Time Alone With God daily devotionals

Time Alone With God daily devotionals

by Pastor Phil Stout

Read: Psalm 23:1-6

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

1 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.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Start:

 

Consider: Jesus said…

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

Be careful how you hear those words. Over the past two days we’ve looked at the performance trap—the danger of seeing our spiritual disciplines as vehicles to earn God’s favor. Because we so quickly fall into that way of thinking, it would be easy for us to hear “reward” in that manner. We are tempted to think that if we pray as Jesus instructed us to, he’ll reward us at a later time with some kind of blessing. In other words, “I perform, he rewards.” But I think that misses Jesus’ whole point.

Because the Pharisees saw religion in that quid pro quo manner, they got a flimsy reward—they impressed people and impressed themselves. Big deal. But Jesus’ “reward” is different. His reward is his presence. When I close the door and get alone with God, I receive the greatest thing that could possibly be given to me—the awareness of God’s presence.

Listen to what that means.

“I lack nothing…he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul…even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil…my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:1-5)

Could there be a greater reward?

Pray: Take some time to meditate on that great poem—Psalm 23. Get alone, sit or lie in a comfortable position, close your eyes and picture the “green pastures” and the “quiet waters.” Let him lead you there. Let him “restore” and “refresh” your soul. Picture yourself in those places of beauty with Christ by your side. That is the purpose of the poetry of the Bible. It is intended to help us see God in new ways and to understand our relationship with him beyond what we can grasp on an intellectual level.

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