Never Alone - He Restores My Soul
We all have a theme running through our heads that something is broken with our lives. That is why so many run to self-help books. There is this desire for something good, and the good life is "just around the corner" if I can "just fix this one thing". In reality, there is always something else that must be "fixed" because we live in a broken world. From relationships, to health, to nature, to mental challenges, to so much more, the world is broken. Pastor Josh reminded led us to understand what this is all about in relationship to Psalm 23:3, "He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
1. Only broken, old, or defective things need to be REstored. For us, we feel guilt in our relationship with God because we, in a fallen world, continue to come up short. This voice continues to whisper in our ear.
2. There is a desire to be restored. We see in Genesis 2:7 that God breathed into the dust and made a creature (soul). True life that we long for is real, and the "good life" is possible. Knowing this is a reality, we often go down 2 paths...
A. Religion - I can restore my own life if I try harder. If I work hard, I can make a difference. Religious people do good things, but that is not life - it just lowers the bar. Religion is not real. You can't fix it all.
B. Apathy - There is no problem with me. I'm fine just the way I am. We pretend that our problems are not there.
BOTH OF THESE PATHS LEAD YOU BACK TO WHERE YOU STARTED. It is only when you realize that both paths are a waste of time that you can understand Psalm 23. When we are left to our own devices, we will take a sheep path and end up right back where we started. We need a Shepherd to lead us. Restoration never comes from ourselves, but always from another. John 10:14 says, "I lay down my life for the sheep." That is the gospel! Jesus restores everything. We can't achieve it, but we can receive it! BUT, we must remember that Jesus thinks so much higher than our little bar or immediate gratification.
What we need to focus on:
1. Live in a posture of receiving: If you aren't daily in His presence, you are not being restored.You just go back to the next bar. (Don't make this religion.) Commune with Him daily!
2. Pursue restoration, but not as a slave: Don't find satisfaction in pursuing justice and rightness in the world, but make that an expression of what you have received!
To Discuss Today:
1. What problem do you find yourself focusing on the most: relationships, personal failure, the world, or being out of touch with God? How do you "strive" to reconcile that? Does it work over the long haul?
2. What bar are you setting to try to get the "good life"?
3. How do you daily commune with God? How will that change the way you interact with the broken world around you?