And there is none that calls upon thy name; that stirs up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. – Isaiah 64:7
The easiest thing in the world to do is neglect God. It just comes so naturally to our flesh . . . at least it does to my flesh. We think of anything and everything else to do that is not the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, fasting, praying, and giving. The worst is when this happens for a few days in a row and you feel so distant from God. Just like in the verse I’m using today, we just chalk it up to God’s fault. We basically say, “I must have done something wrong and He must just be ready to destroy me because He’s nowhere to be found.”
When I feel like this, what should I do? I love the part that basically says, “Stir up yourself and take hold of me.” We call on His name and take hold of Him. Well, how do we do that? As I type this, I’m tired. I slept fairly well last night and I’m disappointed that I’m not refreshed and ready to go. I’m already in that “don’t make me go to work” phase and we aren’t even a quarter of the way done with the year.
That’s not good.
But, what if I get God involved? What if His spirit quickens my mortal body and I’m revived? What if I could not just survive this day, but also thrive? It all starts with calling on His name. One of the best lines to make this happen is to use the first part of the first verse of Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd.
No matter what I feel like, if I’m a Christian that loves God, I have Him watching over me. If I’m not as close to the Shepherd as I want to be, I must get away from the fence and move closer to the center where He is. As I walk closer to Him in my mind, I emphasize each word.
THE Lord is my Shepherd: There is only one Lord and one God. No one gets into His presence without Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord for the salvation I received 27 years ago! I can’t believe I have access to You!
The LORD is my Shepherd: It doesn’t matter what I feel like and what I want to do. I’ve given you my life . . . You can do with it as you please. Though you slay me, yet will I trust in you!
The Lord IS my Shepherd: Right now . . . at this very moment. Oh how I want to be close to you, Lord!
The Lord is MY Shepherd: Are you kidding me? I can’t believe this is possible! I can’t believe I’m yours and you are mine! I am in the flock of the Lord of all the Earth!
The Lord is my SHEPHERD: I may not like the journey I’m on. I may not like where I am right now, but my shepherd is leading me. I trust you, so you can take me where you knows is best. I refuse to complain. I will trust you. You are a good shepherd who has more than taken care of me up until this point of my life. You are not about to stop now.
Through You, Lord . . . I can do all things. Please give me strength!