God can give you quietness of soul. Have you trusted Him for that?
Thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Bless your heart. Nice to be back with you, thank God. We are together in the work of the Lord, and the bonds of Christian love, Hallelujah for that. You and I’ve been looking at the 23rd Psalm, and we got just about through that first verse anyway, “Lord is my shepherd”, you remember we emphasized the possessive there, what does it mean when you can say my shepherd, and then we talked the last time we got together, about that phrase, “I shall not want”, means, I shall not lack for anything that I need. And, God gives you what you need, whether or not you know it, and the Lord Jesus pointed that out, he said, “If somebody that has a little boy, and the boy asks for bread, and he grabs a stone is he going him do that? No, he’ll give him a piece of bread, he’ll break his little teeth on a stone that looks like bread, and if he looks at a little scorpion, curled up there with its gray, little body, looking like an egg, say, “Oh, there’s a bird’s egg”. No, no, no, that’s a scorpion. He’ll bite you and sting you. If you want an egg, I’ll give you an egg, and he looks at a snake and thinks it’s an eel, and grabs for it, “No, no, he’ll bite you, we’ll get an eel at the fish market. So, human parents know how to give good things to their children. Well he said, “If ye being able, know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him?” God doesn’t always give me what I ask for, that’s my point. “See if the son asks for bread, will he give him a stone, if he asks for a fish, will he give him the serpent, if he asks for an egg, will he offer a scorpion? If ye then know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more your Heavenly Father?” So, he says, “I shall not lack for anything that I need”, I have to relearn it every day almost, I just have to relearn the idea of trusting my Lord to give me what I really need, and He does, hallelujah for that.
So now, we come to this the second verse of Psalm 23, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, pastures of tender grass, He leadeth me beside the still waters”, means waters of quietness. Why does psalmist say that? Well, because if left to ourselves like sheep, Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, turned everyone to his own way”, sheep tend to go astray and sheep don’t always know where the good things are, so we come back to that verse in Psalm 37, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart”. Oftentimes, you’ve been looking for the tender grass, so to speak, and instead you found some pretty tough chewing. Isn’t that true? That’s the way life is, isn’t it? You thought it was going to be so great, ended up being pretty tough to chew.
I brought home a piece of meat not too long ago, from a local store, and it had looked pretty good, and I thought well, this is going to make a fine roast, so, I was the chief cook and bottle washer that day, and I put salt and pepper, and little ginger, and a dash of garlic salt, all that business you know, and then I got a carrot, and I got a couple stalks of celery, and I got an onion, I put that in the roaster, and I thought we’re going to have a fine pot roast. It looked alright, but you couldn’t chew the stuff. I don’t know, it must have been made out of leather, but it just was so tough. Well, life is that way. Sometimes, you think you’re going to enjoy it, turns out to be pretty tough chewing. That’s why the psalmist says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, pastures of tender grass”. You follow your blessed Lord and you’re going to have something that isn’t too tough to chew. It’s going to be great. “Therefore, with joy, shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, he that believeth in me shall never thirst”. The fact is that God gives you not only what’s good for you, you got that in verse one, but He also gives you something that you can enjoy on the way. Now, not everything that is good for you is enjoyable.
There was a time, oh I suppose 30 years ago, when I was going to try to lose weight, and I did as a matter of fact. Put it back on since, but they had in those days a wafer for that was made out of wood fiber, you know the human body can’t digest cellulose, so some thoughtful person had made a wafer out of cellulose and flavored it a little bit, and sold as a weight reduction aid. I can remember biting into one of those and chewing it. It tasted like what it was, sawdust. May have been good for me, but it didn’t taste very good. Sulfur and molasses, did you have that in the old days any of you old-timers? Come spring, you had to have sulfur and molasses? When I was a boy living on the farm with my Uncle Frank Setzler and Aunt Esther, every spring they would take me over to Green Springs, Ohio, where there are some sulfur water springs. You can smell of a mile away, they smell like ancient eggs, and that sulfur water was very good for you, so I every spring go over there, “Have some of that water boy, good for ya”. Well, it didn’t hurt me any. I’m still alive. Not everything that’s good for you tastes good, but the way God deals with us, you delight yourself in Him, you make Him the center of your life, and He will become the source of your joy and satisfaction, and what He gives you is going to be like for the sheep, the pastures of tender grass. Isn’t the great? Now, somebody’s listening to me as saying, “Well, Brother Cook, you don’t know what I’m going through. I’m going through a terrible trial, and everything’s going wrong, and you’re talking about in the desires of your heart, and all at that, and the tender grass, well I all I’m getting is the stubble. I know, but the keyword on those things is through, wait until God’s time is there.
