Summary: Psalm 23 is a great Psalm to read and be comforted. There are times when we get excited about Psalm 23, and say Amen. But there are other times when we read Psalm 23 and heave a sigh, thinking "I don't feel like the sheep in Psalm 23 right now. What prevents us from feeling Psalm 23?
Three reasons why we don’t feel empowered and one solution
Through past several weeks Pastor has taken s through a detailed study of Psalm 23, and many of us are blessed by that. It is certainly a great Psalm and gives us the confidence to face any challenges in life.
I don’t know about you, but there are several times in my life when I don’t actually feel Psalm 23. I am not talking about those of you who are so mature in your Christian lives that you do feel Psalm 23 all the time. I am not one of them. There are several times, when I don’t “feel” Psalm 23. If you are in the first category , you don’t need this sermon. If you are in the second category like me, please take a listen. I do read that He is my shepherd and I shall not want, and yet I worry about my future. I know that the Psalmist says, though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, and yet , I am afraid of a thousand things on a daily basis. Even though I read that He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies, I still spend anxious moments trying to figure out how to make my business succeed. There are several times when I don’t feel that my cup is running over.
Have you felt like that? If so permit me to explore some reasons why we feel so. Why we do not feel empowered and anointed?
The Lord has placed on my heart to share three reasons for this today.
1. Assumed constraints
2. Lack of knowledge of our points of Power
3. Pursuing our own success.
Let us look at the three briefly.
Susan Fowler, a well known author talks about the Elephant Syndrome to explain assumed constraints. When the elephant is a baby , the trainers tether the baby elephant to a pole with a rope. The baby elephant tries to free itself from that by tugging and pulling, but fails. Finally, it gives up knowing that it cannot break free. However, even when the baby elephant grows up to be the mammoth, powerful animal that it is, it fails to realise that it can easily break the rope and free itself. The adult elephant once it is tethered with a rope, assumes that it cannot break free, and stays put.
How many times have we felt like the adult elephant? How many times have we assumed that it will not work out, you will not be heard, your idea will not be accepted, you might be ridiculed, your question might be considered silly, your friend request will be rejected, your will not pass that test, etc etc? If you have , don’t worry, we have biblical company. We have people who have exhibited the “I don’t have enough” syndrome. Take the case of the widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-24) who tells Elijah that she might not be able to give him anything because she didn’t have enough and she was going to use the past grain she had have the last meal and die. Or take the case of the widow who cried out to Elisha in 2 Kings 4:1-6, that she had nothing to pay back the creditors who were going to take away her sons because of that. Or take the case of Moses himself in Numbers 11:4-21, where he affirms the complaints of the disgruntled crowd about the lack of meat and not having the strength to take care of all of them. Look at the attitude of Jesus’s disciples when Jesus asks them to feed the 5000 people in Mark 6:35-43. (They don’t have anything to eat, and we cannot give them because it will cost us 200 denarii (8 months of wages) to buy bread for all of them. ). The common refrain in all these examples is clear. I don’t have enough to take care of the situation/ requirement/ request/ need. Apart from the I-don’t-have-enough syndrome, there is what I call as the Moses syndrome that makes us assume constraints. You now the story, when the Lord asked Moses to go to Egypt to liberate His people, Moses tried finding all reasons that he could pull out of his bag to escape the call. He talked about his lack of skills, his lack of proper identity and credentials, his fear of rejection etc. He had numerous reasons why it was a bad idea. He even suggested to the Lord that there are so many more qualified people whom He could send in Moses’ place. This is really what happens when we have the issue of Assumed constraints. We assume that there are so many constraints that prevents us from responding to His call, to take initiative and do something, to step forward and volunteer, the list can go on.