Psalm 23:1 THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
When David says I shall not lack, he is saying I shall not be short of anything, be deficient in anything, have too little of something, or be missing anything in my life. Because we have a Shepherd who is concerned with our physical well-being, our mental state, and our protection we can confidently declare- I shall not lack. Not, I might not have lack in my life, maybe God will provide for me, or sometimes my needs are met. No! I will not have anything missing or absent in my life! We’ve talked about this before- how God will supply for us everything we have need of. How many of us can look back throughout our lives and know that God has truly kept this promise? The answer should be all of us. God will always provide for our needs. I heard my husband once say, “Let’s say you were asking God for a Filet Mignon and you ended up with hamburger that night for dinner. That doesn’t mean God didn’t come through for you. You were able to eat and you didn’t starve, so God did provide for you. Even when we may not understand how our needs will be met, we can trust that we will not lack.
Think of Abraham in Genesis 22. Following the instruction of the Lord, he took his son Isaac up to make an offering to God. His son got a little nervous because he didn’t see the sacrifice. In verse 8Abraham said, My son, [God Himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering. So the two went on together. You probably know the story, but Abraham got ready to sacrifice his son, God said stop and in verses 13-14 13Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering and an ascending sacrifice instead of his son! 14So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it will be provided. This was the first time Abraham saw God as Jehovah Jireh- The Lord God my Provider, but not the last.
We need to understand that the God who provided for Abraham is the same God that will provide for you and me. What comes to mind is Philippians 4:19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We just need to see Him as Jehovah Jireh in our lives.
Throw off the Weight
Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
This scripture gives us the keys to running our race. The first thing we see is that we must strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight). Can you imagine watching athletes run a race with a 50 pound weight on their back? No! In fact, most runners today wear the lightest, most aerodynamic clothes possible to allow them to run at their maximum potential. It’s the same way for us. The weight of our circumstances and situations will slow us down if we allow it to. In the context of this verse the word weight means mass, burden, or hindrance. Other definitions of weight are a heavy load to carry, a mental burden or load, importance, hold something down by placing a heavy object on it, or giving additional importance to something. When we are burdened with the pressure of life, mental challenges, or the burdens that we carry in our day to day lives, it makes it more difficult to keep our focus on what we are called to do.
Philippians 4:6-9 says 6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. The best way to avoid taking the weight of the world on our shoulders is to continually keep our minds fixed on the things that are of God. When worry or anxiety tries to creep into your mind, rebuke it and remember that Philippians 4:19 says 19And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Every need means your emotional needs, your physical needs, your mental needs, everything that you need. Not only does He promise to meet every need, He also promises to give us His peace- the kind that doesn’t even make sense- to keep our minds and hearts securely resting in Him.