Friday, December 14, 2018

Serving in Fullness of Spirit

Sometimes we serve in fullness of spirit. Everything and everyone we touch turns to championships, MVP trophies, renewed contracts, and dynamic ministry opportunities. David, the psalm-writing-king of Israel, expresses such thoughts in Psalm 23. I hope my view of the psalm through a sports chaplain’s lens gives you a chuckle or inspires a knowing nod of approval, because you have experienced the same.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

As surely as the psalmist exulted in the Lord’s guidance, provision, and pleasantness, we share the same experience. His looks like shepherding, green grass, and cool, clean water. Ours looks like new team gear, access to the locker room, a sideline pass, and regular meetings with players and coaches.

He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even when we tire, we sense the Lord’s favor as He restores our inmost beings. We can hear Him directing the paths of our feet into fruitful relationships, to wise friends and colleagues, and to new opportunities to represent Him.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

When we serve in fullness of spirit it seems nothing can touch us. It seems like we could walk through hell-fire in a gasoline suit and we wouldn’t even smell of smoke. We fear nothing and no one because our hearts are full of Jesus-courage. We feel like the Lord Himself is striding along with us through the offices, locker rooms, stadiums, and training facilities with His rod and staff prepared for protective action. There is nowhere too tough or too scary for those who wear the Lord’s anointing.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Those who serve in fullness of spirit have a perpetual feast. Even better, we have the seat of honor, and all the haters are relegated to spectator status. We’re seated at the table, the Lord’s presence is dripping from us, and our cup of refreshment is always brimming over onto our fingers. Delicious!

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

As we revel in the Lord’s presence, full of His Spirit, rich with loving relationships and vibrant experiences, we can’t even recall the lean, painful, and despairing days of our past. Goodness and lovingkindness seem to be chasing me throughout the day, though I’m happy to let them catch me. We feel the glorious weight of eternity in the here and now. Dwelling in His presence, today and forever, is our life’s new normal.

I pray you experience days, weeks, months, even years like David describes in Psalm 23.

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