In a time that David was on the run for his life from Saul, he made the statement, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. It is a profound statement that declares no matter what hardship, poverty, or anguish of spirit he might endure; he was satisfied with his Owner’s management of his life and he was content with the Good Shepherd’s care and consequently did not crave or desire anything more. Stating that we shall not want is not about wealth and prosperity; we see many great people of God walk through hardships and trials, not just in Biblical times but also in current times. It is about being content spiritually with the care we get from our Master; it is being content in our spirit. Phillip Keller states in his book, “No matter what strata of society someone is in, it is the boss—the manager—the master in people’s lives who make the difference in their destiny. I have known some of the wealthiest people on this continent intimately—also some of the leading scientist and professional people. Despite their dazzling outward show of success, despite their affluence and their prestige, they remained poor in spirit, shriveled in soul, and unhappy in life. They were joyless people held in the iron grip and heartless ownership of the wrong master. By contrast, I have numerous friends among relatively poor people—people who have known hardship, disaster and they struggle to stay afloat financially, but because they belong to Christ and have recognized Him as Lord and Master of their lives, their Owner and Manager, they are permeated by a deep, quiet, settled peace that is beautiful to behold.”
Jesus says it is impossible to serve two Masters. Are we so content with His care, His management that we do not want to ever cross back over to the field of Satan? Phillip Keller shares a story about one of his prized sheep. She was beautiful and almost perfect. She bore sturdy lambs that matured rapidly. She had an excellent coat of wool. He loved her. She had beautiful green pastures to eat from and he took great care of her. She had everything she needed. However, she was a fence crawler. She was always looking for a way out of safety to the other side which was barren and dangerous. He called her, Mrs. Gad-about. She was more trouble that the entire flock. He spent a tremendous amount of time retrieving her and fixing her escape routes. If that wasn’t bad enough, she started teaching her children and the other sheep in the flock and they soon started following her on her path of danger. Finally, he had to choose the safety of the flock over her and he killed his prized and loved sheep, all because she was never satisfied. The grass was always greener on the other side, even though in reality it offered her nothing.
Are you content like Paul, or are you still attracted to Satan’s fields like Mrs. Gad-about? Are you a fence crawler? As a Christian, are you still attracted to the pleasures of sin? Do you want to rest and sleep in the Good Shepherd’s field but play in a field of sin such as adultery, pornography, materialism, bitterness, addiction, an uncontrolled tongue, lack of discipline, self-centeredness and self-satisfaction, etc. Each time we cross over to Satan’s field we are saying that we are not satisfied with the care from Jesus’ field. We cannot serve two masters and we can’t sleep in one field and play in another. What field are you going to choose? I want to stay in the Good Shepherd’s care. I want to stay away from the fence and in His field continually! I want to proudly and boldly proclaim that ‘The Lord is My Shepherd and I shall not want!’
Which side of the fence are you choosing?
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
Information taken from the book A shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller