13 Things You Should Never Lack because the Lord Is Your Shepherd

Contributing Writer
13 Things You Should Never Lack because the Lord Is Your Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1).

This verse is the beginning of one of the most popular chapters in the entire Bible, Psalm 23. Many people who may not even read the Bible are familiar with the words of this psalm. One thing I have always realized is being familiar does not mean understanding. Regardless of how many times you may have read this psalm, I don’t want you to miss anything. Hopefully, you can bring fresh eyes to this passage and see the timeless truths that have been revealed here. So come with me as we walk through Psalm 23.

You Lack Nothing

This psalm begins by telling you a truth that we can easily make light of. Because God is your shepherd, you lack nothing. Let me repeat that, so it really sinks in.

The Lord is your shepherd, so you lack nothing.

This does not mean you have everything you want; it means God ensures you have everything you need. If you really believe that you lack nothing, this has the power to change your life. Imagine looking at every situation in life with the assurance that, since God is your shepherd, everything you need is found in him. Again, just let that settle in your heart.

However, the psalm does not stop there; it gets better. As you progress through Psalm 23, there are 13 things David identifies which you can tie back to the opening verse. Here are 13 things you never have to worry about lacking in, because the Lord is your shepherd.

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13 Things You Should Never Lack because the Lord Is Your Shepherd

Older man sitting in a window seat relaxing

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2).

1. Rest

He makes me lie down in green pastures…

Our world is full of tired and anxious people. We are on 24/7 and we never seem to get to a place of rest. You might very well be one of those people. What I love about this passage is God wants to give you rest. As the shepherd, God has provided a place of rest which is in his presence. His desire is that you would get away from the hurried pace of life and just rest in him. 

This has both physical and spiritual benefits for you. This mindset of go, go, go, and always being on has afflicted every part of our culture, and we don’t get rest. Yet when you go back to Psalm 23, God is saying I have provided a resting place and you need to take advantage of it.

2. Peace

He leads me beside quiet waters…

Since I moved out of NYC, I have the privilege now of enjoying the sounds of nature. Recently my wife and I were walking through our community and at one point my wife stopped me and said just listen. When we stopped, we heard the gentle trickle of a stream that was flowing down a hill in our community. She said, “I could sit right there and relax because it is so peaceful.” 

God so desires to give us peace. We already have peace with God because our sins have been dealt with, but he wants to give us peace as a part of our everyday life. There are many things you could worry about, and yet God says you don’t have to because I have supplied you with peace.

“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

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3. Strength

Small sapling with shadow of a tree

He refreshes my soul…

The reason God provides rest for you and peace in your heart is because he wants to refresh your soul. Look at the progression here. We can get beaten up by the issues of life, but God says I want you to rest and I will give you my peace so that you can restore your soul and have the strength you need. His rest plus his peace equals refreshing of your soul. 

4. Guidance

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake…

You can also be certain that since the Lord is your shepherd, he will guide you in the way you should go. You don’t have to figure out the questions of life yourself because you have a shepherd willing to give you guidance. God’s wisdom, leading, and direction will always be available to you, and the best part is he will always steer you in the right direction. If there is one caveat, it is when you are not resting in him, then you can miss the way he is leading you.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

5. No Fear

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil…

Life will present you with some dark valleys. These valleys come in many forms. They can be physical, financial, they can be tragedies that strike or any number of things. Yet amid the dark valley, God has said you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to fear any devastating place in life with the courage that comes from the shepherd.

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6. His Presence

Shepherd kissing a young lamb

For you are with me;

The reason we don’t have to be afraid is because the shepherd is always with us. If you had to walk through the dark valleys of life alone, that would give you significant reason to be afraid. However, because the shepherd is with you, there is nothing to worry about because he will never leave you alone.

7. Protection

Your rod and your staff…

It is not just that the shepherd is with you; he brings his rod and his staff along. These were used to protect and defend the sheep from predators, but also to lead sheep away from dangerous places. God is not just with you. God is going to protect you. He does not just protect the physical things; he will protect your salvation in Christ. 

8. Comfort

They comfort me…

The rod and staff were not just defense, weapons but were also used to bring comfort. The shepherd would often use the staff to gently keep the sheep within the fold, should the sheep get off track. God does the same for you, bringing you back in line when you may be ready to wander off.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5).

9. Provision

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…

One outstanding trait of the shepherd is he doesn’t just provide. He brings provision and sets a table in the presence of those who are against you. This could be your spiritual enemy or someone who may be against you. There is nothing anyone can ever do that will keep God from providing for you. Enemy or not, he is your shepherd, and he will make a way of provision for you.

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10. Anointing

Olive oil

You anoint my head with oil…

Oil represents the Holy Spirit, so the shepherd has anointed you with his Spirit. This means he has equipped you to do and be what he desires for you. Thankfully, you never have to do anything in your own strength because the shepherd has given you his power to accomplish it.

11. Blessings

My cup overflows…

The shepherd doesn’t just provide enough for you; he provides more than enough so it can overflow to someone else. The reason he brings you blessing is so you can bless others.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

12. Goodness and Mercy

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…

The shepherd’s goodness and love is not just designed for certain parts of your life or for certain timeframes. It is part of all your life. His goodness will follow you wherever you go which should bring you comfort.

13. Eternal Life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…

The last truth about the shepherd is that he doesn’t just lead you through this life. He leads you into eternal life. God is our eternal shepherd. When we reach the end of our days on earth, we can know we have an eternal home waiting for us where we will lack nothing for all eternity, because the Lord is our shepherd.

I hope whenever you read this psalm again that you would simply ponder on what it means that the Lord is your shepherd.

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com