First of all, the words, “He makes me,” make me think that I did not volunteer to lie down, even though they were green pastures that He had led me to!
“He makes me…” makes me think of some kind of struggle going on, much like trying to get a toddler to take some medicine when sick.
“He makes me…”
And then I think, “who is He?” And I remember, He is my Good Shepherd.The One that knows what is best for me, the One that has said,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11.) And then I remember, that ‘this is the work of God, that you believe…’ (John 6 somewhere). Am I really believing? Am I believing Him? Am I really giving Him the place to be my Shepherd or am I listening to the thinking of the times: “You deserve a break today”, or “Have it your way”, or “I’m entitled to more.” or “I have my rights!”
Oh, what a struggle.
God is speaking to my heart, “Toni, lay down your rights,…surrender it all to Me. That is what I have done, in surrendering to My Father. Can you pray as I did, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done’ concerning this situation?”
“He makes me to lie down…” (Psalm 23:2).
Can I really say with a whole heart of meaning and truth, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” (Gal 2:20). Can I really ‘die to myself and my independent thoughts and surrender to His hand to ‘make me lie down’ and trust and wait on Him in full surrender?
A yielding needs to take place in my heart.
So… ‘He makes me…’remember a hymn that I yearn to be true to but am so often just singing words. A hymn that I sing in ‘spirit’, but so many times – not ‘in truth’. And God, so desires ‘true worshipers who will worship Him in ‘spirit and truth. (John 4:23). He knows my struggle, but today,
He is ‘making’ me to…”lie down” to lay down my rights, to give up my pride, to surrender…all:
“All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live./ I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus, take me now./ I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender, Make me Savior wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine./ I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee. Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessings fall on me. / I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
Do I believe? YES… It is ‘the Lord that is my Shepherd. When I get my eyes offf the other sheep and get them on HIM – I have everything that I need. I can breath again… He makes me to lie down in green pastures’ (Ps. 23:1,2), because ‘He knows that the plans that He has for me are plans of peace and not of evil, to give me a hope and a future’.(Jer. 29:11).
I struggled to believe this when my eyes were on the situation, but when I ‘looked to the hills from whence comes my help’, I then have faith in Him.
I am learning and growing in what this powerful verse means: ‘I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of me trusting in the Son of God’ (no matter what happens)’ knowing that He loves me and gave Himself for me’. (Gal.2:20).
And because ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me’…I surrender all – and find myself in pastures of green by still waters! O God, thank you for ‘making me to lie down…’ “I surrender all!”