The 23rd Psalm is one of the most popular passages in the Bible. I remember learning to memorize these verses as a child long before I comprehended their meaning. As I mediated on this scripture I had a hard time connecting to the sheep. Weird, I know! This surprised and convicted me. So I asked God to show me why I was experiencing this disconnection and how the disconnection had created a life of lack.
In my personal and professional life I am inundated with messages about leadership and what it means to be a great leader. I have internalized messages that depict leaders as intelligent and mature. They have vision and foresight. They are responsible and confident. They are strong and decisive. Leaders are not sheepish; therefore, I am not a sheep.
And that, my friend, is what we call a logical fallacy.
I had been trying to be my own shepherd, leader of my own life, and captain of my own soul. I did not do this intentionally of flippantly. Subtly, I internalized messages that were counter intuitive to Psalm 23.
But wasn’t King David a great leader? Didn’t he possess all the aforementioned qualities? Absolutely, AND he also understood that he was not the boss of himself. David’s confidence was in God. As a result he lacked nothing.
So here are the 5 Keys to Living a Life Without Lack
Key #1 Embrace Care - The job of a shepherd is to care for his sheep. The omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe cares for us. He desires and delights in nothing more than care for us.
Key #2 Accept Provision - A good shepherd provides for his sheep. He makes sure that the sheep have the best pastures to gaze and pleasant water to drink. The sheep do not have to toil or struggle for this provision. It’s theirs for the taking. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness.
Key #3 Be Restored - The shepherd restores the sheep. He provides a comfortable place to rest and to be rejuvenated for the sheep. God promises rest when we are tired.
Key #4 Follow Instruction - The shepherd teaches the sheep the “right” way. His name depends on it. We can trust and obey God. He has our best interest at heart. His plans are for our good and not our harm.
Key #5 Receive Protection - The shepherd protects the sheep from all harm and evil. He will go to the ultimate lengths to protect the sheep from the Penalty, Power and Presence of sin and evil.
We can not do these things for ourselves. We don’t have to. Jesus’ completed work on the cross gives us access to a Life Without Lack. What additional lessons has God taught you for Psalm 23? Has there ever been a time when you tried to lead your own life? How’d that work out for you? How has God been a good shepherd in your life?