What is it that we really want?
In the 23rd Psalm there are some really great quotes. The most famous of which is probably found in the first verse... "The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
I am sure that you have seen this quoted somewhere recently and often. The idea here is to understand how is it that this verse will provide a boost for me? How is it that this verse will inspire me? How is it that this verse is a bible quotes about life? What kind of life is it that is proclaimed through the understanding of this verse?
To start off it is important to understand a couple of things.
1. The Author.
The writer of the 23rd Psalm was David, and he was writing it to remind himself of the promise that God was to him. Not the promise of something down the road, but rather the present promise that God is. The Lord is ... David understood that to have a great life he need to constantly remind himself of who God is and where God was taking him. If David focused too much on his own circumstances he lost sight of the shepherd.
2. The relationship.
It is important to understand that in this verse, like many others in the bible, there is an explanation of the relationship that we can have with our God. God is, so we are...
In this case, God is so what we need. Too often in life we are trying to add things in order to make us happy. Or to cope. Or to offset some circumstance. The idea that if I can just get that job, or just get that car, or just get that raise, or just get that girl/boy, or just get pregnant, or just get... In this bible quote about life the author is trying to remind us that God is all we need... and in fact life is found in the position that we need nothing other then what He provides for us.
One Step Further
I would like to take this one step further. I think that inspiration can be found in the subtraction just as much as it can be found in the addition.
Even saying what I said above, I do believe that there are times when God blesses us with something tangible and it is incredible, life giving, inspirational and full of Joy. And I believe that God delights in giving us things.
However I am more and more convinced that He gets Joy out of us subtracting things from our lives that we either really don't need, or it is becoming a distraction. Think of all the things that you have that take your time, make you worry, or cause frustration and what life could be like without them.
C. S. Lewis said... "The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices.
I believe that we can get lighten the amount of external stuff and strengthen our internal moral choices. Psalm 23:1 draws us towards this conclusion.
If I truly believe that Jesus is my all in all, what more do I really need.
The idea here is that His position as our source, must be maintained. Its quite fine to have "stuff" in your life, but its when that stuff becomes the goal, instead of Jesus being the goal that things get out of place. In fact lets be people that instead of striving for things to help fix our lives, we fix our lives on Jesus and then become a help for someone else.