Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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7 The Seeking Face of Prayer

Psalm 27:4, 7-8

4The one thing I ask of the Lord the thing I seek most is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

What is it that you seek and are the things that you seek really worth seeking? As we head into the Christmas season I am reminded of the wise men that came seeking the Savior. David sought an intimate relationship with the Lord all the days of his life; this is a constant communion with God. He is not talking about coming to God only when we need something which only produces an on again off again relationship. Jesus said that the eye is the lamp to the body – Matthew 6:21-23 and if the eye is good, the whole body is good. What we open our eyes to is what we open our souls to, this is the “beholding / becoming principle of scripture, we become what we behold. If our eyes behold the things of God, we’ll be transformed; we will develop a growing hunger for God. If we behold evil and perverse things, our souls will be filled with those perversions and will never be satisfied. So people that seek and pursue perversion must continue to find darker and deeper levels of perversion. What we seek becomes what we focus on and there is an intense battle for our focus, our attention and our affections. Because of the power of focus we have to ask “where is our gaze focused, what are we beholding, what are we becoming?”

God calls to our hearts to come and talk, prayer exchanges the stale, emotionless theories about God for the authentic experience of God. David prayed two prayers about where he was gazing…

1. Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law”

2. Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way.”

David was saying, “Remove even the things that look harmless or even good to make more room for You in my soul.” What takes up room in your soul? Are you allowing space that could be filled with God to be occupied by lesser things? We often congratulate ourselves that we did not expose ourselves to evil things, without realizing that the “good” things we occupied ourselves with may have kept us from time with God.

David said the one think he sought was to live or dwell in the house of the Lord. The word dwell means to linger, to hang out, it implies that you want to stay there and you feel welcome there! David is saying I like what I have and I want more of it, I want it until I die! David made a lifetime choice this relationship was worth not only seeking but living in every moment of his life. David wanted to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, to enjoy the presence of God. He understood the value of taking time to enjoy this relationship; too many of us don’t take time to smell the roses. We are in such a hurry to get to/arrive at the destination that we fail to enjoy the journey. We reduce following the Lord to just the fulfillment of certain duties, failing to take the time to enjoy the glory of the Lord. What does that mean? It means meditating on His love for you, about how patient He is with you. Look closely at His mercy and analyze His compassion and care for you. We need to learn the value of what it means to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. Do you look at Jesus from every conceivable viewpoint? Just as a jeweler will take a diamond and hold it to the light, slowly turning it to enjoy all of its beauty as the light passes through each facet, so we need to carefully consider Jesus. Are you gazing on the beauty of God, contemplating the majesty of God that saturates everything, are you captivated by His glory? He is altogether lovely and we need to take time to enjoy him, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. Have you experienced the fruit of searching?

David knew that God desired to communicate with him, and David’s desire was to hear the voice of the Lord. One of David’s goals was to inquire of the Lord, and to meditate on his Word and David saw this as a great need in his life. He is the one who said, I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. He also said, I will meditate on your precepts and regard your ways. I shall delight in your statutes, I will not forget your word. For David, God’s Word was invaluable, priceless, more precious than gold. