The Lord asked me to speak, from my own perspective, what Psalm 23 means. I give this as a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Father, for their glory. And I pray that as I speak and write, you will grab hold of its truth.
[SW094] 05/26/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“The Lord Is My Shepherd”
Jesus says, “Teach it from My perspective, for I have come!” That was my only “notes” for today’s message.
Well, I can’t really write down what I have preached today. My heart is full, and I will give you a sketch of it here, but go to my Vimeo message later today, and I pray the Lord will make everything clear to you. Here’s the link to my vimeo site:
Just look down the thumbnails for today’s message. It’s being processed and prepared by my loving husband right now.
The Lord asked me to speak, from my own perspective, what Psalm 23 means. It was written by David in the time when the Holy Spirit “came upon” people, and He came upon David in a very big way. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been given in the way I experience Him today. That didn’t happen until Jesus Christ carried on the cross the punishment we deserved, died, rose again, ascended into heaven, and was glorified. Then the Holy Spirit was given in the way I experience Him (see John 7:37 and forward.
I give this as a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Father, for their glory. And I pray that as I speak and write, you will grab hold of its truth.
The Lord, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord IS my Good Shepherd. He is my Ruler, my Owner, my Master, and He leads me. I used to go astray and go my own way. That ended in sin. But now, because He is my Ruler and Good Shepherd, I follow Him. In Israel, the shepherd went ahead of the flock. The sheep simply followed, except when they went off in their own way. In His mercy, He brought me, a sheep, from the darkness of my way into the light of His sheepfold, His presence, His life.
Because the Lord is my Good Shepherd, I shall not want. I shall not lack. I have sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things have been added to me. I have sought Him with all of my heart, and I have found Him! He has made me become the righteousness of God, because His righteousness dwells in my heart! It is none of my own work. I was a “good person” before I knew Him, or so I thought. But I rejected Him, and in that, I was not a good person at all. I rejected Jesus Christ, who is God’s love gift to a sinful world. So I did good things, but I was not good. And I also rebelled against God, doing things that He hates. My heart was rebellious toward Him. But now, I only want to follow. His kingdom is within me, and He rules. And so, I lack nothing. I have all I need — Him!
He makes me lie down (original Hebrew is “stretch out”) in green pastures. Oh, He has made a wide space in my heart, and has taken me into a place of liberty, a wide space, where I can stretch out and feed on Him, on what He gives me for nourishment. I stretch out with Him first thing in the morning, and give Him my love — even returning to Him the love with which He has filled my heart. It feeds Him. And He gives me spiritual nourishment. It is a lovely feast! I feed Him, and He feeds me!
He leads me beside still waters (original Hebrew is “waters of rest”). Oh, I have entered His sabbatismos, His true sabbath of which the Old Testament sabbath was but a shadow! It is resting from my own labors, and then Him working through me. It is not me working, but Him. I have given up laboring on my own — I got nowhere but tired and lost. I have given up trying to “figure out” God and simply follow His lead, and He is in me, leading, and also in front of me, leading. He leads me to rest. My Good Shepherd is in me, ruling, and He brings me rest . . . I stretch out, I drink of His living water that He offered the woman at the well, that He said would come even from my belly when the Spirit was poured out!
He restores my soul, He has revived it, He gave life as God has it to one who merely existed! What mercy! I was very far from Him, I had rejected Him, I had gone astray to my own way, but He touched me and healed me and brought me into His sheepfold. He has made me what I was meant to be in the beginning — a container for Him, a most unlikely clay pot in which His glory dwells. Praise His name forevermore!
He guides me, he leads me in the paths of righteousness. I see His footprints and place my feet in them. His righteousness which is in me, which dwells in my heart, continually points out the way, saying “This is the way; walk in it!” And I gladly do, because He has made me a completely joy-filled prisoner of His love, gripped by it and compelled by it. I am compelled to tell you of His love, which He has for you TODAY, if you will turn from your sin as I did, and cry out for His salvation, and then for His cleansing when His Spirit takes charge and indwells you, just according to what Jesus spoke in John 14.
