Psalm 23:3 is a verse I recite often, telling my soul that God will be there to restore. No matter what kind of storm, no matter how tall the waves that crash over us, how deep the hurt that resides in us. God will restore our soul, He will bring us back to a state of spiritual health and soundness. Whether we have wandered off, whether we have fallen in a major way, whether we have been hurt, whether we have been broken — He restores our soul.
“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
But God does not leave us there. No, He leads us on in the paths of righteousness — for His name’s sake. To be honest, this part of the verse stuck with me this week and I still keep thinking about it. For His name’s sake. It brings glory to God when we walk in His paths of righteousness, when we choose His ways and His will over ours and over the world’s. We shine His light in this world, and our heart, our attitudes, our choices, our behavior ultimately represent God.
While it amazes me that I can bring glory to God, that it is somehow possible for me, a broken and sinful person, to bring glory to our almighty, magnificent God — there is the other side to this.
It is His glory, His reputation at stake when we wander off. When we walk off from the path of righteousness, it is God’s reputation that goes down with us. When our attitudes are wrong, when there is bitterness or anger or jealousy, when our words hurt rather than heal. We do not honor God and we represent Him to those around us all wrong.
“We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.” (2 Corinthians 2:17b NLT)
All that we say and do, we do it as followers of Christ and therefore, we represent Christ to those around us in the way that we act and speak. This here, yes, it should challenge us — to pray for ourselves, to pray about the way we conduct ourselves, to pray that all we say would be said with sincerity and out of love. That we would do and say all knowing that God is watching us. Because knowing that God is watching us, should only make us want to honor Him, to bring Him glory.
Today, I want to choose God, to choose His righteousness and pray that my speech would be with grace, that all would be said and done out of love. I pray over my heart, my attitudes and behavior, for God to reveal the wrongs in my heart so that I can choose His righteousness. The way that I speak, the way that I act — it represents Christ, and I want to represent Him the best way I can. The Lord gives us grace for the many times we fail to bring Him glory, in giving us second, third, fourth chances.
It is for His name’s sake.