There is a tension in which followers of Jesus must always live. We must seek first the kingdom of heaven. And we must work with diligence and excellence at whatever sort of labor God has given us to do. This means our minds and hearts are constantly pulled both upward and outward, and it is a very stretching place to be.

Lately I've felt this tension strongly. I so want to be a woman characterized by discipline and effectiveness in my work. I know this pleases the Lord. Yet almost as soon as I begin striving in any area, I sense my heart being pulled further from His. The insecurities and pride arise, and I feel myself less grounded and more self-centered. And that's not where I want to be.

I know I'm called to be a woman after the heart of God, and I know I'm called to be in this world and working hard as unto the Lord at whatever my hand finds to do. So how do I live well in this tension?

Psalm 23. I have so often overlooked this Psalm because it seemed like a child's verse, something to memorize in Sunday school because it's short and sweet. Lately, though, my weary heart has been drawn toward it for my own edification.

These six verses show me that the Lord, my gentle Shepherd, is guiding me, even prodding me perhaps, toward living in the center of His will, toward Kingdom come. Toward eternity. At the same time, He knows this life contains seasons sadness, fear, distraction and weariness, and He promises that He won't let me off the path in spite of these oppositions.

The final verse assures me that He will never stop pursuing me, and the end is that I will be united with Him forever.

No matter how many times I wander off the path. No matter how many times I stumble. No matter how many times I become sick with fear or lost in confusion. He is my Shepherd, and He keeps me.

I may still feel stretched or pushed out of my comfort zone. I may still question my motives and His purposes. But I will never be left to figure it out on my own.

May you be refreshed by this Psalm and remember the truth that you are not perfect and never will be, but Jesus was the perfect sacrificial Lamb, and by His blood, we are made perfect always in the eyes of God.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

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Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.


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