Psalm 23 is a powerful Psalm and I know that this is going to be an encouragement to you! Verse one says, “the Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need”. Another translation says, “I shall not want.” The Passion Translation says, “I always have more than enough.”
Now many believers confess that! A lot of us don’t confess, “I always have everything I need!”, Usually we confess our desires to obtain more. We’re focused on what we don’t have, not focused on what we do have. But the scripture is powerful because it’s saying that the result of having God as your shepherd is that your needs are provided – you will always have more than enough.
In a world with limited resources it’s reassuring to know that in Christ, we have everything we need. That’s powerful! We don’t have to lack anything. God is your source and he is limitless! That means that we’ve got an abundant, limitless supply! Sometimes we don’t see this provision manifest but we’ve got to realize it’s never God who was withholding from us. He’s a good father who’s got good things for us. He doesn’t want to see his children suffer. Your God can provide for you better than you can provide for you. But the problem is that we often are just trusting in ourselves. I hesitate to say this, but it’s the truth: if you’re trusting in God you won’t be working so hard. If you are working so hard that you don’t spend time with your family and you don’t go to church, you’re working too hard and you’re not trusting in God. I like what I heard another minister say, he says, “let the unbelievers work on Sundays!” Sometimes we just feel like if we don’t work, then it’s not going to work. But that kind of mentality is a mentality of not trusting in the Lord. We need to trust in God. If we were working so hard that we can’t spend time with our families, we’re not trusting in God. And I understand that people sometimes need to work over the weekend and work late at night and there are seasons where you might not be able to spend as much time with your family. Some jobs, like that of a pilot or a doctor or a fireman, even a pastor require a lot more than a 9 to 5. But the point is, that our families should still always be our priority. We should always prioritize spending time with them. We should never use the excuse of, “well, I’m providing for them.” Your kids want a father or mother more than a provider! We must prioritize attending and participating in our local churches because it’s an important part of our spiritual life – a place for us to receive and give in a environment of faith, grace and love! “If I don’t do it, if I’m not working hard, then it’s not going to work…” is not the anthem of trusting God!
Another reason why we, we sometimes don’t see the provision in our lives is that we are not allowing the Lord to be our shepherd. The word shepherd means something; it means that he’s leading us, he’s guiding us and if we would follow his lead, we would always end up in provision. God will never lead you into lack! It’s when we try and lead our own lives and make our own decisions, independent of God, that we start experiencing lack. If we were to just constantly be saying, “Lord, what do you want me to do” then we would be successful! Often we have some or other desire and we try to make it happen, asking God to bless it! We make decisions in an of ourselves and then we wonder why things aren’t working out. In Psalm 23:4-5 we read, “even though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your Rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Sometimes we experience lack because of natural circumstances but it doesn’t have to be like that! Even if there’s an economic crisis doesn’t mean you have to go through an economic crisis. Just because there’s negative things happening, doesn’t mean that you have experience everything the world is experiencing! God is not subject to the world economic system. He doesn’t supply your need according to the economy. He supplies your need according to his riches in glory, Philippians 4:19. It’s not based on the world’s economic system. It’s based on his economic system, even though he works through the world’s economic system –he’s just not subject to it. Even though you’re walking through the Valley of the shadow of, yeah, God’s provision is available for you, in the middle of a place of difficulty and attack. God prepares a table before you, the Message Bible says, you serve me a six course dinner – now that’s abundant provision!
God’s not going to lead us to a place of being so busy that we don’t spend time with our families. He’s not going to lead us to a place of being so busy that we don’t have time to be part of a good local church and fellowship with believers and receive on a Sunday. He’s not going to lead us to that place because that’s not a good place for us to be in. He’s a good father. He’s got good things for us. He’s leading you to a place of rest, a place where you’re not striving to have your needs met, but you’re trusting in him because he is your shepherd; he is the one who’s looking after you.