I Shall Not Want

As I have journeyed this year, through all God is teaching me, the 23rd Psalm has played a central role.  Over twenty years ago as a new Christian, I fell in love this Psalm and committed it to memory.  I would, and still do, carefully recite it in my head, or aloud, and wonder at all God is telling us through this Psalm.  

About two months ago as I was praying to Papa God, I heard myself say the words “more than anything else, I want…”.  “I want” stuck out to me, and as I continued to pray, I felt the Holy Spirit continue to draw my attention to how much I use this as I cry out to God in prayer.  Immediately I began to recite the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…(I shall not want, I shall not want).  He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

As I commit myself and the rest of my life to Christ, what can I possibly want?  What has God not already provided for me as I walk through each day.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  I have more than enough to sustain me through each day and each challenge I face.  He assures me, as I walk intimately close to Him, following where He leads, speaking the words He gives, staying still and silent, He guides and directs me.  I am walking in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. He has prepared this path for me. 

I notice when I declare what I want, it is often when I have rushed ahead of Him, rushed ahead of the Shepherd, away from the flock.  I am out in the wilderness in places my Shepherd has not intended me to travel. 

My wants are often for the love of my own comfort, the fear of having nothing, or toward a life of worldly passions.  I know my Lord and Savior, my God, knows my heart better than I know my own heart.  He knows what I need as well as what I want, yet above all, He loves me and guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  I have tasted the goodness of God and all He has prepared for me. What more could I possibly want

The first time I heard the song “I Shall Not Want”  by Audrey Assad, I wept as I listened to the words “Deliver me O God, from the need to be understood, from the need to be accepted, from the fear of being lonely, deliver me O God.”   I wept because these are the things I long for most… I want most, more than anything else.  I wonder if God is asking me to look the wants I declare as things driving me to run ahead of His leading.  Are these wants driving me off the path of righteousness, the path He has prepared beforehand that I should walk?

I know Papa God knows my heart.  He sees my desire to be understood, accepted, and not alone as I walk through this life.  These are very human emotions and fears, yet He is asking me to trust Him and seek first to be filled by Him.  He is reminding me to be driven first toward Him, and if these things are driving me to run out ahead of His plan for my life, my desires are out of balance. 

All I can do with this revelation is to turn to Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, and lay it all down at His feet.   I give to Him all my wants and desires as a sacrifice.  I tell Him I love and desire Him above all else and I trust Him because He knows me, understands and accepts me, and has promised He will never leave nor forsake me. ~♡

“I Shall Not Want”

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

No, I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

Written by: Audrey Assad, Bryan Brown

Lyrics © MUSIC SERVICES, INC.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

Inspiration

We view success as the money we earn, the possessions we acquire, the titles we hold, and the accolades we receive from the world around us. Yet God’s view, opinion, and ways are so far above the ways of man. We struggle to shift from this world view to the Kingdom view of our Father in heaven.

I was just thinking about a conversation I had with a  dear friend.  He was talking about how schools bring in speakers to inspire the seniors each year do great things with their life as they move on from high school and in adult life.  There was something unsettling to him regarding these lofty, grandiose goals being presented on our youth.

If I understood him correctly, I believe what he was conveying, is a need to acknowledge and encourage a life of sacrifice and a sense of peace for those who do the small things in life.  The dignity and honor of what one does to daily care for themselves, their families and their communities.
This brought to mind the sermons from one of my pastors who said that some of the greatest saints will meet in heaven be people we had never heard of who lived humble lives in complete obscurity out of the public eye.
So much of how we view success is based on the material world in which we live.  We view success as the money we earn, the possessions we acquire, the titles we hold, and the accolades we receive from the world around us.  Yet God’s view, opinion, and ways are so far above the ways of man.  We struggle to shift from this world view to the Kingdom view of our Father in heaven.

A few scriptures come to mind as I think about this concept.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Proverbs 14:12

Several things I have heard and read over the past week have been stirring my thoughts of this conversation I had with my dear friend.
The first is the following quote from Victoria Erickson…

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In the past several weeks I have been watching my dear friend make a life altering  choice, which from my worldly, fleshy perspective, ends all hope for a happy joyous future for his life.  Yet when I consider God’s words and His ways, I start to see his sacrifice as Christ’s call for those who wish to be His disciples.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  Luke 9:23

As I prayed for my dear friend,  I broke down weeping as I felt the weight of his circumstances.  I felt a sadness thinking about how unfair this seemed.  Him paying a price for another’s missteps and errors.  Then I thought, how ironic – as we seek to walk so closely with Jesus in true intimacy, only saying what He says, going where He leads, why wouldn’t we also willingly pay a debt we did not accrue?  Love those who have been unloving toward us?

I know my dear friend is sacrificing a lot, denying his own needs and desires to serve and care for someone who is unable to give anything in return, and from a worldly perspective this makes no sense.  But I have great respect for him and his decision.  He is an inspiration, and a true disciple of Christ.