I Shall Not Want

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
-Psalm 23:1(ESV)

I often times struggle to receive this truth. Not because of its beauty and grace but because I am always wanting something. In the depths of my being is a chaotic need for everything. I must have it all. I cannot survive without approval, wealth and success. I must have them and more. But my failure to treasure this truth is due to one thing and that is my own unbelief.

If the Lord is a shepherd, then he must be able to provide what is necessary for the flock. Not only this, he must know the sheep individually. Not one can go without his notice and care, and this is what we all want—to be known and loved. More and more our culture slaves away for esteem and power. We are a wanting culture. We always need. We are like whores running after another lover day in and day out. We cry out in the streets, “Come and satisfy me. Be my delight. Fill up my dissatisfaction with pleasure. Be my joy. Be my hope. Be my life.”

But the shepherd, who abounds in love and faithfulness, is not unaware of our need. He finds our deepest pains and desires and presses his lips against them. He shamelessly embraces our plight and makes it well. He lays down his glory and enters into the disgrace of our prostitution and dines with us. He makes covenant with law breakers and law keepers alike. He softens hard hearts, making them into flesh. He takes away our wants and becomes our need and takes away our need and becomes our want so that we no longer need and want anything else.

He is a faithful shepherd. He always keeps his promises. His work is good and perfect. His sacrifice keeps us and holds us. He forgets our prostitution. He cannot remember our sin. He is forgiving. His mercies are new every morning. No other savior is as kind, gentle and faithful as him. He stands out against the rest. His joy is contagious. He cannot deny himself. He calls us his own. He wants us. He loves us.

The Lord is our shepherd and we shall not want.

Shelton Brown
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