Monday, July 9, 2018

Praise Power and Peace in the Psalms #1 - Experiencing God Psalm 18

Experiencing God

Text: Psalms 18:30-43

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Introduction: A woman had a parrot that had picked up some dirty language.  She scolded it, she threatened it but it wouldn’t clean up it’s language.  Finally, she told the parrot, “If you cuss one more time I’m going to throw you in the freezer until you learn not to talk dirty.”  A few minutes went by and then the parrot let our an expletive.  The woman grabbed the bird, opened the freezer and tossed him in.  About 10 minutes later she opened the door. “Are you ready to talk politely?” she asked.  The poor birdie his feathers covered with frost and icicles hanging from his beak stiffly shook his head yes.  The woman picked up the cold bird and set him on his perch.  The bird said, “Can I ask you something?”  the woman said OK.  “What in the world did that turkey do to get thrown in there?”  The experience made a lasting impression on the parrot.

    Some things are best learned by experiencing them. We can read about God, talk about God, discuss whether he exists and what He is like, but to truly know God you must experience Him. Experiencing God might give us a taste of what heaven is really going to be like, and how exciting earth is supposed to be to the child of God.  But how can I experience God this side of Heaven? And I really need to experience Him before heaven. What is required in my life so that God is real to me and capable of changing my world through me.

Experiencing God’s Completeness Psalms 18:30-32

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.  For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?  It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect..

David Is Complete in God's Fullness

 David says, “As for God, His way is perfect. What does he mean by that? What was David saying about God and his relationship with Him? The Hebrew word translated perfect here is the word, Taw-meem:  it means complete, full, perfect, whole. David is saying that God is everything he needs. In his relationship with God, in God Himself David lacks nothing. God has met all his needs and there is not part of him that is not filled with the fulness of God.

 So how did David come to this understanding? How did he find God's fullness? If we look back in Psalms 18 to verses 16 and 17 we find the key.

Psalm 18:16-17  He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.  He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. 
 Davids says in vs 16  that he was like a man caught in a flood. In vs 17  he was a man utterly defeated by his enemies. It was at those times of complete defeat that David experienced the completeness of God. Like a man being swept away in a flood, David reaches out and takes the hand of God. Like a man about to be destroyed in battle he calls out for a champion stronger than himself.

He gives up, he looks up and is filled up by the power of God.
Then and only then can David come to vs. 32 and write, “He maketh my way perfect.” David  experienced the fullness of God when he was emptied of himself.

 Do We Want to Be Filled?
 Can I experience God's fullness as David? The answer really isn’t yes or no but am I willing to experience God that way? Am I willing to do what David did to get there?

 Notice the progression of David's experience with God.
Only God could save him  vs 16 & 17
Only God could teach him vs 30
Only God could shield him vs 30
Only God was God vs 31
Only God would protect him forever  vs 31

We often believe that we come to a greater relationship with God based upon our abilities and power. We think that after a lifetime of experience and sacrifice, we will stand before God worthy of His love, strength or mercy.

Yet in reality, this journey, with its end in the perfection of God, begins with our defeat and our calling and reaching out to God as our champion. The only one who can save me. I must quit struggling in my own power and surrender to God as the Sovereign of my life and soul.
This is how we must be saved from our sin, by realizing I cannot save myself and calling out to God to save me through His Son Jesus Christ. This is also the way we grow in our relationship with God, by giving up on ourselves but trusting in Him.

How much you experience God, will be measured by how much you are willing to surrender to God. How much of my life? How much of my time? How much of my love?

Amplification: A glass filled or a glass empty.
Here is the simplicity of this truth.  We are like a glass which is filled with ourselves.  Our dreams, our hopes, our desires, our goals, our strength our abilities, our power, our love, our sin, our failure, our goodness our victories.  We are so filled with ourselves that there is no room for the fullness of God in our life.  The more I can empty myself, just like a glass of stale water being poured out, the more room for God to fill me with “living water springing up into everlasting life.”  And when I am completely emptied through the defeat and destruction of my own power, then I will fully experience God.

Illustration:  Poem “Unto Myself”
Fearing to launch on “full surrender’s tide,
I asked the Lord where would its waters glide
My little boat, “To troubled seas I dread?”
“Unto Myself,” He said.

Weeping beside an open grave I stood
In bitterness of soul. I cried to God;
“Where leads this path of sorrow that I tread?”
“Unto Myself,” He said.

Striving for souls, I loved the work too well:
Then disappointments came; I could not tell
The reason, till He said, “I am thine all’
Unto Myself I call.”

Watching my heroes - those I loved best-
I saw them fail; they could not stand the test,
Even by this the Lord, through tears not few,
Unto Himself He drew.

Unto Himself! No earthly tongue can tell
The bliss I find, since in His heart I dwell;
The things that charmed me once seem all as naught;
Unto Himself I’m brought.

Transition:  By complete surrender David begins to travel down  a path at the end of which he is finds fulfillment in his relationship with God. The next part of the process David describes is the completeness of God's gifts.

