Faithlife Sermons

Sermon (22-Jan): "This One Thing" Psalm 27:1, 4-9

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Scripture:
Psalm 27 (SLIDE)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
Big Idea:
The objective of this message is to examine the heart and desires of David and what it means for us today
(SLIDE) Introduction:
- A found an interesting fact/story while preparing this message:
If you look on the bright side, you just might live longer—much longer, according to some upbeat new research. A new study finds women who characterize themselves as having the highest levels of optimism live 15% longer than the least optimistic women and have a 50% greater chance of reaching age 85. The most optimistic men live 11% longer and are 70% more likely to reach 85. (The different results for men and women are not significant, the researchers say.)
One key seems to involve the body’s stress response. Studies have shown that chronic stress can lead to inflammation which can cause many diseases. Compared to pessimists, the most optimistic people say they sleep better and longer, are less likely to be sleepy during the day, and are 74% more likely to report no symptoms of insomnia.
Lead author Rosalba Hernandez, a professor at the University of Illinois, says: “Optimists are more likely to engage in active problem (solving) and to interpret stressful events in more positive ways.” People who are optimistic and goal-oriented agree strongly with statements like “I can find something positive, even in the worst situations.” Optimists experienced greater reductions in depression, anxiety, and panic disorders.
Robert Roy Britt, “Optimists Live Longer,” Elemental.com (8-27-19)
- King David—for me, and perhaps, others—is the ideal story
- From the pastures to the palace
- David, the young man anointed king, sought God for Who He was
- For David, it wasn’t about the palace or any of its benefits
- It was about His relationship with God
- In the beginning, David was the type of young boy who desired to sit out in the fields and compose songs to God
- Possibly shunned and ignored by his father and brothers as the youngest
- I can only imagine how he must have felt daily
- Some of us have dealt with different situations but the same feelings
- And, that can be as the youngest, eldest or anywhere in between
- But what can be said about David is like the brief story I gave you
- Scripture paints David in so many respects as an optimist
- His father overlooks Him when the prophet Samuel visits to anoint a king
- His brothers want to send him home when they’re out facing Goliath
- While King Saul is throwing spears and javelins at his head, he plays music for Saul to comfort him
- Yet, we struggle when the “arrows” come from someone we don’t get along with
- Though it hurts, if the most we must deal with are those of arrows,
- Then, I’ll reconsider my grumbling and complaining
- David was in a much worse position then many of us will ever see
- We may not end up in the palace but…
- Maybe we can glean a life lesson that God may be orchestrating
- When we consider David and his cyclical life, we can indeed learn something
- He’s called by God “a man after His own heart”
- Not a perfect or flawless or pristine man
- But “a man after God’s own heart”—one who sought God intentionally, fearfully and robustly
- His fault with Bathsheba…infamous
- The blood he shed leading Saul’s army…legendary
- His faith and trust in God though…reputable
- Here, we have David at his finest…trusting God
- There are three points that I want to look at
1) What He Declares – God’s Position
2) What He Desires – God’s Presence
3) What He’s Digging For – God’s Answer to Prayer
Transition: So, let’s look at our first point
What He Declares – God’s Position
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
- David starts off making a very confident and bold declaration of God
- We have the benefit of living in the New Testament era
- David didn’t have that luxury
- We see David’s love for God
- The Lord is his light and salvation
- There’s no second guessing or hesitation about it
- He’s not thinking that God will disappoint or let him down
- I’m guessing that is based on David’s experience with God
- David’s experience and relationship with God takes him to another level in trusting God
- I love to look at how biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words compare to our words
- The English language can be limited in terms of emotions and words that can be used
- But there are so many root words and meanings when it comes to the Bible; a concordance is a must…most times
- Other times, the Bible says what it says and nothing deeper
- Here, David says that God is his light
- God is the One who illuminates his path and journey
- How else could David have known how important God is along life’s journey if not from experience?
- When you have that experience/history with God, trusting Him becomes easier…slowly but surely
- I think of my trust of God today compared to how it was a decade or two ago…
- And, the comparison is crazy—I trust Him 100% more today
- That doesn’t mean that doubt doesn’t creep in
- Often times, and this may surprise you, doubt can serve to deepen your faith
- They aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive
- For instance, some may doubt God’s will for them in a situation
- Yet, on the other hand, you have faith that He has your best interest at heart
- In past times, I wanted to know what might’ve been impossible for me in all regards
- I’ve learned and still learning that an all knowing God has everything in His sight
- Should He choose for me to know then He will…
- I’ve often prayed that “God, speak to me in a voice or way that You want me to hear/discern it”
- God is unique in just that way—He knows His children and how to speak to each of us
- David knows he needs God to provide illumination for him
- There’s not an area that I can think of where I don’t need His light and illumination
- Some chapters later (Psalm 36:9) David says this (SLIDE),
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
- Things and situations become clearer in Christ than without
- It really goes without saying but our salvation hinges on Him
- Simply put, our deliverance from hell to heaven is dependent on Him
- He provided the bridge to Him that I never knew I needed
- Whom do I have to fear or be afraid if I know that He is my light and salvation?
