So last week we talked about the massive way that God refreshes our soul. It thrilled me that God is so actively involved in that process. I left something out though, kind of like the ham at Easter time or the tree at Christmas. It was important but I wanted to save it for today.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. (Literally returns it back to Himself).
We discussed the verb and its intensity. Did you know the actual word there is not the word for saturation or rest which you may have suspected. These minutia like details might bore some but if you get a hold of what it means it will cause you to shout. It’s so awesome I feel like it shouldn’t be just released on a blog for free. Of course I did not pay for it with my life and it’s not my idea so I can’t contain it. What would happen if everyone got a hold of this word? People would get saved, rush to church, get ready for Heaven. Hmm?
Refresh here does not mean restore like you would stretch out a sore muscle. It’s thought is more like you would restore an old piano to it’s original intended condition. It comes from the Hebrew word SHUV. Walter Kaiser Jr. when he preached in the chapel at Gordon Conwell used to say the people in the book of Jeremiah needed a “shuv” in the right direction. That’s how I remember this word. It’s a word of repentance, a word of going back HOME. It means that you don’t keep walking in the way you are headed but you turn around and go back to the beginning, back to Homeplate, back to creation and the Father. To be refreshed and restored fully as David was and in the way David meant was to return Home – justified, sanctified, saved and whole. Why? Because that is the ONLY thing, the Only way possible that we can ever have a fully refreshed soul. Hallelujah! Being right with God is the best refreshing, restoring experience one can have in life.
Lord, remove the dross, the sin. Lord remove the critical spirit, the cynicism, the sarcasm, the hate. Lord remove what makes us bitter, calloused, angry. Lord apply your payment at Calvary for our sin, make us whole again.
We do not go forward on a trajectory of self improvement or self-fulfillment no matter what the big convention center preachers say. We get restored, returned and fashioned back into God’s original design for us because it’s all about being part of God’s plan and Kingdom, not just a better shinier us.
It is God that restores my soul. Not my neighbor who may see sin in my life. It is God that restores my soul – not the deacon or the preacher or the choir director. They can challenge, redirect and refresh but only God can bring us back into right alignment with Him. Maybe He does it because He knows where we have strayed, been broken, injured, wounded or just gave up. He brings us back, the One who is the Alpha and Omega, Author and Finisher. The One who promises to complete in us what He began in us. That doesn’t mean others won’t help us along the way but if returning to Home base is God’s goal I am truly and deeply thankful that it is HIS work, and not just my own. Isn’t it weird that others think they know exactly what we need when only God can fill in the ditches of our heart?
Hubby and I joke that the reason Jesus is coming back to get me is that if He didn’t I would probably be late, or in the wrong city or perhaps waiting at the railroad station for my ship to come in. He knows my days and what it will take to present me blameless before the Father. It’s His work, start to finish.
Bring us home Lord, bring us back to You- Your will, Your plans and Your heart. Restore, return our souls to YOU. We’ve been waiting, longing for You God and deeply desire to be connected with You once again. Amen.
ps. We just got a copy of Lauren Daigle’s CD “Look up Child” at Hobby Lobby. It is amazing and will redirect your gaze to HOME.