I Shall Not Want

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Powerful post exploring contentment through the lens of the 23rd Psalm. https://adivineencounter.com/i-shall-not-want

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”

Psalm 23:1

What a powerful statement of faith from the psalmist:

I shall not want.

This is the utterance of one who has seen the constancy of God’s provision through thick and thin.

Highs and lows.

Ups and downs.

And experiencing God’s abundance fortified him with the boldness to proclaim that he would never lack for anything he needed.

I shall not want.

It’s a testimony. Pure and simple.

But I can’t help but think this also makes an excellent mantra for one who is determined to remain content with the provision of this God.

You make me to lie down in green pastures. I shall not want to flee from the safety of Your commands.

You lead me beside the still waters. I shall not want the shallow luxuries this world offers.

You restore my soul. I shall not want substitutes extending false fulfillment.

You lead me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. I shall not want the fleeting pleasures of sin.

You are with me. I shall not want any distraction that would prevent me from sensing Your presence.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. I shall not want to escape your discipline, or to elude that trial which draws me back to the safety of Your embrace.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I shall not want the provision You have allotted to another.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. I shall not want my brother’s talent or my sister’s ability, my friend’s blessing or another’s success.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. I shall not want to pursue or be pursued by anything or anyone else besides You.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I shall not want the diversion of temporal things which allure my sight.

With such lavishly abundant provision

completely undeserved gifts of grace

how could I ask for more?

Powerful post exploring contentment through the lens of the 23rd Psalm. https://adivineencounter.com/i-shall-not-want

Written by Jennifer Clarke

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4 Replies to “I Shall Not Want”

  1. Tiffany Clark

    I especially love to reflect on this psalm as one that Jesus probably prayed. Having a table prepared for Him in the presence of Judas his betrayer, being led through the valley of despair the night before His death, being led right through the gates of death and hell: in all of that He could say “I shall not want” because He knew that nothing (not even Hell) could separate Him from the love of the Father. (Rom. 8:38) And we get to follow in His footsteps. God’s love is our all-satisfying provision.

    Reply
  2. Pat Whitney

    What a timely post…I have been reading through Jim Berg’s “God is More than Enough”, and am learning that discontentment is rooted in unbelief. I, too often, believe the lie that ‘God is not doing enough for me; I need something more; I should have/be…’. Unbelief, he says, hides in the deep recesses of our heart and is a harder sin to recognize than the much more obvious ones. Dr. Berg defines discontentment as the dissatisfaction of not having what we have decided we need in order for life to work. For me, God opened up a whole new perspective on Romans 1:23 – man left to himself exchanges the truth of God for a lie; and Isaiah 55:7-9 – Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts: let him return to The Lord, and he will have mercy upon him…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… Dr. Berg quotes Jeremiah Burroughs, “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” Thank you, Jennifer for adding to what contentment really looks like.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hello, my dear friend! I appreciate your statement that “discontentment is rooted in unbelief.” It would seem that discontentment and entitlement are fruits from the same root! And what a beautiful quote from Jeremiah Burroughs defining contentment! Thank you for sharing such pertinent and reflective thoughts, Pat. I thank God for you!

      Reply

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