Transition: God’s position in my life makes me secure
What He Desires – God’s Presence (SLIDE)
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
- David could have noted five, ten or twenty things that he was seeking after God for
- We all have a million different desires that sway us regularly
- To boil it down to just one thing seems overly simplistic
- A different way to look at would be…this one thing that we seek and desire
- It’ll set the course for our entire life
- Look at it as a root that is needed to stabilize our lives
- This is where our foundation begins and we grow from there
- It’s not an afterthought; it’s not something that we tag on because it looks good, sounds good
- Jesus said (Matt 6:33) (SLIDE),
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- That’s always astounded me how different God’s kingdom is compared to how we see things done in the world
- The world says push for yourself; yet, God says forget yourself
- The world says keep what you have; God says give what you have
- I’ve learned to embrace being countercultural knowing that God doesn’t expect to fit in but rather to stand out
- Imagine dwelling in the house of the Lord all of your days
- David is not seeking to escape life’s troubles and crying “Woe is me”
- He’s just picturing himself embracing God just as He is
- I can picture it for myself that there is not a greater sight than seeing God as He is
- There is no ulterior motive—no handouts
- Just the opportunity to gaze upon His beauty and glory
- The greatest sights on earth pale in comparison to all of who God is
- To behold Him with eyes wide open is like a dream
- With our hearts directed towards Him can only invite goodness on His part; imagine Him see us with no ulterior motive
- That’s what allows Him to conceal, protect and hide us in times of trouble
- His protection is 360 degrees—24 hours—7 days a week; protection from dangers seen and unseen
- In other words, Jesus has our front, back left and right
- God’s presence should be first and foremost on our minds
- Where God’s presence is…that’s also where His protection lies
- I know God is every place, everywhere at the same place all at once
- But imagine knowing for sure that you are at the right place at the right time and God is there
- For me…that’s the safest place in the world
- When God sets you high on the rock, He will bring you down at the right time
- And the enemy has no say in the matter
- I can hold my head high because it is God who has placed me in that place
- There’s no haughtiness or high minded mentality that think that I made it there on my own
- There’s just the gratitude to God—the shouts of joy that God did it
- I truly believe that God wants us to have confidence…
- But to the point where we know that are full confidence is dependent on Him
- Other people may see our behaviors and actions but God sees our heart
- God saw through the young boy/man that was David and saw the King in the kid/ the heart of a worshipper
- We can be encouraged because it didn’t end with David
- God is seeing across our world men and women after His own heart—boys and girls after His own heart
- Our preparation and position is seeking after His heart
- Consider the Book of Psalms; how David desired to sing and make music to the Lord
- It didn’t take a full choir or a church service
- It was about Him and God
- I think about the relationship that I have with God
- Many times, I feel as if what it took for me to get where I am today;
- That’s the minimum that I should be doing going forward
- Moreso, it should grow
Transition: My devotion and commitment should grow along with my prayer life
What He’s Digging For – God’s Answer to Prayer [SLIDE]
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
- David in all of his seeking and digging nowhere seeks God’s hand but His face
- Look at what C.S. Lewis said (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 15),
“The soul that has once been waked, or stung, or uplifted by the desire of God, will inevitably (I think) awake to the fear of losing Him.”
- David didn’t want to lose God or even the sight of Him and neither should we
- I believe that I had a glimpse of this years ago while stationed at Charleston AFB, SC
- On a random day, I was walking on Hill Blvd the main street entering the base
- There was this feeling of how life felt without God
- In that moment, I don’t know if I ever felt so empty and alone
- The whole experience last maybe/possibly ten minutes but it was the longest ten minutes
- Now, looking back on it, I think that God shows us how vital He is to our lives
- It recalls to my mind that I don’t want to live without Him
- I feel as if I am echoing David when he says (v.9)(SLIDE),
Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away…”
- David didn’t want to be without God
- He wanted God to answer His prayer
- He was saying, “Don’t leave me, God”
- How many of us have been there…not wanting God to leave us or even forget about us?
- As if He could…
- This one thing that we can be sure of when it comes to God…is His presence
Closing
- As I’m closing, the one thing that David asked for and sought after…
- Was God’s presence (Who God is)
- We see the words, dwell in His house, gaze on His beauty and seek Him in the temple
- It can be summed up as His presence
- It’s the perfect thing for us to seek after as well
- I wish I could say that our deepest questions, issues, circumstances will be resolve in His presence
- But that wouldn’t be true
- I can say that God’s heart is in His presence
- And, I would say, arguably, His favor is in His presence
- That’s exactly where I want to be in His presence, favor…
- Knowing that I am in good company with David and many more saints of old
- Will you join me in a word of prayer?
Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me for all of my sins known and unknown, I renounce them all. Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I receive you now as Lord and Savior of my life. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He died for me and arose and sits at the right hand of God praying for me, interceding for me. Lord Jesus, I give you everything. I thank you for saving me, delivering me and setting me free, in Jesus’ name!
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