My wife and I were in a meeting last night where a woman opened the meeting in prayer after reading from the 23rd Psalm. She had an Amplified Bible translation so the reading went something like this:
The Lord is my shepherd, [to feed, guide, and shield me] I shall not lack.
It was then that she prayed a prayer thanking God that he wanted his children to prosper and that was His great hope for all of us.
It really struck me as to how much misunderstanding there is over what Scripture means.
The emphasis of the 23rd Psalm is that SINCE the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Why? Because everything I could ever want has been fulfilled completely in who God is and salvation. This promise is not temporal, it is not physical. I am not in lack of want because God is here to provide everything for me. No doubt God does provide for each of us. But I am not in want because the Lord is my shepherd, he is my portion forever. There is nothing that need be added to the gospel to make it more appealing, God is the shepherd, I have no more need to want anything besides Him.
Jonathan works as Minister of Students at First Baptist Church in Welcome, NC. He gets to spend way too much time having fun with teenagers, and is continuing to learn how high, how wide, and deep, and how long is the love of Christ.