Message Recap – 6/3/11 – Psalm 23: Part 3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This week is the halfway point in Pastor Dan's series on Psalm 23. If you haven't been around for the past couple of weeks... well, you really need to check out the recaps for the previous installments:

Part 1

Part 2




Now let's get right to Psalm 23:3:

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Nobody likes to be out of their comfort zones. But we all have situations in life that are uncomfortable. We all encounter things that are outside our ability to easily cope, where we'd give almost anything to not be in the situation. For many of us the biggest issue is fear of failure. We aren't comfortable because we don't feel like we can succeed in the situation.

He restores my soul.

What is a soul? Your soul is not your body. It's your mind, will and emotions. It's your thoughts and ideas; the part that gets frustrated by failure and that gets hurt when someone rejects you. When you feel like you're at the end of yourself, it's your soul that you're at the end of.

Our souls need restoration!

Often, when people read Psalm 23, they connect "still waters" with "he restores my soul" in the phrasing. But there's a little thing called a period that separates those thoughts. He doesn't restore our souls through still waters, but through paths of righteousness.

What's a righteous person? Someone who hasn't screwed up. Someone perfect. Someone not at all like us. But God leads us in paths of righteousness even though we've messed up.

In the original language, “paths” could be translated “camps”. He leads me into the camp of the righteous.

For His name's sake.

That's not a phrase you hear every day. What does it mean? It means that it is by His name we can enter the camp of the righteous. Not because we are perfect, but by His authority we walk paths that we have no right to walk! Even though our souls are tired, poor, wounded, imperfect, spotted with sin, by His name we can walk the paths of the righteous.

Take a look at what 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says: Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When we walk around in our own strength and think it's gonna be great, our comfort zone is easily erased. As soon as we mess up just a little, our confidence in ourselves fades. When we walk in our own strength, our comfort zone can be very easily crushed. In those moments of embarrassment or failure our soul takes a beating. From us. We beat ourselves up, replaying the moment in our minds over and over again. When we recognize our weakness, even in areas we are normally “strong” in, the power of Christ can be at work through us.

As humans we are never strong. Sure, we fool ourselves. At times we think we have it all under control. But the truth is we really don't.

When we recognize that we don't have it all under control, when we come to God and ask Him to lead us in paths of righteousness, we can step out of our comfort zone and into God's.

When you are weak, He is strong. You have to recognize your weakness and step into His strength.

When you feel like a failure, like a nobody... in those moments God is restoring your soul, leading you on paths of righteousness, taking you to places you can't get to on your own!

When you soul is tired, broken down and lost, He restores you. He makes you strong!

By His authority, by His namesake you are made righteous!

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Jenn said...

Amen!

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