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The Secret of the Twenty-Third Psalm - a pamphlet by Joel Goldsmith
"'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.' In that statement there is no APPEAL to God for anything . . . there is no TURNING to God for anything . . . there is not even an EXPECTANCY of GOOD from God. There IS a POSITIVE statement that 'The Lord IS my Shepherd,' and it naturally follows that, 'I shall not want.'
"Think upon that form of prayer. 'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.' There is no TURNING to God . . . no trying to reach God . . . no old-fashioned petition . . . not even the new style affirmation. There is ONLY the recognition that since God IS and since God is MY Shepherd . . . my individual shepherd . . . guide . . . protector . . . guard . . . maintainer and sustainer . . . because this IS true, 'I shall not want.' There is no question at all. There is confidence . . . there is assurance . . . 'I shall not want.'
"There is no seeking for supply . . . no attempt to demonstrate supply . . . only the calm, clear assurance, 'I shall not want.' Understand this . . . it is utterly impossible to want!
"'He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters.'
"Again, there is no turning to God . . . not in any way, shape, manner or form. Not only does He PROVIDE green pastures but (notice this) 'He MAKETH me to lie down' in them. It is not a matter of choice as to whether you WANT to lie down in green pastures or not . . . nor is it a matter of punishing you for your sins by keeping you out of the green pastures. It is simply that 'He MAKETH me to lie down in green pastures.'
"You should feel a sense of release as you realize that the burden is no longer on your shoulders, to govern yourself, maintain yourself, sustain yourself or even to find the right kind of prayer.
"'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His namesake.'
"Observe, all the way through, there is no attempt to gain God's favor, no attempt to seek God's goodness, no attempt in any way to reach out for God . . . just this constant, confident assurance.
"'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.'
"This is truly a miracle of prayer. As you have experienced periods of trial and tribulation . . . serious illness . . . family troubles . . . lack . . . limitation . . . loss of fortune . . . has it not seemed natural to feel that SOMEHOW you had become separated from God . . . in some manner you had slipped AWAY from God . . . for some reason God was not WITH you and thus, having lost contact, you must now get back to God. Now you can see the error of your thinking . . .
"'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR THOU ART WITH ME.'
"Even as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he cannot fear. Yet, that is not true of us. We touch that valley of the shadow of death . . . or lack and limitation . . . or unemployment . . . or whatever the error may be . . . and we BEGIN to fear.
"This fear begins for one reason only . . . lack of the full realization that God is going through the valley of the shadow of death with us.
"Behold, here, a whole new concept of prayer. We are not trying to GET God to be with us on this trek through the valley of the shadow of death. We are not reaching OUT for God. WE are not even trying to have our fears stilled, since this recognition that God walks WITH us doesn't always save us FROM that walk through the valley of the shadow of death but at least, if we are called upon to FACE the valley of the shadow of death, this statement tells us HE walks through it WITH us . . . 'THOU ART WITH ME.'
"If you would just take that one statement and realize . . . what difference does it make WHAT the present valley of the shadow of death is . . . what difference does it make WHAT particular trial you are going through as long as you KNOW with all the confidence within you . . . that God is walking through the valley of the shadow of death WITH you . . . God is walking through this trial with you."-- from Joel Goldsmith's "The Secret of the 23rd Psalm"
Chapter 2 - Practical Interpretation of the Twenty-Third Psalm
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