Are you barely surviving? - Subtitles in many languages: click on [cc]

Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 15.12.2011

Good morning
today I will be reading this sixty-third Psalm
what a joyous time of year the Christmas season
and while some feel close to God with so many things pointing to our relationship
with Jesus Christ
others of us might feel like God is distant
there are times when I souls are refreshed and times when our souls are dry
king David writes the sixty third Psalm during one of his desert experiences he
gives us great insight into how we can survive spiritual desserts please follow
along with me in as you read Psalm sixty three
oh God you are my God I earnestly search for you my soul thirst for you my
whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no
I've seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory your unfailing
love is better than life itself how I praise you
I will praise you as long as I live lifting up my hands to you in prayer
you satisfy me more than the richest feast I will praise you with songs of
I lie awake thinking of you meditating on you through the night because you are
my helper
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings I cling to you, your strong
right hand holds me security
but those plotting to destroy me will come to of ruin they will go down into the
depths of the earth they would die by the sword and become the food jackals
but the king will rejoice in God
all who trust in him a praise him while liars will be silenced
thank you, carol
well I hope you had a merry Christmas
I have a two-year-old and a newborn and it was just
a wonderful Christmas to see a little two-year-old, our son Gavin just run around
just having a blast and
It literally took
almost four hours to get through gifts because you know we have to play in open
every gift first before we open another one
and I was fun it was it was
just a wonderful joyous time
and it was amazing how his energy just
you know just kept going
you know I thought he would mellow out a little bit and he kind of would and then he'd
bounced back
and it was just
let's just say that when I came to nap time the whole family took a nice long nap
that was a very joyous thing
sometimes as we go through
the Christmas season we
this whole advent season of just
you know with the churches everything it can to try to help you focus on Jesus
you know to get to get prepared
to anticipate the coming of Jesus and what does that really mean for us and
sometimes that season have been
at least of my life it's been
of very fulfilling time were my heart my soul gets filled
overflowing with which is God's love and his joy and his peace
but there's also other times when that Christmas season advent season
does not fill my heart and I find it difficult
to focus on God to be in his presence and sometimes my cup is
and I still dry
I feel like I am
sometimes going through a desert experience
and our
Psalm today king David is going through a desert time
he's literally
In the
desert of Judah being pursued by his enemies
they want to take his life
but what he writes in Psalm sixty-three just isn't about what's going on around
him it's really what's going on in his heart
And he expresses
the dryness he is experiencing in his heart because he feels like God is
and sometimes
we will all experienced these kinds of desert
a dryness
maybe feeling like
you've been forgotten or abandoned or unsettled
that somehow maybe the circumstances of life feel
out of control
I know what I do when I feel that way
I fake it
you fake it until you make it
because if you fake it long enough
then it will become true right?