Experiencing Gods Gifts  Ps. 18:33-36

He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

God Supplied David with everything needed.

 Conviction of Destination vs 33
 My feet like hind's feet- surety of step
 Setteth me upon my high places- surety of destination
 Information and Concentration vs 34
Teacheth my hands to war - Knowledge to fight
Bow of steel is broken - Strength to use the knowledge.
Protection of Relation by God's Condescension vs 35
 Shield of salvation - protection of eternal salvation
 right hand holds me - security of relationship
 thy gentleness has made me great - greatness through God's coming down to David's level.
Progression vs 36
 Enlarged my steps under me - the assurance of God's watchcare in our walk of life.

 Will We Accept The Gifts of God?

 Has God blessed your feet?  Are you sure of how your walking and where your walking?
 Has God blessed your hands?  Learning from God's word how to fight the battles of life?
 Has God blessed you in safety?  Do you trust the shield of salvation?  Do you trust in the hand of God to protect you?  Are you great in your greatness or in the gentleness of God toward you?

 Has God blessed your confidence, your growth?  As you walk, wherever you go do you sense God enlarging your foundation so that you do keep going onward and upward?
 If you have not been completed by the Gifts of God, it may be because you haven't by faith accepted them.

Look at the Gifts of God to Us
The Word of God - Hebrews 4:12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Armor of God - Eph 6:14   Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  15   And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16   Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  17   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The Spirit of God - 2 Tim 1:7   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The Voice of God - Luke 21:15   For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

The Fruit of the Spirit - Gal 5: 22   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  24   And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The Keys of the Kingdom - Matt 16: 19   And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
These are God’s gifts, now will you pick them up and use them?

Illustration: Moses' staff turns into a serpent by Gods power.

Moses' reaction was to run from it, but God's commanded him to pick it up and use it. God’s gifts to us are much like the staff of Moses, God has provided what we need to be complete in him but too often we are afraid to take them up. You accept the gifts of God when you begin to use the gifts of God.

Transition:  At that point where I am willing to pick up and use God's gifts, then begins the final step, Complete in God's Victory.

Experiencing God's Victory   Psalms 18:37-43

I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.  I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.  For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.  Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.  They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.  Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.  Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

David Destroys His Enemies Through God's Power

Once again notice the progression of David’s victory, in vs 37, He pursued the enemy. He overtakes the enemy. He then completely destroys the enemy.
He praises God for the victory in vss 39-40. He exclaims, “You have clothed me with strength. You have subdued those against me. You have given me the necks of my enemies. That I might destroy them.”

Do we really want to win with God?
First I must pursue,
Determine where and who the enemy is in my life - Fear, Apathy, Ignorance, Sin
What is defeating you?

Next I must overtake, not be overtaken.
Must be willing to go on the offense with my enemy.
Make a conscious, active, decisive commitment to begin the fight.

Then I must destroy the enemy.  How? Just as David did, in the power of God. It must be God's strength, God's subjugation, it must be God's exposing the enemy's necks, but

I must deliver the final killing blow.
Am I willing ultimately to rid my life of this enemy?  Once and for all completely.
You see this is often the problem, this final stroke. I think it is a problem for us because what God has called an enemy in my life and relationship with Him, I used to call a friend, something or someone I enjoyed, loved or thought I needed.

Illustration:  Joshua killing the 5 kings while the army stood on necks. Joshua 10:22-26
God commanded the Children of Israel to completely annihilate all the cities of Canaan.  Why was God so cruel? Because the sin of the Canaanites was so great that to leave any trace behind would be to allow it to survive and later to flourish. This is exactly what happened, because they would not completely wipe out the enemy, the enemy returned and ultimately destroyed them and their relationship to the God who saved them.

We must be willing to put the sword to the neck of those thing in our life that keep us from God and too many times I am not.


David’s experience of God.
David was the greatest king Israel ever had.  In spite of his sin, failures and disappointments he was always able to find everything he needed in his God.  David could always say "He maketh my way perfect" because he when it was time, he completely surrendered, trusted the completeness of God's gifts and fought for complete victory over his enemies.    

What about you?  Have you experienced the completeness of God in your life?  Have you completely surrendered to God?  Are you using the power of God's gifts?  Are you willing to confront, fight and destroy the enemies which God will subdue in your life?
Are you willing and wanting to experience God in your life?

1 comment:

  1. This messages goes hand in hand with what I have been studying a lot lately through a Baptist ministry, Set Free Ministries. Thank you Brother Kris for this message. David was a believer hungry to know God, not just know about Him; and he learned from his failures, learned from God's correction for him, and learned from the victories God game him, that it was God alone and our trust in Him that can bring us the victory. From Mary's Song: Luke 1:53  He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty...from 1 Peter 5: 1Pe 5:6  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 
    1Pe 5:7  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you...and Psalm 62: Psa 62:6  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 
    Psa 62:7  In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. 
    Psa 62:8  Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah...Our work must always be in the Lord Jesus Christ for any victory we experience is the victory He won for us...1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
    1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.