Blog Posts.

How King David Rested in God’s Presence & Why We Should Too (and an announcement from yours truly)

The Blog Series in Review & A Look at Psalm 23

It has been such a joy to walk through some of the Psalms of David with you these past few months, friend. 

Together, with King David’s wise words and authentic, raw, messy actions, we have been slowly learning how to live wholeheartedly in the presence of God. We’ve learned, most of all, that God wants our whole hearts. 

He desires us to take all of our emotions, all of who we are and what we’re going through, to Him. He’s calling us to trust the irrevocable love He has for us so that we can receive that love and grow into who He calls us to be. 

To keep your mind fresh, let’s recap what we’ve covered so far in this series:

  1. The power of lamenting
  2. How to view shame in the light of God’s love
  3. The power of praise
  4. Venting in the presence of God

I want to end our series with a topic that I believe can be difficult for all of us to execute at times:

Rest. 

One of my favorite Psalms of David is Psalm 23, and it perfectly and beautifully illustrates God’s will of rest for our lives. King David was a mighty warrior, a heroic and God-fearing King, but he also knew when, where, and how to rest. 

Let’s dive into Psalm 23 together, friend — with an emphasis on the first three verses — and take a look at how King David related to God on the topic of rest;

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.

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. 

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.

Whenever I read this Psalm, my soul exhales in relief. Does yours?

Did you notice the names David used to describe God in verse 1? 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 

The Names of God Reveal His Heart

I believe we can learn a great deal about God by paying attention to all of His different names. Let’s take a look at what the names mentioned in verse 1 translate to:

Lord: someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.

Shepherd: a person who tends and cares for sheep; guide or direct in a particular direction.

King David acknowledged God as both ruler and master of his life and the One who tends, cares for, and directs him. He then went on to say that because God is both Lord and Shepherd of his life, he lacks nothing. This shows us that God can be trusted to provide everything He knows we need. 

In the following few verses, David goes on to describe where God leads us, as His children,

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. (v. 2-3)

When you’re lying down, you’re in a vulnerable position. It’s hard to protect yourself when your feet aren’t firmly planted on the ground, and as an experienced warrior David knew this. And yet, he admits that God leads him to lie down and rest in green pastures and quiet waters. 

Why would David make this point? 

I believe it shows us that rest is an integral part of a healthy spiritual life in Christ. 

The True Meaning of Rest

But, what exactly does ‘rest’ mean? Does it mean binge-watching Netflix and chowing down on a tub of ice cream? Maybe! But I have a hunch that the kind of rest David is talking about goes deeper than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a Grey’s Anatomy marathon. 

David acknowledged God as Lord (ruler, master) and Shepherd (one who tends, cares for, and directs) of his life. Based on the definitions of those two words and the remainder of Psalm 23, resting is an act of obedience. 

It’s learning to say ‘no’ to certain things so that we have space to say yes to what God has for us.

It looks like listening for the voice of God on where He wants our attention focused in our current seasons of life.

It may look like giving up people, places, things, or projects that are sucking us so dry that we have forgotten what it’s like to feel full. 

Ultimately, rest is saying no to that which replaces the peace and presence of God in our lives. 

It’s saying yes to His calling, to His will, and trusting that He is a good and faithful Shepherd who leads us on the right paths for His glory and Namesake. 

It’s taking all of who we are to His feet and trusting that He is willing and able to carry it. 

Choosing to rest in the Lord is a way of life where we pause to make room for more of His presence. It’s allowing Him the time to permeate every ounce of our being as we learn to grow inwardly still amidst an unceasingly chaotic world. 

His presence brings refreshment, just as David said so that we are equipped and ready to give our all to what God is asking us to focus our energy on. 

When we learn to make room for stillness, when we learn how to posture our hearts toward rest, we make room for His voice to be heard. 

That voice — that sweet, gentle, powerful voice — brings peace of mind and clarity of action. 

King David knew this, and that’s why he allowed God to lead him to places of still surrender and rest. 

I love how he ends the Psalm in verse 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.

Resting in God leads to goodness, love, and a safe dwelling in the house of the Lord forever

A Few Reflection Questions & An Announcement From Me

As I began writing this week on the topic of rest, the Lord asked me a few questions in response to David’s message. Maybe these are questions you need to answer for yourself, too, friend. 

What is God asking me to let go of to make room for more of His presence? 

What is the good Shepherd asking me to focus on in this season?

As I prayerfully considered these questions, God brought clarity to my next right step. 

I have posted consistently on this blog every other Friday for the past three years, and I have loved it so much. But, for now, I think it’s time to take a step back, let go of the reins, and allow God to lead. 

I’m going to be taking a break from posting consistently on the blog to give my time and attention to other areas of my writing that I believe God is calling me to in this season. 

This doesn’t mean I’m shutting down the blog. It just means that I will no longer have a consistent schedule for the time being. I may post a random blog here and there, but I will primarily be communicating with you all via my email list, where I intend to send out an encouraging word every other Friday. It will be something a bit shorter than a blog post but still feeds you the truth and love of Jesus. So if you are not on my email list, please subscribe! I would love to have you!

And, of course, you can always come hang out with me on Instagram – @celiaamiller – where I like unpacking God’s heart and sharing His truth with you. 

God is working and moving in my life in ways that I can’t wait to reveal to you all! Exciting new things are coming, but for now, I’m going to go a little quiet on this platform that I’ve been blessed to call my little corner of the internet. 

I’m going to take a lesson out of King David’s book and pause as I let God lead me where He wants me to go. 

I pray you would stop to consider certain things in your life that need pausing, too. And I pray as you do that God’s presence would overwhelm and transform you as you learn to say ‘yes’ to what He has for you.

You were created to rest in God’s presence, friend, and sometimes that means hitting the brakes, getting out of the car, and taking an unexpected but God-led detour. 

I pray you look for Him in the detour. 

xo,

Creating resources and written content to encourage you in your personal walk with God.

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