He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.¬†¬†¬†Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. (Psalm 23:3,4 Amplified)¬†
Paths of Righteousness
I restore your soul and I lead you in paths of righteous for My own name sake (Psalms 23:3). I gave you my righteousness at salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8). This gift allows you to walk uprightly and in right relationship with Me. You did not earn it by good behavior or excellent works. You received it as a gift according to faith, according to your confession (Romans 10:9).
In accordance with and compelled by the qualities and nature of the Good Shepherd that I am, I will not leave you stuck or going in circles. I lead you step by step, day by day, week by week until the fullness of all I planned for you comes to fruition (Proverbs 16:9). The way may be narrow but in Me all things are possible. Even though the path is narrow, freedom and liberty create a large place in which to stand; to stand in Me. Law has no place or right to your walk of righteousness. I do not condemn (Romans 8:1-39). Why should you? Without Me, apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).
I am the Light and today I am shedding it abroad in your heart, allowing you to see some distance ahead in order to inspire you to move from your comfortable place. I am leading you to new pastures, by way of new paths full of promise and purpose.
I will not leave you to reside in old habits, old ways of thinking and doing. Time to let go and move on has come. The time has come to get out of the ruts and valleys created by your own ease and love of comfort. Many things must change in your heart and life. To bring this about in you is part of My leadership responsibility.
The first thing you must do is to increase in love. You must love Me with all your heart and soul to follow Me. In the days ahead I am going to develop this love in you until it flows over in such abundance there will be an increase beyond your wildest dreams in the area of loving others. You cannot love them without loving Me first and foremost. You cannot even love yourself without loving Me first. I am the beginning and end of all love.
This must be accomplished for My name sake and all it means in your life. I am guiding you in the way of love to fulfill the purpose of your life in bringing glory and honor to the one you love: Me. My name cannot do anything less than bring this about. I am opening your eyes to see the barren places where you have been content to abide because they have become so common place to you, almost unnoticeable and not discerned. Give Me your hand, plant My Word in your heart, and adjust your attitudes and actions accordingly. Follow Me in paths of freedom and all right thinking. In doing this My name shall be glorified.
Don’t forget My beloved, nothing has changed. I have not changed I am always with you as your Good Shepherd in the good and the bad. Be it mountains, valleys, or plains makes no difference to Me. I am agile and able to traverse all without missing a beat, a step. As I have told you before, I have already been where you are going, scouted out the path, and made a way (Exodus 23:20). Do not fret. Do not look to the right or left where shadows dwell. Trials and tribulations come to all men but the righteous are never forsaken nor do there seed beg for bread (Psalms 37:25). Neither should you. Stand up in every valley and proclaim the Bread of Life. Shadows of any kind must flee.
Without Me you cannot navigate the things ahead without falling into the cracks and crevices along the way. You must follow attentively with focus and set your face like flint. There is no other way.
Like sheep on the mountainsides, you need guidance in order not to stumble and fall. In the valleys you need My faith. No matter what you are facing My assurance to be yours, to provide, to restore, to lead has not changed. In this day and hour I have intensified these assurances in your life and I have come to escort you with valiant victory out of all the past and its shadows. I am leading you into My light and glory. Surely I am shining, pointing out the way.
I conquered death Hell and the grave, pronouncing them as only a shadow without power to hold (Revelations 1:17-19). Having eradicated the power of death and diminishing it to only wisp of darkness without power, how much more will I do to vanquish the shadows of your life? The only way they have power is if you can be convinced by one father of lies to believe so. Once again, this is where My Word comes in to play. My Word and I are inseparable. When you have My Word and plant it in your heart, faith arises and you have Me. My presence accompanies the Word and I accompany you. The lies of the enemy have to flee.
Look up and see Me, the mountain from which your help comes from (Psalms 121:2). Look up and behold the Mountain and the valley will grow dim. Shadows will flee in the light of My countenance. In spite of the fact that shadows lurk everywhere and even though they try and drift within your line of sight, don?t for a second pay attention. Remember, they have no substance. The color RED has stripped them of all substance and power and has given it to you. Rise up; remember I made you a light, a city on a hill. Stand up and declare to the silhouettes of darkness in your life, ?You are only a shadow!?
I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). To fear is to have dread of trouble, calamity, distress, affliction, sorrow, adversity, or even prosperity and success. You can fear anything My beloved. Things to fear are as unique as the many people I have created. Fear comes from lack of faith and trust in My goodness. I have told you over and over in My Word to FEAR NOT. Fear can come without you even knowing it; beginning with little anxious thoughts dismissed as a normal tendency to worry. I do not want any type of fear in your life no matter how small or innocuously it might present itself. Remember the little foxes? Cast out all fear and plant Word seeds of faith.
It is not enough to cast out fear. One must replace it with faith and trust. I have given you no cause to be frightened. The only fear of Me you should have is in the context of reverence. When sheep are in the valleys or on the treacherous mountains they must trust their shepherd. Likewise with you.
In the days to come I am going to show you hidden places, hidden pockets of fear in your life. Situations of life will present themselves and allow you to see what you really believe. Don’t think of the catastrophic and miss the little foxes. Don?t miss My still small voice whispering to your heart as I stand near to you. It can be very simple this fear of yours. To fear anything and place it above My sovereignty gives the fear power greater than Me. In this way it is made to be a god and an idol.
Remember My green pastures and still waters. Remember how I said shadows of death will flee before your very eyes. Remember I am yours; your personal Shepherd and I will not leave or forsake you. I will not leave you to figure things out on your own. I am an ever-present God and I am with you. Focus on Me and do not worry about tomorrow. Focus on the day that I have made and make Me the center of your attention (Matthew 6:34).
