Friday, March 4, 2016

4. The Satisfaction: With Him, what do you lack? Without Him, what do you have?


March 4

Baptist pastor F.B. Meyer said of Psalm 23 “Come hither, weary ones, restless ones, heavy-laden ones; sit down in this cool and calm resort, while the music of its rhythm charms away the thoughts that break your peace. How safe and blessed are you to whom the Lord is Shepherd! Put down this volume and repeat again, in holy reverie, the well-known words to the end, and see if they do not build themselves into a refuge on which the storms may break in vain.”

A little girl was quoting from memory the 23rd Psalm, but did not quite get it right: “The Lord is my shepherd, He is all I want.” She may not have gotten it verbatim but she did capture the heart of David, “He is all I want.”

When I come to the Lord as my Shepherd, I am satisfied in Him. I may lack material things, I certainly will not be perfect, but I can find contentment in Christ, not because of material fullness but in spite of my lacking. Jesus said it also on the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6, ESV). I shall not be in lack or short of anything I need when I rely on God.

R.B. Thieme Jr. said that because the word “want” is in the Greek version of the Old Testament in the imperfect tense, it could be translated “I cannot want or lack for anything.” That can be true because if you are not wanting something you don’t have, you do not have any feelings of unfulfillment. 

          Hmm. That’s too many double negatives. Let me say it this way. If the only thing you want is what you have, you only have feelings of fulfillment.

Hmm again. Maybe I should say what Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). When John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in the world, died, someone asked how much did he leave? His accountant answered, “all of it.”

The rich young ruler kept all the rules, but missed the Shepherd. Jesus said, “One thing you lack: go your way, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.”

You know the rest of the story. He went away sadly because he loved the world which left him empty and left the Shepherd who loved him fully.

If Jesus is your Shepherd, what do you lack? If He is not your Shepherd, what do you have?

Father, grant me contentment today. Let me treasure you in my life and forget the things that I don't have. Help me to find you as all I want and find fulfillment in that alone. Amen