Today when I read the 23rd Psalm, I recalled the time when I had the opportunity to hear a sermon on Psalm 23. Slowly and distinctly the minister read, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.” After he finished those few words there was a long pause before he simply closed his Bible and said, “That’s enough.” He was right! Those of us who have God as our Shepherd shall not want and will not fear (Psalm. 23:1, 3). We enjoy the two things that every human heart desires, namely, sufficiency and security. Given the greatness and infinite capacity of God we shall not want because there is no deficiency in God’s abilities to take care of us in any and every situation (Eph. 3:20). Is there really anything we need other than God Himself. The person who has God for his treasure has all things in One, and that is why Paul could say that he had nothing yet possessed all things (2 Cor. 6:10).
Believing that to be the case, we are left to ponder the question what if the sum of our needs, (not to be confused with our greed) will ultimate help us to a better position in life to help God’s people right here, right now.
Let us consider the following possibilities:
One of the first things to consider, have we somehow expected too much from God and not enough from ourselves. Have we failed to appropriate that which is available to us through harder work and greater ingenuity? God’s commitment to us is not an excuse for laziness or impractical faith. God’s provision for Elijah was both supernatural and natural; there were the ravens and the brook (1 Kings 17:4). Elijah was not to ignore that which was within his reach.
Perhaps another thing to consider, have you made your requests sufficiently plain to God in prayer, our primary mode of communication with God. When we feel we lack something, God says that it is not from His failure to provide but from our lack of diligence in asking, or all too often when we do ask it is asking with the wrong motives. Although followers of Christ it is very hard to shake the natural desires of material things, along with concerns of self-preservation. So we read in (James 4:2-3) “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”
We also often fail to realize that God will meet our need but not right now. In Philippians 4:19 we find these words “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” While we fear the prospect of the problem getting bigger, we must remember that it will never get larger than God’s ability to handle it. In fact, God often waits to do something greater. Jesus did not go to Lazarus right away and heal a sick man. He waited that He might go and raise a dead man (John 11:1-44).
Lastly, and more often than not we misinterpret our own need and ask for something that is not good for us or perhaps not even necessary. The fact of the matter is we have no idea what is good for us, too often our perspective of good is simply off always leaning in the wrong direction. Since the promise of Scripture is that God withholds no good thing from us, one might conclude that when He does, it is only because what we desire is not really as good as we would believe it to be. In the book of Psalm 84:11, we find these words “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”