Psalm 23. It articulates the plan that God has for each of our lives and breaks it down into three unique stages.
Stage One: Verse 1 - 3
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake"
It’s what life as a believer looks like at the start. Intimacy with God. It’s this stage where we enjoy reassurance from God and where we uncover truth about Him and His love. We rest in Him. It restates the idea that what we feel from God and what we feel towards God is fulfilling. It’s enough.
God allows young believers to enjoy this understanding for a season because it’s all a person can take at that stage of their journey. It solidifies their understanding of the nature of God, preparing them for the next season of life.
Stage Two: Verse 4
The second stage we all face which is the unavoidable trial. The second stage is a contest. It’s a contest for our development. It says:
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
The key phrases here are walk through and comfort. Deserts, valleys and storms we encounter always feel as though they’re forever but the reality is, they never last. They always come to an end and we emerge the victor with a deeper revelation, a greater measure of God and our character one step closer to the nature of Christ.
It’s not uncommon for us to interfere with God’s work during these times by avoiding Him or responding immaturely but when we hold the line on ourselves we ensure that once his work is done, we will have no regrets but only thankfulness that we stayed with the plan.
Stage Three: Verse 5 + 6
The final verses define what the result looks like when we co-operate with God. It says:
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. 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."
We become people of substance when we remain. We become trustworthy of an anointing because we demonstrate the courage and obedience resulting in favour, reward and transformation. The anointing that we receive is not only a change in our thinking but also the authority that we’re given by God because of what we’ve gone through. Brokenness is the key to oil and sacrifice is the key to miracles. Just as oil came when the jar was broken, just as miracle of feeding multitudes came after the bread was broken, we only see the anointing once we’ve allowed God to take us on the journey through the valley. It’s in the valley that he goes to work on us and when we’re ready to come out from behind the wall where we’ve been hidden, we do. Coming out from the challenging season finds us seated with Christ at our table and our table is visible to everyone.
The favour and growth in our life is observed by others and the change in us starts to come out of the mouths of others. However, the change in us when we’ve made it through doesn’t guarantee a problem free life. On the contrary, David’s personal breakthrough and favour gained by God exposed the absence of worship and devotion in other people. Our table is a reward and our overflowing cup is the provision of God that we enjoy because we are now ready to handle it.
This is the journey of every worship leader. God’s goal is that we become the person he wants us to be and that our gifts begin to function with the anointing. Psalm 23 is the journey to the anointing. It starts out with us following the anointing but it ends with the anointing following us.