Monthly Archives: April 2015

Singing with the King (35) – All That I Want

Needs vs. Wants – Psalm 23:1

Girl in a field 4The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
I’ve pretty much been taught my entire life that God will supply all my needs, but NOT my wants. And there is a very famous passage which everybody quotes to prove that point: And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) See? Needs.

But don’t forget the other phrase from that first line; and consider what the LORD, your shepherd has done for you:
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul
He guides me in paths of righteousness
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me
You prepare a table before me
You anoint my head with oil
My cup overflows
Goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever

This is far from an exhaustive list, but note, He has even ushered you into eternity. Now if the LORD has done all those things for you, what else do you want? And speaking of want, the Hebrew word has several close relatives as translations. They are empty, some form of lack, and decreased. All those translations work in this verse. With the LORD as my Shepherd, I shall not be empty; I shall not lack; and I shall not decrease.

So many times we’ve had to compared the thought of God supplying our needs vs. God supplying our wants. But here it says wants, not needs. And that particular word is here, because it answers that very fundamental question: What do you want? And the answer is… the LORD. My favorite Psalm is Psalm 73, which sadly is not one of David’s, but it is still my favorite. And the one verse that ties directly into Psalm 23:1 is verse 25—Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. So you can see why David has no other wants— he has the Lord. Can you say the same? I hope so.

Singing with the King (34) – My God (2)

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1,2)

Alone at sunrise

Last time we talked about the seagulls from Finding Nemo, and how we could identify with them. Like them, we can be very selfish creatures. But then I asked you consider the “my’s” of King David. Here are the remainder.

My Rock— this is a different word from the previous one, and has a whole different range of meanings: to confine, secure, to shut in, besiege, to shut up, and to enclose. God does indeed do those things for us, for our good, and for our protection.

My Shield—The word shield means to cover, surround, or defend.

The horn of My salvation—horn has to do with power and might. So when David speaks of the Lord as being his horn of salvation, it is a powerful salvation, a mighty salvation.

My Stronghold— Another place of security, safety, and refuge. The stronghold by definition is a high place; indeed one of its translations is a high tower. It is a place of defense.

David gave us the right perspective.

So when you think about the Lord, how many “my’s” can you come up with? How many ways can you relate to Him? How many roles does He play in your life? How many needs does He fulfill? I know David could have gone on much more than eight. Can you?

What is it like to live you live in God’s context? To have His perspective? Well, the LORD should be not only all you need, but all you got.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. (Psalm 73:25)


Singing with the King (33) – My God (1)

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1,2)

Seagulls on a Dock

Several years ago, we took the kids to Disney World. And one of the places we stopped at was The Seas with Nemo and Friends. It had been several years since the movie, and the kids we quite a bit older, but when we come walking up to this particular attraction, what do we hear? All the seagulls were saying: “Mine, mine, mine, mine!” It put a smile on all our faces. Now since we are such selfish creatures, we can relate to such things, even when we were very little. It’s all about the stuff we have; the stuff that belongs to us.

But look at the verses above. Rather than making all the my’s and mine’s about all your stuff, why not make it about the Lord?

My Rock— these are cliff or crags or mountains. In other words, a high place, even an inaccessible place, that can only be touched or reached by our Great God.

My Fortress— the Hebrew definition for this word is stronghold. Another translations is a net or snare. That’s not a good thing for being hunted by an enemy, but to be caught by the Most High God, is another matter.

My Deliverer —One who delivers. We are carried off, preserved and rescued.

My God— David proclaims the Lord, He is God; MY God. Think about this. The King of kings and Lord of lords; the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe is willing to be associated…with you!

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Next time we’ll wrap up the rest of the “my’s”.


Singing with the King (32) – Confession & Forgiveness

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. (Psalm 32:3-5)



If you’ve watched a lot of crime shows (like I have) the word confession is not very pleasant. In fact the goal of every detective in an interrogation is to get a confession out of the guilty party. Now obviously there is no need for the innocent to confess. But the problem is, is there anyone who is NOT guilty?

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”  And hearing this, Jesus said to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:16-17)

So, we’ve all sinned, and we’re all sick—and that is we need to confess if we want to be healed by Jesus.

There are four parts to a heartfelt and Biblical confession:

  1. Agree with God you’re a sinner
  2. Acknowledge that God KNOWS you’re a sinner
  3. Admit your guilt (and be specific)
  4. Repent (change your mind, then change your direction—turn away from your sins and return to God.)

I was surprised at the different translations of the word confess in Hebrew, but they are consistent with the joy one receives from confession, and glory given to God. Most often the word is translated as thanksgiving or praise.

So what happens when you confess?

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! (Psalm 32:1-2)

But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. (1 John 1:9)

Confession is not about the weight of penance or guilt. It’s about the joy of being forgiven by a loving God.