Bible Reading: Psalm 23

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1)

The very inclination of our hearts is to say, I want this and that. Our desires drive our everyday actions. For example, when we are hungry, we seek food. If there is nothing to consume in the pantry, we will go to the shops to satisfy our desire. Let’s take a bigger example. If you fall in love, your time and energy will be spent to realise your desire. You will spend your days thinking and loving your partner. Your everyday actions will present your heart’s desire. 

However, David says, “I shall not want”. For Christians, all our desires are fully met in Christ. Not only are they met, but Christ also provides abundantly beyond what we can measure. He causes our cup to overflow (Psalm 23:5). Are all our desires met in Christ? Are we content with one thing alone — the LORD being our Shepherd? 

A shepherd takes care of his sheep. Sheep are lowly and dumb creatures who have no sense of direction. They easily wander and get lost. It is so with us. As sinners, our actions and our desires go so easily astray. If the LORD is our Shepherd, we can say, “I shall not want” because God is the one who will redirect our desires. He is the one who will restore our souls. He will lead us in the paths of righteousness. In all aspects of our lives, God will shepherd our desires and actions to be pleasing to Him so that His name may be glorified. 

God does this by providing rest, contentment, and peace in His word. He makes us lie down in the green pastures of His word. The plural for “pastures” shows the abundance of God’s word. There is God’s word for every occasion. And all His promises are sufficient unto life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3-11). He gives us peace amid our trials and temptations. He leads us beside still waters. 

Our Shepherd leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. Through our darkest moments, when we experience the deepest turmoil in our souls, God is with us. We do not have to fear the evil that tries to take us away from God. He is sovereign, and our life and death are in His hands. God’s rod and staff are our comforters. With one, he fights evil for us. With the other, he pulls us back when we go astray. We can rest in the comfort that our Shepherd is in control, guiding us to everlasting life. 

May we learn to pray, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want”.

Lord, our hearts are often filled with selfish desires far from Your will. We do not trust You as a shepherd who will provide all we need. Forgive us, for we do not know Your goodness. Please reveal Yourself to us. May we have experiential knowledge of You as our Shepherd as David did. May we be able to say that we want nothing more than You. In Jesus’ name, amen.