We Are Being Followed

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‘Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…’- Psalm 23 v 6

I am making a conscious effort to declare the whole of Psalm 23 over my life on a regular basis in this season. By declare I mean to read it, read it out loud and then declare it vocally into the spiritual atmosphere with faith and certainty. Declaring Gods word feels wonderful, as if my spirit is somehow being fed something wholesome and good. Speaking His word out loud also helps to override those negative and distracting thoughts which are contrary to Him.

Words can change atmospheres. Words can shape lives.

I have been astonished at the amount of ‘life ground’ Psalm 23 covers. It speaks about lacking nothing, about replenishing our souls, about the leadership and guidance of our heavenly Father, about how to respond to the darkness and confidence in God’s intentions towards us. So much goodness wrapped into one familiar Psalm.

One particular day this portion of the Psalm seemed to jump out at me;

‘Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…’

Other bible translations may say ‘Surely or only goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…’

Or ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…’

What struck me the most was the word follow. The understanding hit me that I was leading the way for goodness and love, I was being followed. Where I go they go, were I stay they stay. I have never really taken the time to reflect on this fully. This was amazing truth; this was revolutionary thinking about the course of my life.

Instead of the proverbial black cloud following me, I had written proof that two silver lined clouds were following me wherever I went- Goodness and Mercy!

All. The. Days. Of. Our Lives.  This is something to celebrate, to appreciate, to meditate on. May we not miss this gem of truth in such a familiar passage of scripture. May we grasp hold of this and run with it- literally run with it into dark places, trusting the word of God that as we run into dark places- goodness, love and mercy are not far behind.

The Psalmist wrote ‘Surely’… surely our God will do this, and surely as we have come to know Him we are expecting this kind of faithfulness to follow us?

Images of the pied piper are running through my mind right now as I type. I see believers from all walks of life skipping along into dark places, praising God as He has anointed our head with oil and our cup overflows, oblivious to any danger as He is with us and His rod and staff are comforting us. Goodness and love are following behind, leaving a trail of light and destruction of darkness in their wake. The angels are rejoicing and the great cloud of witnesses are cheering us on.

I can see it… can you? 

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The Great Consumption

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‘For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life’- 2 Corinthians 5 v 4

This is an answer I can give to the next person who asks me why they should become a Christian, a follower of Christ, a believer… “So that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Of course, this statement may then need to be broken down, depending on the person on the receiving end.

But I believe in the validity and power of this verse, these few words are packed with Gospel truth.

The word mortal is defined as the inevitability of death or that which causes death. The life of every believer is marked by a holy and miraculous transition from death to life. The moment we believed in our hearts and confessed with our mouth that Jesus is Lord is the moment when mortality became swallowed up by life- the great consumption.

As we follow Jesus, we enter into a process of His life consuming death in ours. Many dead parts of us are resurrected instantly, while others slowly and tenderly receive ‘life support’. The ways within us which cause death are consumed, swallowed up by life if we allow it. Swallowed up by the Word of God, consumed by the purifying fire of His Spirit and brought to life by the precious life-giving blood of Jesus Christ, shed for every one of us.

The next time someone asks me; “Why Jesus?” I hope my heart is stirred to declare these words. Stirred to ask them a question in return; “Would you rather have life or mortality? Death or life?”

‘In Him was life, and that life was the light of all people.’- John 1 v 4

Life is in Him. Light is in Him. When we believe, we are in Him.

Let’s get the message out to those living in the clothing of mortality. Let’s reverse the curse and bless those around us with this word of hope…

There is no need to be swallowed up by death, no reason to remain in mortality. Jesus is offering to swallow up what is mortal, and bring nothing but life.