Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Take a New Look

“A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” -Psalm 23:1-3

The 23rd Psalm could possibly be the most well known psalm in the Bible. In fact, people who never read their bibles are familiar with the words. Even people who don't believe in the bible are probably aware of David's words.

For many, it is the King James version that we are most familiar with. "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

One problem that comes with familiar passages is that we get in a rut of thinking that we have already heard the word that God has for us in this passage, we know what it says so we fail to hear it with new ears or read it with new eyes. This is what is great about different translations. Sometimes a new word helps us to understand more deeply the Spiritual truth of God's word.

For those who know this psalm as "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want," the NIV throws us a curve ball. It says that if the Lord is our Shepherd is means we will "lack nothing."

Not want.

Lack nothing.

Do you want. I want this. I want that. It is not need it is want. I want more. I want bigger. I want better. The problem with want is that wants tend to only lead to more wants. Wants tend to never be satisfied. What the NIV helps us to understand is that to not want means we lack nothing.

When we allow the Lord to be our shepherd we lack nothing. The Lord provides everything. Nothing is lacking. That is what want is-- it is this feeling that something is lacking. Maybe, if I get more of this than I want be lacking? Maybe, if I get more of that I won't be lacking? What we are missing is a shepherd. What is lacking is the Lord. As long as I make anything else my shepherd, as long as I allow anything or anyone else to lead me in my life it will be lacking. I will always be in want.

Freedom from the wants come when we allow Jesus to lead us and shepherd us in our lives and then we lack nothing. Contentment comes. The Message translation puts it this way when God is our shepherd we "don't need a thing." God is all you and I need. God is the only one that can and will fill all of our needs and desires. Everything else will leave us lacking.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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