Psa. 23:2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
The house of God is such a wonderful part of what the Lord has provided for us as a place where we can come and get fed, refreshed, built up, refocused, and blessed by God so we can go forth into the world each day fulfilling what God has for us. The house of God was totally God’s idea and is seen throughout scripture. Last week I talked about getting planted in the house of God, this week I want to cover how to come and get fed and refreshed when you come to God’s house.
In Psalm 23 I want to focus in on verse two revealing clearly that Jesus as our Shepherd wants us to come and lie down in green pastures, being fed the Word of God so that we can grow in our relationship with Him; and He wants us to be refreshed in His presence. These are two very important elements in coming to God’s house that we don’t want to miss out on, especially in these last days. We need to keep hearing the Word of God to grow our faith and get refocused on what is important for our life, and we need to experience the presence of the Lord, His anointing, so that we can continually keep the burdens of life lifted off of us and the yokes of bondage destroyed.
Jer. 3:15 And I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart [in the final time], who will feed you with knowledge and understanding and judgment.
I wanted to share this prophetic verse about the final time, which is the church age we are living in now in which the Lord declares through the prophet Jeremiah that He would give to us spiritual shepherds after His own heart who will feed us with knowledge and understanding and judgment. Realize to be properly fed and refreshed you need to be in a church where the Pastor has been called by God to shepherd His people, for if he has, then he has God’s heart for the church. He is going to feed you the Word of God and not just tickle people’s itching ears. He will, as Paul told Timothy, preach the whole counsel of God’s Word, ready in season and out, convincing, rebuking, exhorting, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what a God-given shepherd does.
1 Th. 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
1 Th. 5:13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Realize just coming to church does not mean you are feeding on God’s Word, nor getting refreshed in His presence. There are some key factors that are involved. Here in these two verses we are going to see some very important keys to how we get fed and refreshed. The first is to recognize those who are over you in the Lord and teach you. That would be your Pastor, and would include the leadership in your church. To recognize them means you acknowledge them as a gift from the Lord just as Ephesians 4:8, 11 tell us.
Any shepherd who has been given by the Lord to the body has a gift on their life to pastor you. If we do not receive the gift on that person to pastor us we are not going to get fed. Satan works continually to get you to reject the gift Christ has given to you. He will work to get you upset about something he has said or done. You may disagree with a decision he has made, or something he has preached on, but if your Pastor is from the Lord and therefore teaching the Word of God to you, then you need to receive them if you are going to be fed by them.
No believer should think that they are always going to agree with their Pastor. Pastors are people too and they grow just like the rest of the body of Christ should grow. As long as they are not getting off into heresy, teaching doctrines completely contrary to Christ, then you must realize that you won’t always agree with your Pastor. There are times you will come to realize later on that things you may not have agreed with as you grow you will. Remember we are not fully-grown yet spiritually, and that means at times we are going to get challenged from the Word of God. For us to get in the flesh and upset with our Pastor is going to hinder our ability to grow up.
We are also to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake. The body that the shepherd is pasturing is his works sake. Simply put, if you esteem your Pastor highly in love for helping you, then you are not going to make it difficult for your Pastor to shepherd you. You are going to receive God’s Word with gladness, and continue to respect, love, and honor the gift on your Pastors life to shepherd you. Now notice also in the last part of verse 13 above it tells us to be at peace among ourselves. This is another key to being fed every time you come to church.
If you come to God’s house and you are always focused on and upset about what someone else may have said to you, or what someone else may have done to you, you are not going to be attentive to what God is trying to say. Realize that everyone in the body is still growing and dealing with things in their life. It is easy to get judgmental about others when you are not seeing things from their perspective. You have not walked in their shoes, so you don’t even know what they are dealing with.
The devil works continually to get us upset either with our Pastor, or with others in the church. He does so to rob from us. Remember he only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is out to rob you of the green pastures the Lord has awaiting you when you come to church. What you don’t want to do to allow him in robbing you of your feeding time is to get you walking out of love toward others, or being the one who is trying to muddy up the waters at church. If you are coming to the house of the Lord and your conversations with others have to do with what you don’t like, agree with, or talking about other people in the church in a negative way, you are going to not only hinder your ability to be blessed, but you can hinder someone else from getting blessed as well.
1 Cor. 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
1 Cor. 3:2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
1 Cor. 3:3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
To receive the feeding God has for you in His house you need to be able to receive solid food, and not just the milk of the Word. To receive solid food you must not be carnal, or in others words controlled by your flesh. Notice Paul declares here that the Corinthians were not ready for solid food because they were still walking in envy, strife, and divisions. This is still a problem for believers today. Notice he tells them those who do so are behaving like mere men. Once born again we are to grow in God and become more spiritual, no longer dominated by our carnal nature and thus living like mere men.
Realize to come to God’s house and to spend your time talking about someone else stirring up strive and division among church family members over things you don’t like about them, or things they may have done that offended you, this is only going to hinder your ability to be feed the meat of God’s Word. Not only is this going to have a negative effect on you receiving personally, this is also going to have a negative effect on those you get into that same conversation with. Such type of behavior never produces anything good and it is simply a work of the enemy to rob from us what God is trying to feed us with to grow us up.
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,…
One of the most important elements to God’s house is the opportunity we also have to come and get refreshed in the presence of the Lord. Once we are born again this is a part of what we can experience through the presence of the Holy Spirit working in our midst. There are several factors that are key to us coming and getting this refreshing from the still waters in the house of God. One key factor is our drawing near to Him. James said if we draw near to Him, He would draw near to us. The best way to see this is from what Jesus taught us in John chapter 4. He declared the true worshippers would worship God in spirit and in truth. Simply put they worship God from their hearts not their head, and they do so with sincerity desiring more of God.
A second key factor is we need to honor and respect the presence of the Lord. We need to learn to show God the reverence that is due Him so that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Remember God’s presence is what scripture calls the anointing. That anointing is what removes burdens from off of our life and destroys the yokes of bondage. We need to come to God’s house with a heart to seek Him, and not grieve the Holy Spirit.
So go to God’s house and get the feeding and refreshing God has for you. Learn to walk in love toward all people, have a heart to hear what God is saying to you through your shepherd. Press in to know God and honor His presence and you will be fed and refreshed every time you go to the house of the Lord!
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker