In the Presence of God: Trusting God in the Valley- Pastor Patricia Montgomery

Psalm 23 (NKJV): 

Each of the six verses introduces a theological theme or affirmation in which the understanding of the relationship between God and humanity is progressively deepened.  The psalm lifts up the themes of provision, abundance, and restoration.  The author knows our God as One who cares and provides and focusing on this psalm as a prayer and affirmation of trust: trusting God in the midst of controversy, problems, and uncertainties encountered in life (and none of us are exempted), intimate communion, abundance, and happiness in the Presence of the LORD. 

God is personified as a shepherd.  God is Jehovah-Jireh our provider.  To me this psalm is always personified – It’s just the LORD and I when I PRAY IT, even though it speaks of “evil”, “darkness”, and “enemies.”  These days and times it seems as though evil is always looming and attacking and trying to catch the children of God off guard.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  It appears to me that God is willing to go beyond our needs and supply our wants too.  

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.  The LORD will provide whatever it is that you need this morning but you’ve got to believe that God is able and trust God that He will do it. The green pastures of food, water, oxygen, clothing, transportation, in the midst of this coronavirus.  People are actually scared that their may be a shortage of whatever it is they may need.  Instead, focus on having a deeper, richer experience and an abundant life under God’s care.

He restores my soul, He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake:  God is giving us vitality, God cares about our soul and it’s restoration.  To restore the soul means to revive and enliven it.  The restoration of our soul allows for divine guidance in the paths of righteousness.  We must pursue righteousness and righteous living with God. 

God supplies his security and safety in the midst of the storm and He leads me beside the still waters.  The Presence of God is always near, I can feel him even when I extend myself to Him and even when I can’t extend myself to Him - - - He is with me.  I trust His protecting Presence.

Father, you provide for me whatever it is that I need from You . . . You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You protect me in the Presence of my enemies and abundance is provided as you anoint my head with oil - - - the Anointing of the Holy Spirit is supplied.  You give me more than I need as my cup overflows as I partake of whatever comes into the saucer.  

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, You comfort me.   Dangers are eminently surrounding me on my left and my right but You, Your Presence and Provision are with me and stronger than the presence of my enemies.  God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  

Father, You have supplied me for the rest of my life to have goodness and mercy to follow me as Your agents to give me permanent protection as a vivid sign of Your love for me.  And as long as goodness and mercy pursue me I won’t worry about my enemies pursuing me.  

And Father, I’m going to stay right here and dwell in your house forever and ever.  As your child, Father, You have promised never to leave me nor forsake me.  I will trust You because only You can help me in the moment that I’m in, in the midst of built up tension. 

On Tuesday, as I’m driving from Orangeburg to North Charleston to visit my mother, I begin an all too familiar gesture, I begin talking to the LORD.  I begin to pour out to Him my concerns, my thoughts, my fears, my praise and my worship.  In the midst of it I question Him about what’s going on with my mother.  I ask Him to reveal to me what I need to know.  Then I hear the familiar words of the 23rd Psalm.  I begin praying and reciting this prayer over and over and over, wanting to feel it deep down in my soul. 

Then I’m enlightened with the verse, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”  Even though my mother is going through what seems as though is a mystery to her doctors is not a mystery to you God.  Even though evil is all around and even though sickness can sometimes have those doubting relatives who expect the worse news…….God! I will not fear the evil of my enemies.  What can man do to me?   Death and life are in the power of the tongue.  I have a tongue.  I speak life to my mother, I speak life to you and your loved ones. . . You shall live and not die to declare the works of the Lord! 

​Our restored soul has fou

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