Psalm 23:1b

I shall not want.

This phrase follows "The LORD is my shepherd" and therefore communicates a consequential relationship.  BECAUSE The LORD is my shepherd, I don't want for anything.

First, I want to show you a few other places where this same Truth is conveyed:

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 84:11
 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Psalm 34:10
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Scripture is crystal-clear -- if He is our shepherd, we will not want.  No exceptions.  No parantheses.  Complete confidence.

Next,how does that apply to you and me?  Or, as I love to put it - what difference does it make on Monday morning, when the pew hits the pavement?

Well, the word "want" can be misleading.  Most of us equate it with "desire".  That's not what it means here.  A more apt translation would be "lack" or "be in want".  The priority of a good shepherd is to not only protect but also provide for the needs of his sheep.  You may recall that one of the characteristics of sheep is their inability to discern good water and good food.  So the shepherd has to do that for his flock.  He may lead them on a long, hard climb, through rocks and briars , in order to reach good water and pasture. He knows that they need...and where to find it.

It's the same for us.  Our Good Shepherd has promised that we will not lack anything that we need, that He will give us all good things.  Graciously,not begrudgingly.  Sometimes we might have to go on a long, hard climb, through rocks and briars, to reach the good water and pasture that He has waiting for us.  In those times, it is comforting to know we can trust our Shepherd, knowing that He will indeed provide all the good things we need.  Actually, above and beyond what we can ask or imagine.

In closing, I want to address something you may be thinking.  You might have something in mind that you want, but do not have.  Something you feel you lack.  And you don't know how to square that with this truth.  Of course I don't know your situation and I don't know what's on your heart.  But I do know that God's Word is true-er than your circumstances.  Here's how I think it applies -- what you are longing for may look like a "good thing" to you.  It may even be a "good thing" for someone else.  If the Good Shepherd hasn't given it to you, then one of two things must be true.  One, you may be on the long hard climb right now and that "good thing" may be waiting for you just ahead.  Or, two, although it looks like a "good thing", seems like a "good thing", even is a "good thing" for someone else, it must not be.  He promises that He will not withhold good things from us.  He boldly states that He will graciously give us all good things. He has riches untold at His disposal - our inheritance.  All good things are promised to us.  If He is withholding something from you, trust Him.  He is protecting you from bad water and poisonous plants.