The next part of Psalm 23:1 says…
I shall not want.
I love the second chapter in “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” and Keller’s look at the verse. He tells about a ewe he had that was never content in his care as a shepherd. She was always finding her way through the fences. She would wander off and wind up feeding in inferior pastures. Eventually he had to remove her from the flock because she even lead other sheep to follow her example. He says:
She was a sheep, who, in spite of all that I had done to give her the very best care, still wanted something else.
Where do we wander away from our shepherd? When our total reliance is upon Christ, He is enough. We don’t want more and more to fill a hole within our soul. Ministry mustn’t become a therapy for our soul wounds. I often have struggled with this in the past. I’ve allowed my position, title, and authority to take the place of contentment in Christ. I must lean wholly upon Him. I’ve often fall into the trap of thinking my relationship with God and therefore my value is tied to what I can do FOR God.
Do we believe that He fulfills our needs or do we strive for more and for pastures beyond His presence? I must rest in His presence and not work in my own strength to meet a need that only Christ can fulfill. I repent of striving in my own strength and wandering off to my own fields. I pray I haven’t lead anyone else to look for their contentment in anyone else but Christ.