Let us look at Psalm 23rd King James Version of the Bible,
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Within these few verses of the 23rd Psalm is buried the complete plan of redemption. Many times Christians do not share the entire plan and by doing so, they undermine God’s plan.
The first line sets the requirement to begin the process, acknowledging our complete dependence on the Lord. We must become as humble as a lamb; the only thing we can offer that is acceptable to the Lord is a broken heart and contrite spirit. By doing this we are acting out our trust in Him, acknowledging that what we need and ask for that is right in His sight will be granted.
The second line rejoices in His providence and the abundance, which He provides once our heart is right with Him. Furthermore, the metaphor of waiting on the Lord and not pushing ahead of His timing is brought forth.
In the third line we see that by following His will we our fed spiritually and as we allow Him more place in our heart, righteousness grows in our life.
The fourth line clarifies that we are in a time of probation, a time of testing. The earth is now the kingdom of the adversary, carnality and temptation prevail. Yet by accepting the Lord the second death can be overcome; the second death being spiritual death. Notice also that with the growth of our faith fear is removed. In order to be sustained in our walk with the Lord and not stumble off the path, we must hold tight to the rod, which is the word of God or scriptures, and seek the power of God (Moses’ staff analogy) to overcome evil. We cannot overcome evil within our own strength.
The fifth verse is an allegory to Communion. The Lord knows our need to continually realign our self with Him and He provided an avenue for this through remembrance of our covenant by acting out our need to internalize Him in order to become the sons and daughters of God. Since the act of Christ’s atonement has occurred we can enjoy God’s kingdom within our self, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17), even though the earth is currently filled with enemies to God. In order to be in this walk with the Lord, however, we must be given the Holy Ghost (oil) and enter in at the gate (baptism). In doing this our joy is full and our cup over flows.
To sustain this relationship with the Lord, however, we must continue to move forward. Standing still is the same as the man who buried his money and displeased his Lord. Plus in the parable of the sower only the fourth level of response brought forth fruit. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches and we are to bring forth fruit. The unfruitful part of the vineyard will eventually be burnt to stubble. Jesus’ calling is not only to redeem man but also to redeem and reclaim the earth. Jesus can do this at any time, but He is waiting until man is ripe in iniquity allowing as much time as possible for us as individuals to choose. Recall Jesus’ prayer, “… thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Clearly, King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as interpreted by Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah as well as others all prophesy of God’s kingdom on earth.
The battle is won, Jesus Christ has trodden the winepress, and all power is given unto Him. Yet, He is allowing us time to work out our salvation and choose who we will follow, Jesus Christ or the adversary. The choice is ours. Entering in at the gate of baptism is not enough, we must continue on to perfection. Jesus Christ will eventually present an unblemished bride, His church, to His Father. He commands us, “… be ye perfect,” no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. Yes, it is through the grace, mercy, and atonement of Jesus Christ that we are saved, but we must not overlook the rest of the plan, which is to continue forward and become perfect eradicating all sin from our life. For this is what it takes to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Praise the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!