- The Source
- The Sovereign By Definition
- The Sovereign By Decree
- The Sovereign By Design: Part I
- The Sovereign By Design: Part II
- The Sovereign By Design: Part III
- The Sovereign By Design: Part IV
- The Sovereign By Design: Part V
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VI
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VII
- The Supply: My Giver: Introduction
- The Supply My Giver: Part I
- The Supply My Giver: Part II
- The Supply My Giver: Part III
- The Supply My Giver: Part IV
- The Supply My Giver: Part V
- The Supply My Giver: Part VI
- The Supply My Giver: Part VII
- The Supply My Giver: Part VIII
- The Supply My Giver: Part IX
- The Supply My Giver: Part X
- The Security; My Guard
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Psalms 23:2a)
Who is my Shepherd? “The LORD is my shepherd.” He is The Source (My Guide); and The Sovereign (My God).
The Lord is proven to be Sovereign in David’s life because:
1) “The LORD is my shepherd.” (Psalms 23:1a)
By Choice of God, based on Who God is:
a) He is God, the only True and Living God;
b) He is my Shepherd by Covenant/Eternal Purpose in Christ, based solely on the good Pleasure of His own Will;
c) He elected me in Christ Jesus to be holy and without blame, to be the son of adoption, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ as the slain Lamb of God. (In Eternity Past (Revelation 13:8); in Time Present, on the Cross, as my Substitute, Sacrifice, and Savior (Romans 3:24-31); and by Personal Experience, in time, in my Regeneration and Conversion by God the Spirit (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:5-6).)
2) “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Psalms 23:2a)
The verb “maketh” is active on my Shepherd’s part, and passive on my part. This is the second step David used to acknowledge God as the Sovereign in his (David’s) life.
a) Does God make anyone do anything? If so,
b) Where is man’s free will? (This is discussed in the two previous devotions.)
c) Would it be right for God to make His sheep lie down?
Let this first truth be placed in your heart: “In the beginning God...” (Genesis 1:1). God is First. God is the Creator; and the Creator has complete Authority over His Creation. Note the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 9:18-21:
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? (20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (21) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:18-21)
Note especially verse 19, “…For who hath resisted his will?”
God’s answer is in verses 20 and 21, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him (God) that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (21) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
We are the clay; and God is the Potter. Therefore, He is the Authority; He is our Lord and Master; He is our Creator; and He owns us.
“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4)
There are myriads of verses in Scripture to prove, as the two passages above do, that God is Sovereign – He is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator over His own Creation. Therefore, God has the authority to do as He pleases. But everything He does is according to His Eternal Purpose in Christ (Job 23:13-14).
Also, God’s predestination of our steps is for our good, not our condemnation. God’s Purpose is to conform us to His Image; and not to destroy us, but to glorify us:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
What are the “good” things for those who love God, and “are the called according to his purpose”? Paul gives the answer in verses 29-39.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
When you understand God’s Purpose for His Elect in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-11; Romans 8:29-39) – then you stop accusing God of being a mean God, an over-riding, over-bearing God; and you start praising Him for His Sovereignty.
Without God’s Sovereignty, there would be no Salvation. We would be eternally doomed to hell, the second death; eternally separated from God; a dead sinner. But, praise God – read Romans 3:24-31; 5:1-21; 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:7-11; 1 Peter 2:24; and many, many more verses that confirm God’s Love to His Elect in Christ Jesus.
Specifically: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” How does God make us “lie down”? See Paul’s words in Philippians:
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
God works His Will in us and through us. But How?
1) By giving us a Will Change
All of God’s Sheep fell in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 5:12); and spiritual death occurred. The soul and the spirit became united; and the soul (the seat of emotions) became the master. The soul (or the flesh; the old sinful nature of the fallen sinner) is dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Until the fallen sheep is Regenerated, he follows the dictates of the will of the flesh. But, when he is Regenerated by God the Spirit, he is given a New Nature; his soul and his spirit are separated; and his spirit is in charge now (Hebrews 4:12). He is made a New Creation and given a New Will (see Ephesians 2:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:17). After Regeneration, he desires to please Christ, by keeping His Commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 3:14-24; 4:17-21). He starts on the path of holiness and separation from this world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Luke 14:26-33). He now walks in the Power and Victory of Christ (1 John 5:4; Roams 6:17-22). His fruit is unto holiness, peace, love, and joy:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Therefore, when you have been given a Will Change, you now desire to do the Will of God, and not to please yourself.
2) By teaching His Sheep how to surrender, submit, obey, and endure by teaching them His Lordship; His Will; His Word; and the Reward of Stedfastness.
As the Sheep learns of His Shepherd, the Truth; the Sheep has no problem lying down at the Master’s Command.
a) Why? Because the Love of God has been shed abroad in his heart (Romans 5:5).
He knows God is his Father; he knows God loves him, and gave Himself for him. He knows John 15:16. He knows he was chosen by God, and ordained by God to bring forth fruit that would remain. It is now his desire to please Christ in every part of his life; in body, soul, and spirit.
b) Why? Because the Truth makes the Sheep free:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
And freedom is what the saint of God desires and where he desires to be. So, when the LORD says to His Sheep, “lie down” – the Sheep know their Shepherd, hear His voice, and follow Him:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
3) By bearing witness in our spirit that we are sons of God:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:15-16)
Therefore, we owe our Father obedience. See Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 21, as Isaac submits to Abraham to be a sacrifice. Yes, it pictures Christ, and us in Christ. It is our pattern also – to surrender, submit, obey, and endure.
Yes, this is how God “makes” us:
1) By giving His Sheep a Will Change – in Regeneration;
2) By teaching us His Will and His Word;
3) By giving us an internal witness it is truth – we are His sons; and as His sons, we are to obey His Will and Word.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
In conclusion, “He maketh me to lie down” is not an order by the Slave Master to His slave; but a Command of Love by the Father to His Sheep of His Fold for their good:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
When God works in us to do of His Good Pleasure, it is always for His Glory and the saint’s good (Romans 8:28).
Praise God, He maketh me lie down – for without Him, I would be nothing, and doomed forever and ever.
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