Life Without Lack- Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23 is one of those unique books that allows an author, Dallas Willard in this case, to speak to us from beyond the grave. Larry Burtoft put the manuscript together based on a series of talks that Willard did on Psalm 23 in his local church. Burtoft does a great job of capturing Dallas’ voice and the book reads like something he would have written himself.
The 23rd Psalm has sadly, in many cases, been relegated to something that we only read at funerals. In reality, it is one of the most powerful pieces of Scripture in the entire Bible and worthy of our study and meditation. Even before I read Life Without Lack, Psalm 23 was and is a passage that I often find myself reciting in prayer.
The idea of living without lack comes from the very first verse of the Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” (NIV) Learning to live in this reality is something that every believer should be moving towards. Willard gently guides the reader to understanding that this idea of living without lack is really rooted in our relationship with Christ. “It is worth noting that the only definition of eternal life found in Scripture is John 17:3: ‘”And this is eternal life, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”‘”
While as humans, we tend to think about not lacking anything to mean a full bank account, health, and quality relationships, Christ-followers understand that Christ alone is our provider and our sufficiency. Willard takes the reader through a brilliant look at the life of Job and how his faith was purified and developed during his testing to bring him to a place where all he needed was his relationship with God.
Life Without Lack- Living in the Fulness of Psalm 23 is a wonderful book and an excellent supplement to one’s personal Bible study. Towards the end of the text, Willard provides a beautiful template for learning how to cultivate the Presence of Jesus in our lives, throughout the day. This exercise alone is worth the price of the book for someone who really wants to develop that type of intimacy with Christ.
This would also be an excellent book to use in a small group study. Dallas Willard was one of the premier Christian thinkers for the past century and this text provides such a great basis for discussion and growth. Working through this as a group would be a powerful exercise in discipleship and spiritual growth.
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