The Message Bible is a paraphrase rather than a translation, but it often uses language that rings true in our heart. It interprets Psalm 23:3 as "You let me catch my breath." where other translations state, "He restores my soul."
Either way that is such a comforting verse. The suggestion of those words actually causes me to breathe deeply and to snuggle under God's wings a little closer as I abide in their comfort.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26), but using our energy to perform works, which God did not call us to participate in, is worse than not having any works of faith at all. Humanistic effort slowly kills our body, soul and spirit, because we are not walking by the direction of God's Spirit.
In order to be the best that God calls us to be, we reside continually in His rest (Hebrews 4:10). If we do slip out from under His wings by allowing busyness or an over-extension of our commitments to overcome our life, we can run back into His presence and He will restore our soul (Psalm 23:3).
We remedy the conundrum, which caused us to slip out of God's rest in the first place, by taking a searching inventory of our thoughts, words, actions and plans to see what is robbing us of His peace.
The problem may come from a lie Satan used to disrupt the serenity of our thoughts, or from an overly active schedule that needs to be trimmed, or from issues which are effecting our emotional balance, etc.
We may have said "Yes" to so many "good things" that we are failing to keep up with the "best things", which God actually called us to accomplish. We had good intentions, and these causes are worthy ones, but God has someone else in mind to perform them.
To restore our balance in Christ, we may need to rearrange our schedule, or to resign from some responsibilities, which we errantly agreed to execute. Then, we can walk in God will through every moment of our day.
As we spend our time following God's direction; reading His Word; sharing His Gospel with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors; and serving in the ministries and missions to which He calls us, our spirit soars to new heights.
Also, we can stop and smell the roses, pet our pet, pop corn and watch a movie, walk barefoot in the grass, swing on the swing, play with our children or grandchildren, etc. and watch our soul blossom.
God even directs us to follow a healthier lifestyle, which will improve our physical health and well-being, and free up our time and financial resources to be able to support God's Kingdom (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Father God, in this sin-cursed world, we often get caught up in meaningless activities, which we accept without taking time to pray about Your will for us in them. We see a need and step up to take the obligation to solve the issues. This brings us acclaim from our fellow Saints and feelings of accomplishment and pride.
However, if You did not call us to this activity, and if we performed it in our own human effort and resources, it is nothing but a vain activity regardless of the outcome. Remind us to serve You, not other people, in all things; and to remain in Your rest each moment of the day. In Your rest we do not feel the rip tide of worry, stress and poor timing; and we float smoothly in the power of Your Word and the guidance of Your will.
Thought for the Day:
God is constantly involved in the life of His Saints; as we recount His works on behalf of His people and give Him all of the praise and glory, He will give us a road map for a life which has true meaning and purpose. - Psalm 77:11-12, 143:5-6