I’ve been reading (for the second time) a book called A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller. I highly recommend this book, as it has given me greater insights into Psalm 23, a chapter of Psalms that I love.
“The Lord is my Shepherd (to feed, to guide, and to shield me), I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:1-3a, AMP)
I named my blog, By Still Waters because I love the picture of the Shepherd leading His sheep to still waters, it represents refreshment and contentment to me. When you are hot and tired water is very refreshing. When I am feeling dry spiritually, I know that by coming to Jesus who is the living water, my soul will be quenched. He is my soul’s satisfaction. Part of Sabbath rest is being intentional to come to Jesus and be refreshed by Him, the living Word, the living water.
In the book mentioned above, Phillip Keller talks about how the Shepherd is the one who knows where the good water is to lead his sheep to, and how often the Shepherd has to work hard to make new watering spots for His sheep. Jesus, my Shepherd did the work for me to be satisfied spiritually in Him.
“When sheep are thirsty they become restless and set out in search of water to satisfy their thirst. If not led to the good water supplies of clean, pure water, they will often end up drinking from the polluted pot holes where thy pick up such internal parasites as nematodes, liver flukes or other disease germs.
And in precisely the same manner Christ, our Good Shepherd, made it clear that thirsty souls of men and women can only be fully satisfied when their capacity and thirst for spiritual life is fully quenched by drawing on Himself.” -Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” -Jesus (Matthew 5:6)
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” – Jesus (John 7:37)
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
He desires for us to follow His voice as our Shepherd to the place of true soul rest that can only be found in Him. We know true rest by knowing Jesus as our Savior, recognizing our sin and our need for God, surrendering our lives to follow him, and becoming his sheep. He is the only way to have a relationship with God. He is the only way to experience true and abundant life. He is the only way to know true rest in this life and for eternity.
Phillip Keller wrote about how much it pleased him to see his sheep satisfied from eating grass filled with dewdrops in the early morning. He went on to say that the good Shepherd “loves to see me contented, quiet, at rest, and relaxed. He delights to know my soul and spirit have been refreshed and satisfied.” I love that Jesus delights in us being satisfied by meeting with Him.
The challenge for myself is simply to prioritize that which my soul needs most, daily drinking from the well of living water and eating the spiritual food of God’s Word. When I’m feeling dry spiritually, it is usually because I’m not prioritizing time with Jesus. I can’t just wait until Sunday to get filled up by a good sermon or fellowship with other believers, although both are good and vital for my growth. I must pursue my relationship with Jesus throughout the week. There is so much grace, thankfully! Different seasons of life create challenges for having extended times of connecting with Jesus (like when you have a newborn). It will look different in each season, but having a heart that keeps pursuing Jesus (however that looks in this season) will help you stay refreshed.
Even as believers, we can still struggle to run to Jesus for our satisfaction. We often get distracted, going to other things instead of Jesus, but nothing else will ever truly satisfy our souls. Our restlessness will only be satisfied in Him.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13
Oh that I would remember where my source of living water is, and not run to the things that don’t satisfy. I don’t want to be the sheep who gets distracted and drinks from dirty water. Instead I want to remember there is clean, satisfying water always available to drink.
How will you prioritize making space for Jesus today? What are the things that distract you from making this time happen?
Have you found soul satisfaction in Jesus? What are the broken cisterns that you find yourself drinking out of?