Many years ago Dr. Joseph Parker, a contemporary of C.H. Spurgeon and pastor of the famous City Temple Church, mounted the steps to his pulpit and announced his reading for the morning as Psalm 23. Slowly and distinctly, he read, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” There was a long pause, and then, closing his Bible, he said, “That is enough.” And he was right! The person who has God as their Shepherd shall not want and will not fear (Psalm 23:1, 4). They enjoy the two things that every human heart desires: namely, sufficiency and security. Given the greatness and limitlessness of God, we shall not want, because there is no lack in God’s ability to take care of us in all and every situation (Eph. 3:20). There is little that we need other than God Himself. The person who has God for their treasure has all things in One, and that is why Paul could say that he had nothing yet possessed everything (2 Cor. 6:10).
Believing that to be the case, we are left with a question. What about those needs—not greeds—that will help get us to a better place in life or ministry, and yet God has not seen fit to supply them right now? Let me suggest several possible answers:
Firstly, we have expected too much from God and too little from ourselves. We have failed to appropriate that which is available to us through harder work and greater ingenuity. God’s commitment to us is not an excuse for laziness or impractical faith. God’s provision for Elijah was both supernatural and natural; there were the ravens and the brook (1 Kings 17:4). Elijah was not to ignore that which was within his reach.
Secondly, we have not made our needs sufficiently and repeatedly plain to God in prayer (James 4:2). James tells us bluntly that our lack is often a result of our delinquency in prayer. God’s promises are not only to be believed but prayed.
Thirdly, we fail to realize that God intends to meet our need, but not just now. While we fear the prospect of the problem getting bigger, we must remember that it will never get larger than God’s ability to handle it. In fact, God often waits to do something greater. Jesus didn’t go to Lazarus right away and heal a sick man; He waited that He might go and raise a dead man (John 11:1–44).
Fourthly, we sometimes misinterpret our need and ask for something that is not good for us. Since the promise of Scripture is that God withholds no good thing from us, one might conclude that when He does, it is because what we desire is not as good as we might think (Psalm 84:11).
God gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.