No, it doesn't work that way
You are just faking it
which means that sometimes
in survival mode
and maybe some of you this morning are feeling like you're in survival mode
I know king David felt that way
and we will all experienced these kind of desert
why do we experienced the desert
this dryness
in our lives
there are three different stories
In the Bible that talk about the desert there's many desert experiences
actually but
There's three of them specifically that I think That give us a good answer of why we might
experience those times
because our expectation would be
Well, if God is so good and God is so loving then
why would we ever go through these times
should we always be feeling joyful and
Full of peace and contentment
and comfort
but that's not always the case our first story comes from Moses
Moses grew up in pharaoh's household
he was part of royalty
and he had a heart for his people he was a Jew and the Jews
Were enslaved to the Egyptians
and he wanted his people to be set free
and he took that into his own hands any committed murder
It was a big mistake
he had to flee for his life and
he took off into the desert
sometimes our choices our mistakes
our decisions in life
will lead us into those dry times
another example is king David and he actually experiences the desert on
multiple occasions
and when he writes this Psalm he's fleeing for his life those who were supposed to
have his back
and take care of him
are trying to kill them
and he has to flee and so sometimes
other people's decisions
Choices, mistakes
cause us
to experience the desert
the last desert experience that I think explains sometimes why
we're experiencing spiritual dryness is Jesus and his desert experience
In Matthew four
this is probably my least favorite
desert experience
In Matthew four the Holy Spirit sends Jesus into the desert
where he fasts for forty days and he experiences testing
I don't like that idea
I don't like the idea maybe God sending me
to a dry place
why would he want to do that you know because that doesn't fit with God's whole
purpose for my life
or maybe God's purpose
or my purpose for God in my life
because God is supposed to make me comfortable
that's why he exists right? to make my life as comfortable as possible that's what
we value in our society is comfort we don't want to experience dryness
we want to be happy all the time
there's some truth that we need to understand about
the desert
the first truth we need understand is that it's not just the location it's a
the Bible refers to the desert
not just as
these dunes
a literal desert but the Bible refers to
the wilderness
that we interpret as the desert
the wilderness, the wilderness isn't necessarily
a literal desert a place where it's barren
where what you need for nourishment survival is missing
if the wild place where there's wild beasts
it's a place where
nobody wants to be
because there's no life
and so our desert experiences aren't necessarily tied to a location if they
were we would just moved locations all the time
because that would solve what's going on but it's not it's a heart condition
have you heard of
someone who's found issues with the church so they go to another church
because they don't want to have issues who was issues
there's too much drama involved with issues
let's go to a church that doesn't have issues and so they go to another church
and miraculously
the same issues appear
and so they hop to another church and they pursue
looking for the perfect church when the reality is when there's people
Involved in a church it will not be perfect
and so we have the phenomenon of church hopping
of going around and
making a change but never experiencing life change
and we do this in all aspects of our life right with our jobs
there's times when our jobs are
very unsatisfying
we feel like what's the meaning of this job I'm supposed to
be loving what I do and I don't so maybe if I change my job
it'll fix what's going on
or maybe in our relationship sometimes we feel like a you know my
marriage is not going very well if I was married to someone else may be I things
would be going better
when in reality the dryness that we experience in our souls
has nothing to do with where we are
but it has everything to do
with who we are
so it's a condition and since it's a condition of our heart it's really
something that we were all go through
it's common to everybody
is part of the spiritual journey actually
we think that the spiritual journey begins with the relation with
Christ and suddenly life gets easier and easier and easier but the spiritual
journey always has desert experiences
Romans chapter five Paul says it this way he says
we rejoiced in our sufferings
because we know that suffering produces perseverance
persevere produces character
and character
produces hope
so we rejoice in our sufferings
In our deserts
in our dryness we rejoice in that because
that will produce
perseverance and we think that somehow maybe our money or status
our success
might keep us out of those dry times
but that's not the case
Moses was a son of pharaoh
Probably had the best education anyone can get
he lived at the palace
and he experienced the desert
king David was a national hero
he was a giant killer
he was the son-in-law to the king
he experienced the desert
Jesus himself
the son of God the God man
God made flesh
the defining incarnate he experienced the desert
now I say this because
my desire isn't to ruin your day
