Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lacking Nothing?

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." (Psalm 23:1)

I've this verse hundreds, possibly thousands of times. Psalm 23 is one of the first Scripture passages I memorized. I love the psalm.

But when I read it a week ago, I couldn't get past the last three words of the first verse, "I lack nothing." They wouldn't sit nicely for me.

Is that really true? Can I declare those words in my own life? What about the many Christians around the world whose lives are filled with persecution, poverty, violence, fear? Can any of us really say we lack nothing?

If we look at this psalm and this verse specifically from a physical perspective, I don't know if we could ever really say and completely mean the words. It seems to be the reality of life on this earth after the fall that we lack something at least some of the time. For many, it's the basics of life - safety, food, shelter, clean water. But, even for those of who have those things, there are times where we do lack.

But, maybe, David wasn't speaking of physical or earthly needs when he wrote this psalm. My Bible doesn't give details about when David penned the psalm, but David's life was not one of ease. He spent years on the run form Saul - knowing nothing of safety or comfort or regular food during that time.

Yet David chooses to begin this psalm with the words, "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." I don't think David was speaking specifically of physical needs when he said this. Even in the midst of his running from Saul, David knew of God's provision and care; after all, David was still alive because of it.

And David had a relationship with God where He knew that God could and would meet his spiritual needs. God was always there and caring for David's needs.

When I begin to look beyond just earthly needs, the way I read this verse changes. If I start to think of it as God looking after my spiritual, relational, emotional needs it changes how I say those words. I'm not just looking at whether my earthly life is good. I'm looking at far more than that. It's about seeing God as enough in life, no matter what.

My walk with God has proved this to be true over and over again. God does look after me and He doesn't leave me wanting for anything when I'm allowing Him to care for me.

I get into trouble when I try to go it alone, but as long as I'm living as if the first part of Psalm 23:1 is true, the second part is true as well. If I'm allowing God to be my shepherd - the One who provides for me, protects me, cares for me - then I really do lack nothing.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." (Psalm 23:1)

How are you doing at allowing God to be your shepherd? At allowing Him to care for you, so oyu can declare that you lack nothing in your life?

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