I’ve had one for as long as I can remember. Usually more than one. A want.
I want a new car. One with fewer miles and a lower monthly payment. I’d like my own home. A place I paid for that no one could take from me. One in the mountains where I could walk outside and see God’s beauty rolling across the mountaintops. I’d also like perfect kids, a decent paying job, good health, a nice investment portfolio, a retirement nest egg, and one each of the latest tech devices.
Looking over the list, I realize I’m still in want. But the psalmist says if God is my shepherd, I won’t want. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1 KJV).
Modern Bible versions more clearly translate the Hebrew word chacer, which means to lack or be lacking. “The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need” (NLT).
And that’s the idea. David provided everything his sheep needed. They may have wanted to eat in dangerous places or drink from polluted water, but he wouldn’t allow it. As a sheep himself, David’s shepherd gave him everything he needed. He lacked nothing.
I have no doubt I’ll die with wants, but not needs. I’ve always had everything required to survive and accomplish God’s plan—and I always will. God promises this to every sheep.
Learning the difference between wants and needs, and what God promises about each, makes for a happier and more focused life. It also prevents anger at God when he doesn’t give us everything we think we need. God is a loving shepherd who knows us intimately.
Worry, anxiety, and fear over things or our future shouldn’t consume our attention.
Let God teach you to live with a “no lack” frame of mind.
Martin Wiles is an author, teacher, and freelance editor currently residing in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders and editors of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles has authored Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning,Morning Serenity, Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), Authentic Christianity (Smashwords) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), and Rise (Chaplain Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and also written for LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper,Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, and Power for Living. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, and PCC Daily Devotions, and is a regular contributor for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.