you know some of you might be thinking thanks Tony
appreciate the good news
We're going to experience the desert alright
looking forward to that
I'm not trying to depress you this morning by saying that this is common
to everyone
it's actually good news
because that means that some of you this morning who are here today you're
you know what
I'd just not getting it this season
I'm not there everybody else around me is having a great time their cups are full
and I'm not there
I feel miserable
I feel dry
what that means is that you're not a freak
you're not abnormal
or for feeling that way this
there are times in our life when we will go through
the desert
will experience
the dryness
and if that's the case
what is happening when we're
experiencing the dryness can good come out of it
Yes it can because sometimes
those desert experiences temper
our desires with development
we all want to be the best at what we do
I want to be the best dad I can be
I want to be the best youth pastor I can be
If you are a doctor you want to be the best that you can be you don't want to have a
bad track record as a doctor I mean who wants to go to a mediocre dentist
Nobody, and so we all desire to be the best at what we do
we desire our abilities and our passion towards it
all that our talent
to just go for it
but there are times when our desires and our talents our abilities
can outrun
our development
and that can be a train wreck
for our lives
T D Jakes says success can be as painful
as failure
if you're not equipped for
example this is and I don't know if you keep up with the news in Hollywood
I try to
read up what's going on the Hollywood because it helps me connect with what's
going on with our students and Lindsay Lohan and I don't know if you've
read news about her lately but
she seems to keep coming up in the news and
and here's a story of a very attractive beautiful young actress
Very, very successful from an early age on
and we see this happen
all the time
these young actors and actresses who
are very successful
and their abilities and their passions and their talent their desires
quickly outrun
their development
their character development
and their lives become a wreck her life is a mess right now
it's a mess
because sometimes
those dry experiences those desert times allow our character
To develop
let's go back to our Romans passage
we rejoice in our sufferings in our deserts
because they produce
and perseverance
and so what we desire is our character development in our
passions and desires our abilities and talents to develop together
See king David
had to take care of sheep as a shepherd
before it could be a king
take care of people
Moses had to experience and know
that it was going to be God's power
that was going to set his people free not
his power
so sometimes
the desert
allow us to mature
to develop character
but if we stay there too long
it will kill us
we're not meant to be there
we're not supposed to build a house
in the desert
we're not, it will kill us
it's supposed to be a season
and we go through seasons in life
it's a part of life
Fall, winter, spring
I mean some people moved to California to try to get rid of those seasons
but the reality is that it still shows up
there are seasons in life and when it comes to our soul there are spiritual
there are times when your cup is full overflowing and you are just
in the presence of God
and there are times when God is
missing in action
And you feel dry
you feel like He's distant
Psalm thirty verse five says weeping may remained for a night
the rejoicing comes in the morning
maybe for you this morning hearing God's word and
singing some of these wonderful carols and hymns and
maybe your cup is being filled
and you're going to leave here this morning feeling refreshed and renewed
and maybe some of you won't
Maybe that will come tomorrow maybe will come in a couple weeks or a couple months and I
I hope it will last couple years
his were not meant to dwell
In the desert
it's supposed to be for a short time which means
that some of you this morning
have been dry
too long
you've been dry too long
if that's the case how do we get out
and if we can't get out if we're not meant to get out yet how do we survive
and that's what we did in psalm sixty three
because David is gone through the desert many times
and so he's kind of an expert by this time
this time around
and he going to give us some insight in how we can survive the desert
the first thing he does
in verses one through five is that
he's talking about what am I going to do right now
in the present
even though I feel like that God is distant
I'm going to seek after God, I'm going to seek the presence of God
that's what I'm going to do
I'm going to seek God's presence
In verse one he says oh God you are my God
earnestly I seek you my soul thirst for you my body longs for you
In a dry
and weary land
where there is no water
so David first says oh God
he claims
alright I know you exist
you are there
I don't feel you I can see you but I know you exist I know you're there
and you are
my God
I'm yours
and so I'm going to seek after you earnestly
why can Davido do that why can David
seek after God when God feels distant
he can because God
has loved him and he has experienced God's love he's tasted and seen
that God is good
Verse three and four says this
because your love is better than life
my lips will glorify you
I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands
your love is better
