Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, February 24, 2016
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1).
I can imagine that some of you are wondering why I cut such a beautiful, well-known passage short. Nobody does that. If you have been reading these devotional thoughts over the years, you will realize that I like to take my time in the Scriptures. God has so much to say that we often miss, because we rush by to get to the next thought. Let’s press pause and have a look around, shall we?
The king opens this familiar passage with one of the most mysterious and endearing realities in the Bible. He says that he has all he needs. This is what the phrase, “I shall not want” basically means. At no time at all, upon condition, would David and those like him ever have a need, which would not be fulfilled. If today those with the faith of David need to be sustained through difficult trials, they have what they need. If tomorrow they need to know the love of God in this callous generation, they have what they need. At any and all times we all can have what we need.
Now, I mentioned a condition. What is it? If you accept the Lord as your divine Shepherd, you presently and continually have all that is needful, according to His will, and at His disposal. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.
What do shepherds do? They protect, nurture, guide, and feed the sheep. What do sheep do in this context? Sheep follow wherever their shepherds lead. And if by chance they lose their way, they rely on the shepherd to guide them into safe, green pastures.
If we choose to accept the gift of God’s care and provision, there will never be a time when He will not supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. We must be careful to recognize God’s wisdom in contrast to our innate lack thereof. This means that we may perceive a need we do not actually have. Conversely, we may not realize we have a dire need, which our loving God sees clearly. Therefore it is critical for us, as it is for sheep, to trust the One who guides, protects, and provides for us.
Are you willing to let go of the reins of your life and allow God to guide you in to green pastures? Are you willing to allow Him to provide all He deems necessary to effect His will in your life? If so, you are in the most capable hands in the universe. You will experience difficulties at times. You may even wander away (God forbid). But if you surrender to the tender care of Christ, you will always have the grace, mercy, power, and provisions you need until He returns.