From the desk of Steve Shultz:
God is ALWAYS close to us, even in times when we don't think so or feel Him. Remember He will never leave or forsake us. He IS our Shepherd as Kathi Pelton shares in her latest article.
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"I Am Closer Than Any Need You Will Ever Have"
A couple of weeks ago I had a vivid dream that I would like to share with you. In my dream, I was taken to a house where I met with a number of Christian leaders that I personally know. These leaders brought me into a room and shared with me that I had been brought there so that I could pray and hear from the Lord on their behalf. Each of them were facing significant needs. One by one, each one shared their personal need.
One lady told me she felt the Lord ask her to step out in faith and buy a house for ministry, but now she and her ministry were facing foreclosure on the house due to lack of payment. A married couple explained that they had made a commitment to help orphans, but they were short of funds to fulfill their commitment. Another couple had lost their child at a young age and they were praying for his resurrection but were not seeing it happen.
I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility to hear clearly for them, but could not turn away their requests to pray and see if the Holy Spirit might say something to me for each of them. I went into a room alone and began to call upon Jesus. I was immediately made aware of the magnitude of the problems each of these precious people were facing and how the enemy wanted to usurp their awareness of Jesus with doubt, with pain, and with their needs. Then I heard what sounded like the audible voice of Jesus, and all He said was: "I am closer than any need you will ever have."
The moment those words were spoken I became aware, more than ever in my life, of His nearness and presence. Every need that I ever had and every question that I ever asked was suddenly made unimportant in the light of His presence. For the first time, I felt as if I was experiencing and understanding the words from Psalm 23: "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
I was experiencing the complete lack of want or need of anything but His closeness and presence. The needs that had been shared with me just moments earlier, that had so weighed me down, were overshadowed by His presence. "God with us" was the answer. It was so simple ? yet was the most profound experience that I have ever known.
I can only pray that somehow the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the power of these simple words. In the dream, I realized these words (apart from the experience) could sound shallow and lacking in direction, but I knew that He would not speak the words and let them go forth without anointing them to accomplish the same work in each person's heart as they had in mine. I had experienced an absolute absence of worry and burdens. I didn't realize how much we carry upon ourselves that we were never intended to carry.
The Lord is My Shepherd
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
I would like to share this Scripture with you as it is written in the Amplified Bible to bring more clarity:
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good ? not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne."
The words "blessed quiet" sum up what I experienced. All the stormy waves of need were calmed, all the bitter winds of questions were stilled. Every burden and sense of heaviness that had taken dominion in my soul were dethroned by His fullness. Jesus was given back His rightful throne as King in my life; every voice and need that had attempted to usurp His authority and love in my life were removed in that moment.
I am writing this both for you and for me. I need even now, just a few weeks after my dream, to be reminded of His words as my own dad died recently. I needed to be reminded that "He is closer than my greatest need." I pray that you too will be comforted and restored by His gentle and kind words and His profound presence and authority in your life.
May 2013 be a year that we can clearly say together, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack)."
Kathi Pelton has a passion to encourage, uplift, and serve. As well as being a published writer, she has traveled extensively with Watchmen for the Nations, spoken at conferences, been a member of a national prophetic round-table and co-directed a house of prayer. Her favorite pastime is to spend time with her husband and children.