than life
David has experienced God's love is so he knows
that's what I want to get
that's when the seek after I'm just going to seek after God's love
that's why Jesus came that's why we celebrate Christmas
four verse fourteen says Jesus talks about him being living water
he says if you drink from the water that I offer you
you will never thirst again I will satisfy your soul
I will refresh and renew your soul
And Paul says in Philippians
chapter one verse twenty one
For to me
to live
Is Christ
And to die is gain
So Paul gets it he realizes you know what it's all about Jesus
when Jesus is in my life that's what it's about
that's when I feel complete that's when I feel the most satisfied
to be honest you can take my life
to die it's gain I'm ready
I'm ready to be with Jesus
And so David seeks after
God's presence
the best way to seek after God's presence is to remember what God has
done for us
and so he looks to the past in verses six through eight he says I'm going to remember
God's faithfulness
I'm going to remember God's faithfulness
In verse two he says I've seen you in the sanctuary and I'd beheld your power and
your glory
David has seen
the glory and the power of God
He says God I've seen you work in my life
I've seen you work in the lives of others I see you work
through the lives of the church
I've seen it
and there's power there
so since I've seen it
I'm just going to keep remembering that
because that means that the desert has a beginning
at some point David doesn't feel like he was in the desert
He was experiencing
The fullness of being with God
That means that the desert had a beginning which means the desert also has an end by
definition the desert is
in a valley
and on both sides of the valley
are mountains
or hills
and so you go into the desert there's a beginning but there also is a point
where you get out
and sometimes when we're in these dry spells
all we can see is what's going on around us and we don't see that there's an end
To the season
but there will be
because we look to the past and we remember and so on verse six through eight
King David says on my bed
I remember you
I think if you through the watches of the night
because you
you are my help
I sing in the shadow of your wings my soul clings to you
your right hand
Upholds me
David looks to the past God's faithfulness and he realizes you know
you've always help me God
you're the one who's always held me up
and helped me
through my life
And so we remember
what God has done in the past
his faithfulness
if you remember our Romans passage again
when we experience sufferings
that produced perseverance
which produced character
that then produces hope
and so David is looking hopefully with anticipation to God's goodness
he's looking to the future saying you know what
I have hope
I know this will end at some point
and I'm looking forward to God's goodness
In verse five he says my soul will be satisfied with the richest of foods
For singing lifts my mouth will praise you
he knows that his soul will be satisfied it's not satisfied right now
but he knows it will be
as with the riches of foods
like I felt last night
after I ate my pot roast
It was my first experience at cooking my own pot roast
And it turned out pretty good
it was good enough
that I ate so fast and so much
That I spent the next couple of hours just sitting on the couch
how full I really was
David knows that he is going to be satisfied
as with the richest of foods that his soul is going to be filled
and so he's looking to the future in that way
now one thing I like about this Psalm
is that they get into a little and a lot of Psalms do this
you know because they are poems and
and songs
of human beings
who are just crying out to God and sometimes those songs are beautiful and
and sometimes those songs are just
scary and weird
and you're thinking how is this even in the Bible
and this is one of the section when I was doing research
I was looking at how other people preached on this passage
most people skip these next couple verses
they stick to the earlier part
as I was trying to figure out God what's going on here
what's going on in verse nine
David says they who
seek my life will be destroyed
they will go down to the depths of the earth
they will be given over to the sword and become food
for the jackals
those of you who are here this morning who may be experiencing a dryness
because of
what other people have done to you
or what other people have said to you
Because that is what David is experiencing in this Psalm
who are supposed to have his back as king
are now pursuing him to try to kill him
our first response to those kinds of things is one of revenge
you know maybe some of your hearing this thing going
they will become food for jackals
and I like that
food for jackels
can't wait
but that's not what David is asking for here is not actually asking for a
revenge when I was
looking into this passage and meditating on it and I really feel like at this point
David has to surrender
the fact that he has no control
over what these are the people are doing he can't fix their lives he can't change
their choices
he can't
change their decisions
he has to live with
the fact that their making those decisions he can't change them
we can't make choices for others and so David is saying you-know-what
okay you want to destroy me the reality is most likely you're going to be
destroyed if that's the kind of person your going to be
it's going to destroy you
