Mission Devotional - June 4, 2019
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Opening Prayer: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3)
Scripture: Psalm 23:1-3
Journal: Is God enough for you? I mean, really? What does the enough-ness of God do within you? What does it free you from? What does it free you for? How does it give you rest, and restore your soul?
Reflection: Sometimes we can become so familiar with something that we stop recognizing and appreciating its beauty. I think that's definitely true of the twenty-third Psalm. The words have become so familiar that we skim right over the surface of them, without allowing them to get inside of us and penetrate us to the core of our being. We do this at our own expense, because the words of this ancient prayer are chocked full of beauty and life.
"The Lord is my shepherd," begins the familiar refrain, "I shall not want." And we need to stop right there and begin to consider the depths of what has just been said. We need to give these words the time and the space and the attention they deserve. And if we do, they will do a work in - and then through - us. After all, what does that really mean anyway? What does it really mean that the Lord is my shepherd? And how is it even possible for me not to want?
The word for want in the Hebrew is chacer, which, at its core, means to be lacking. So if the Lord truly is my shepherd, whatever that may mean, then I will not be lacking. I will not lack provision, I will not lack affection, and I will not lack worth and value. He is enough. He is enough for me, and I am enough in him. How incredibly freeing! But do I really believe this? Do I really believe God is enough? And am I able to trust in, and rest in, his enough-ness?
For if I do not really believe God is enough, I will never be able to lie down in green pastures and be led beside quiet waters. I will be too busy and frantic trying to provide for myself, and prove to myself and my world that I am worth loving. I shall not want always precedes being able to lie down in green pastures and being willing to be led beside quiet waters. If I can come to terms with the enough-ness of my God, and, therefore, the enough-ness of myself, then I can be really free from want. Free to love and to serve those in my life and my world without needing them in some sadly dysfunctional way.
The kicker is that I must truly believe that God is enough for me. And I must truly believe that God is enough in me. And I must truly believe that God is enough through me. That alone is the only thing that can restore my soul.
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Global Partner Focus: Africa
Mark and Annemarie Dye are passionate about building Christian leaders to mobilize and equip the African Church for mission in the world. Pray today for the eradication of Ebola in all of DR Congo and for the door to open for the UWM DR Congo team to return. Some on the team need visa renewals.
Navigators Collegiate ministry at UT Knoxville has this mission: "To advance the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost." Pray today for the leaders of this ministry and the students as they make plans for the fall semester.
Closing Prayer: God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. (Psalm 23:1, The Message)