A little later on the same psalm, we’re going to have “Ye, I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I will fear no evil”. See, God’s keyword is through. “What I do thou knowest not now”, Jesus said, “but thou shalt know hereafterward”. “No chastening for the present, see with joyous but rather grievous, but afterward it yields at the peaceable fruit of repentance to them who are exercised”, means benefited thereby, afterward, hereafter, through, see all of those words tell you that God is in the process of doing something. He’s in the process of doing something.
Amy Carmichael in one of her books, tells the story of standing beside a refiner in one of the bazaars of India, and this man was hunched down, squatted down beside his primitive refining equipment. He had some gold or in a brazier, and underneath it a very hot charcoaled fire upon which she was blowing with the bellows, and she watched him as he put that or, rough looking or, into the container the little tiny furnace, you may say, and that then he applied the heat, then he let it cool a little after it skimmed off some from the top. Then he applied the heat again, even more heat, and some more of the impurities rose to the top, and then he let it cool a little, and then he applied even more heat and skimmed off again some impurities here and there, are fleck of impurity here and there on the surface of the molten metal, and finally settled back on his haunches looked up and said to nobody in particular with a smile, “It’s finished”. Well, Amy Carmichael had been standing there all this while, watching him and she said to him, “So, how do you know it’s finished?”, he said, “I can tell that it’s pure, when I can see my face perfectly reflected in the molten gold”. See, God wants His face perfectly reflected in your life and in mine, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He said, “We all beholding, as in a glass”, see the idea of a mirror for reflection, “we are all beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, to be and to look like the Lord Jesus Christ, to reflect his beauty”. Moses prayed that prayer, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish Thou, the work of our hands”. See all through the Bible, you have this idea of reflecting the beauty of the God whom you serve, as so God isn’t through with you or with me yet, and when we’re going through some rough times, that doesn’t mean that He made a mistake ,what it does mean is that that that He’s not through yet. He’s in the process of doing something for us, you’ll be in the in the pastures of tender grass, oh yes, you will, and you’ll know that He has brought you by His grace to that place of joy and contentment. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”, small thought here; you have that verb lie down, for many people it’s difficult to relax, I don’t ’t know why, but it is, I guess I’m one of them really, I sit still for 10 minutes and I get up and do something, if I’m if I’m quiet for too long, I think I’m missing a meeting or something.
Many years ago, Coreen and I were at a county fair, and among one of the booths, there was of a lady who analyzed handwriting. What do they call them? Graphologists, don’t they?. She analyzed your handwriting, and so, I paid my $.50, and she said, write your name and something else, so I did, and I handed the paper over to her, she took one look at it, looked up at me with a smile and said, “Sir, do you ever relax?”, well she had my number, didn’t she? You know something? God can give you the quietness of spirit, where you don’t have, what we call the jits, you don’t have the restlessness that keeps you constantly prowling about, here and there, looking for something you scarcely know what, but busy, busy, busy, maybe doing nothing, but busy at it. God can give you quietness of soul. Have you trusted Him for that? “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”. Why don’t you ask God to give you a touch of His quietness? “They remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God”, God-given rest of spirit. Now, that doesn’t mean that you stop being busy. Some of the most restful times I have ever experienced, have been in the middle of busy, busy days or nights. It doesn’t mean that you’ll stop being active, it does mean that you’ll be perfectly at rest, perfectly relaxed, perfectly content with your Lord, perfectly at peace with this wonderful Lord, that’s what that means, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”. Let God give you that peace of soul, that inner rest it can mean so very much to your life. Would you do that?
Dear Father today, let us have the rest of soul, even while we’re busy. The rest that comes from being content with the Lord, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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