Change is on the way beloved. I am building a steadfast spirit within you, cloaking you, clothing you with the armor of a king (Psalms 51:10). Arise now my fearless one. Yes, this is how I see you; fearless and awesome to behold. Arise My fearless one and draw near for I am indeed very close, nigh unto your side. I am your Good Shepherd and I have not, I will not, now or ever leave your side. Come, let’s ascend the hill My brave solider.
My rod protects you in so many ways. I am your defender, your comforter, and your friend (John 14:16 Isaiah 49:25). The rod of My word is sturdy, stable and unrivaled in power. So much so, that whenever it is spoken it does not return void until it accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11).
My rod is for your protection and I use it with great skill to defend those I love (Psalms 35:1). And I love you; therefore I defend at all cost, even the ultimate cost. I paid it all to have this honor. It gives Me great pleasure to contend on your behalf. Build gratefulness of heart by remembering to set up a memorial of thanksgiving for all I have done in the past. This builds faith for the future. Know I do not change. What I did yesterday I will do tomorrow. What I have done for others I will do for you without partiality.
Take the rod of My Word and use is like the mighty club it is. Don’t let one thought of missing it, not being good enough, or any past failure keep you from rising to your rightful place. Be persistent. I, your Shepherd am unrelenting, determined and without fear in My defense of you. Join Me and be amazed.
Take the rod of My Word deep into your heart and let it examine, search out any places in need of being routed out for your own good. Let it separate and destroy all opposing predatory beliefs able to harm your reliance on Me. Pass under the rod of My Word and be made whole.
Don?t be afraid of anything My rod, the Word, exposes. It is for your good and the good of the Kingdom. Besides I have given you My staff of comfort. I have given you Holy Spirit as counselor and friend (John 16:7). With the rod I strike the enemy externally and internally. With My staff I embrace you. Come close.
Beloved I use the crook of My staff and pull you into the safety of My comfort and care. When you move outside the boundaries I have set for protection, I pull you in. I left the ninety-nine for the one and I will not delay in coming after you no matter what.
I am with you from beginning to end in all things. I cannot leave. I cannot forsake (Psalms 91:14). There is no shadow of turning in Me (James 1:17). I am incapable of perpetrating injustice, rejection, or abandonment in any form. I am Comforter, Counselor and Mighty Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Though all should reject or neglect to give comfort, I will not. Even if your mother should forsake you, I will take you up (Psalms 27:10).
I am taking the crook of My staff and pulling you into the deepest recess of My heart, My presence, within the veil. I am nudging you, wooing you, pulling you in to a fearless self-examination of your own heart, empowering you to take up My Cross in a new and victorious way.
With My staff, the Holy Spirit, I nudge you, woo you, rescue you, protect you. I use it to pull you away from dangerous situations not discerned by you. When you sense the inclination to draw back and wait, My staff, Holy Spirit is at work. I am teaching you to respond more quickly in the days to come. It is necessary. A season of intense nudging and pulling is upon you for I need you sharp and discerning in the days to come.
As a result of this work you will take all I do for you in this season to the world around you. To do this, you must KNOW Me, really know Me. Therefore, in the days to come I am going to use My rod (the Word) and My staff (the Holy Spirit) in an increased manner to bring you into the fullness of all I have planned. Today and every day is your destiny. Won’t you take time for Me. Leave the busyness of life for a few moments and let the crook of My staff embrace you. Don?t have any preconceived ideas about what I wish to do. Just come and you will be amazed at the changes I will work in such a short time. Come now! READ PART ONE,
My soul is restored and is continuing to be restored day by day by your guidance and unquenchable love. Your love is poured out in my heart, overflowing throughout my life. The Lord is guiding me along paths of righteousness and love by the power of His name. I am submersed in Him. I willingly follow His voice and instructions. Shadows flee at the sound of His name. No mountain is high enough to prevent Him from leading me. No valley can conceal His presence.
He destroyed every shadow at the Cross. He is always with me and I do not fear the arrow flying by night or pestilence at noonday for I am hidden in Him. He defends me, contends for me and protects me with the Word of His mouth. His staff pulls me into the deepest places of habitation with Him. I am changing as I willing; obediently accept who He says I am, embracing all He is. I am changed by my Good Shepherd.
1. What places of comfort have you allowed yourself to reside in and miss the great adventure planned for you?
2. Reflect on areas where you need His love shed abroad in your heart, be it for Him, for those you love, for your enemies, those you work for, your children etc?
3. Do you have any specific any shadows of the past which need to be addressed? Take whatever appropriate action necessary; repentance, forgiveness, etc and then speak the Word to it and trust your Good Shepherd to defend you.
4. Have you tried to navigate the circumstances of life in any way without His direction?
5. Reflect on any areas of fear in your heart whether they are fears of evil or a fear of success. Listen for His answer.
6. Reflect on any areas where you have felt you could do it on your own, or tried to do it on your own.
7. What does a steadfast spirit mean to you?
8. He defends you at all cost, even to the cost of His life. What areas, circumstances to you need to release so He can defend you by His Spirit and not your might?
9. What Word/Rod do you need to hide in your heart and utterly destroy any wrong belief?
10. Reflect and record things to be thankful for.
11. Have you moved outside the boundaries of His protection in any way through doubt, unbelief or desire to do it your own way?
12. Reflect on being pulled in by Him to be embraced by His great love. What does this mean to you?