you know what you're going to pursue me
and try to destroy me
you know what
I'm just going to surrender that to God
God has taken care of me
I know that God is going to take care of you too
God does say that He says revenge is mine
revenge is mine says the Lord because we can't fix
or change what other people are going to do God is a good and just God
and he's going to take care of them
hopefully He'll transform their lives like He transformed our lives
ultimately we've got to surrender that and David is surrendering that I can't change what
they're doing
all I can do
is focused on what I could do which is
make my own choices and choose my own reaction
and that's why in verse eleven he says this he says the king will rejoice in
I'm king
and I'm going to rejoice in God I am going to put my eyes on God
I'm not going to focus on these people who are trying to destroy me
I am going to focus on God
Eyes on God
you know seeing Christmas through the eyes of the two-year-old
has just been fun
first of all I tried to explain the Christmas story
using little play mobile figures and I've built a little inn out of blocks
I built a cave
And I built this big old scene
and I started explaining the little story of
of Mary and Jesus and Joseph
and Gavin is like
for about three minutes and then he came up and destroyed the you know
the hard built inn and then
I had to rush through the story real quick because
I was taking too long
And there was so much stimulation for him
the presents and
new stuff and new toys and mom and dad are here all day long and PJ's and
it's just
he didn't know quite how the process all that
and so he had quite a few mood swings yesterday
there are times when he was just launching and just having a great time and
there's times when you just kind of breakdown
you know okay, he just needs his nap so we all took our nap and then
after our nap
you know I was like Gavin
you know you are had tried to explain this to him I said Gavin you have the choice
To be whiney or not
and he looked at me (whine)
and like why can you just choose and I'm trying to rationalize with a two year old
that he could make choices not to complain
what kind of dad am I
the reality is that though we need to the to grow and mature in our
ability to choose
Right? instead of just responding
to our circumstances
and that takes maturity and takes time to
grow role in choosing our reaction
instead of just responding with emotion
of actually choosing you know how am I going to respond to these people
And King David says you know what I'm going to do
I'm going to focus on God
he says the king will rejoice in God all who swear by God's name
not all who curse
using God's name or use God's name in vain
you know when I first heard that I thought swear, who would swear by God's name
That's not right
and this is royalty language
you know all those who swear to God as their king right at the beginning he
says oh God you are my God he is swearing his loyalty to God
All who swear by God's name will praise him and you know what the mouths of liars
they're going to be silenced
I'm going to praise God, I'm going to focus on God
that's going to get taken care of because I have no control over that
God is good
And God is just
this is the Christmas message
someone before says that's kind of a depressing outlining you got
There Tony
isn't this supposed to be about Christmas this is the Christmas message God sent Jesus
living water
to this earth to satisfy our deepest
Longings and desires
to refresh and renew our souls
that's the Christmas message
that's the good news
Jesus came
And he gives us hope for the Second Advent
Jesus' second coming
Jesus will come again
Let me encourage you this morning
whether your cup is full or your cup is empty
let us seek after God
Let us seek after him earnestly
because we know that his love
is better than life
it's his love that sent Jesus
it's his love that allowed Jesus to die on the cross
it's his love that brings us back to him
let us remember God's faithfulness that's what we do a Christmas
we remember the faithfulness of God
and let us have
in God's goodness
at some point in the future Jesus is going to return
he fulfilled all the old testament prophecies by coming the first time
I think we can we can bank on the fact that he's going to return a second time
because he's going to fulfill those prphecies as well
he will return and until He returns
we want to anticipate the goodness of God let me pray
Lord, I just want to lift up
every single person that is in this building
I asked you would reveal yourself to them in a new way
that they would see your goodness
that you would remind every person here of how you have worked in their lives in
the past that you'd bring to mind the things that we've forgotten
those circumstances
those words maybe even some of those verses or scripture passages
that we have forgotten about
that we need to hear and remember
about how faithful you are
Lord, I asked you would fill each person here with the hope
of your goodness of what's to come
those who are experiencing the desert
God, we ask that time would be short
that even this morning that you would set people free
That you would fill them and renew them refresh them
as we all desires your people
people who swear by your name that have declared you as our God we desire to praise you
to glorify you to live our lives for you
we say this in Jesus name. Amen
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