for greener pastures”? The phrase is one that sounds promising but usually ends in trouble. The hope that life is somehow better if you just change your environment or circumstances is one many have discovered to be a fools quest.

*Why does trouble seem to follow regardless of where you go or why is it the grass is not greener on the other side?

Could it possibly be that the trouble we are experiencing at a given moment is our own doing?

Trouble follows the fool.

Ecclesiastes 10:2A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.”

The path of trouble is often a path of our own choosing. We may know the way we should go, but it just doesn’t seem as fun as the way we desire. The enticement of sin can be too difficult to overcome. For the one who finds themself in a predicament that seems all too familiar, it isn’t until we find the trouble that comes with sin is when we grow wise to our foolishness.

If trouble follows the fool, what can the wise expect?

Proverbs 15:24 “The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from Hell below.”

The idea that one would choose foolishness over wisdom is preposterous….isn’t it? You would think that most people would desire to be found as wise.

I once worked with a man who hated christians. The moment I first started working at my job, he determined to get rid of me, simply because I was a christian. No amount of testimony, kindness, or godly example phased him, he considered me an enemy and treated me as such. This period of time was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever endured. Whenever I would try to relegate a christian perspective, he would counter it with his own form of ideology, which led me to the subject of wisdom one day. I was talking about the use of wisdom in men of God and he decided to try and quote a twisted monkey proverb. When he was finished with his little saying, he walked away as if in triumph, while I stood there saddened by all that he was relegated to. All I could think to myself was that that was all the world has to give, a meaningless proverb that leaves it’s listeners dumbfounded.

Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”

You may ask, what does a parallel of wisdom and foolishness have to do with green pastures?

The pathway of the wise leads to peace.

The passage in Psalm 23 should be looked at with greater focus. This passage was one I memorized as a child and still draw from today. “He makes me lie down in green pastures”, when God is doing the leading what seems obvious isn’t always the solution.

A shepherd is always leading and protecting. Why would a shepherd make His sheep lie down in a pasture that was meant for nourishment? The sheep would see all the grass and just start engorging themselves and yet the shepherd says to stop and rest.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

Whether we are in a dry and dusty land or in a green meadow, the Lord knows where He has led us and He has a purpose for each place He has brought us in life. We are not always meant to strive nor are we always meant for feasting and pleasure, there are times He just wants us to wait quietly.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

We can get so caught up in the journey, we forget who we are being led by each step of the way. The Lord may have you on a path of service in His Kingdom that has produced much spiritual fruit, this doesn’t mean we are to run ourselves into the ground doing His work. The Lord knows our limitations and there are times when He just says….Rest!

Remembering who is doing the leading is at times half the battle.

The difference between the wise who is led by the Shepherd and the fool who is led by his own sense of wisdom is that the wise have a surety in God because He has always been faithful and the fool is striving after his own limited sense of understanding.

Common sense can only take you as far as you can see.

The Shepherd sees the end from the beginning while we can barely see past the nose on our face.

Isaiah 46:10 “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will.”

I work with a group of people that have studied the heart for a long time. You would think that after 8 years of school, 4 years interning, and 3 years of fellowship, there would be nothing that could escape their ability to decipher when someone is having heart trouble. If I could count the number of times I was called in to work for someone they thought was having a heart attack and wasn’t, you would wonder what the schools were missing in their teaching. I work with very good physicians and yet they still are trying to understand the symptoms and mechanism that show a consistent pattern of heart disease and what isn’t.

Do you think that just possibly, if our hearts are that complex, then the greater scope of our lives are just as complex or even more so? The spiritual aspect of our being cannot be visibly demonstrated, dissected, monitored on a machine, or illustrated in a diagram.

We must look to the source of all Truth to understand the spiritual aspect of our being that continues on after death…the Bible is that source of truth.

Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.”

When we allow the Lord to nourish and guide us in our lives, we find that He more than just supplies us with our needs but His love abounds for us as we delight in Him.

Each move that the Lord makes has a purpose. Whether it is going on in the journey through the desert, walking in lush meadows or simply resting, the process He has us on is one we can have faith that what He is doing is Good.

Remember…..you are His. He broods over you like a hen over her chicks. You are so important to Him. Know that your value is not in what you do, but in who you are. You were made by Him and for Him. When you keep that perspective, you will see life as it should be viewed, with His purpose in mind.

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