Can Your Greatest Needs Be Satisfied?

There are some scriptures that many of us know so well that we can say them without much thought.  Psalm 23 is one of those scriptures.  If I asked you to quote the first verse of Psalm 23, you could probably get pretty close and it would probably sound something like, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  That is how I have heard it my entire life.

Recently, I noticed that Psalm 23:1 in the New International Version says this, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

Wow!  “I lack nothing” sounds much more definitive than “I shall not want.”  I think it helps that there is no “shall not” in this version.  First of all, today most people do not go around saying “shall not” unless it is an angry mother who has tried every combination of words known to man to get her child to stop doing something.  “You shall not hit your sister again or I shall…”


Can you, like the psalmist, say, “I lack nothing?”

We live in a world that tells we have a lot of needs.  We are bombarded with advertisers telling us we need a new car, we need the latest technology and we need to fill those needs immediately.  We need a new outfit and don’t forget the shoes, we need new shoes.  We live in a world that screams, “You need this!”

Our needs seem to be constant and inexhaustible.

David, the psalmist, said that with God is our shepherd who meets our greatest needs.


David was a shepherd who knew how to care for the needs of his sheep.  He knew where to lead them for food and water, he knew how to protect them.  He knew how to meet the needs of his sheep.

I envision him looking at his sheep as he wrote this and realizing that his sheep had everything they needed.  He knew his sheep did not have any needs that he could not meet.

David called God his shepherd because he knew that God met his needs like a good shepherd meets the needs of his sheep.  Like a good shepherd, God walks with us and leads us.  He protects us and cares for our needs.


Talking about God as our shepherd John 10:3 says, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”  

God knows each of us by name.  He knows us intimately.  In another psalm David said, You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)

God knows our needs, he even knows them before we do.  He not only knows what we need today, he knows what we will need tomorrow.  That means that our needs never surprise our God.

When we face trials, God knows what we need.  When crisis invades our lives, God meets our needs. 

He knows when we need a word of encouragement.  He knows when we need peace and comfort.  He knows our needs and he is able to fill them.


John 10:4 goes on to say, “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Can you confidently say you know the voice of your shepherd?  For us to know the voice of our shepherd we have to spend time with him in prayer and spend time in his word.

If we don’t know the voice of the shepherd we will follow any voice we hear.  We will follow the voice that tells us to look out for ourselves.  We will follow the voice that leads us to doubt God.  We may even listen to the voice that tells us our needs are greater than our God.

The fact is that we have great needs, but they cannot be satisfied by another trip to the mall.  Our greatest needs can only be met by the great Shepherd.

God met our greatest need, the need for a savior, through Jesus and his death on the cross.  As we near Easter, we remember our great shepherd who meets our needs so that we can confidently say, “I lack nothing.”

When have you seen God meet your needs?