Why does He do this? For His name’s sake. He holds His Word, the Bible, before all other things. And He has made a promise, that I would become His witness here, because His Witness dwells in me now — Father, Son and Spirit. He does not do this to make me joyful — though that is the outflow of it. He does not do this to give me peace — though that is the outflow of it. He does it for His name’s sake. He made the promise, and He will keep it for everyone who will believe Him!
Because of all the Lord has done up to this point in Psalm 23, it makes no difference if I walk in the valley of death. I do not fear. His protection is with me, and even if I perish like some who knew Him did in the Oklahoma tornadoes, I do not fear. I go to be with Him, just as they did.
What can I fear? Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? His eternal life in me goes with me into eternity with Him in heaven! And I do not fear coming before Christ’s judgment seat, as Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 5, for my deeds to be judged, both good and bad. He has made me good inside, and He dwells there. He will recognize Himself in me. I do not fear judgment. The perfect love He has poured out in my heart to overflowing is what makes me not fear judgment. He is with me, He is in me, here and then there, in heaven!
His rod and His staff comfort me. His rod is for my enemy, Satan. He protects His sheep. He wields it when Satan tries to attack and devour me. He steps in and thwarts all Satan’s attempts to kill the Christ in me. And I stand in His armor, wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is not my sword, but His. And I wield it, and the Enemy flees! I submit to God, I resist the devil, and he must flee. It’s in the Rule Book, in James 4:7.
And the Good Shepherd’s staff is what I feel when He tells me the way to walk, when He shows me a part of my character that He wants to change. And I am glad for it and comforted by it because the more I am like my Good Shepherd, the more He can flow through me!
Because the Lord is my Good Shepherd and I am totally His and He dwells fully in me, I am invited to His table. It is a glorious table, full of good things described in Isaiah 25:6-8. It is a glorious feast, a wedding feast, and I have an invitation. The Bridegroom not only knows me, but He has made me His bride! He will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until I drink it with Him, in heaven. Until then, I take of His supper until He comes, remembering His cross and His soon coming. And the Enemy, Satan, has to sit and watch as I sup with Christ and He with me. That gives me great pleasure!
But there are some who are His who refuse His invitation because they are busy. They have places to go and things to do. They are sheep gone astray, each to his own way. So the Lord went into the byways and brambles and found me, the most unlikely candidate to become His bride — one who rejected Him. And He has prepared a table of goodness for me, simply because I believed Him and did not turn away at His invitation. Do not turn away from His invitation, but turn away from your sin, ask the Lord to forgive you, receive His salvation, and seek His cleansing. He will do the same for you as He did for me!
Not only do I eat with Him, but as was the custom in Israel when guests came to dinner, He anoints me and fills my cup to overflowing! He has filled me with His Spirit, His overflowing, and I overflow with Him. I was anointed inwardly by Him when He healed me, but it was just a taste of what was to come. Now, His anointing is fully in me, and I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit overflows, pouring from my belly like flood waters! Now the Fountain is in me, ruling and reigning, and He flows endlessly. It is for the glory of the Father, and the glory of the Son, so people will see that what the Word of God says is truth.
Surely, surely, surely! Without a doubt, it is sure and can be depended upon that His goodness and His checed, God’s actual love for me and now in me, will continue forever. I am devoted to Him as He is to me, and more so as I walk with my Good Shepherd. His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness are the fruit of His indwelling me, and I am controlled by His Spirit. And more and more, I become like Christ.
Surely these things will follow me all the days of my life, for my whole heart is filled with God! I want only what He wants, He has anointed me, and I live in Him and He in me! My Good Shepherd rules and reigns, and I want nothing but Him.
And because of all that my Good Shepherd has done, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I am His house while I am here, and I go to His house in heaven when I leave this place. I am here for as long as He wants His Witness to be visible in me, and then I go to Him, to be among those who worship at His throne.
The Good Shepherd has all of this for you, O church and O world. Turn from your own ways — they get you nowhere fast. Turn from your sin, turn from going astray. The Lord Jesus Christ has borne your punishment so you may be reconciled to God and cleansed deep within. This is the work of the Good Shepherd whom I love.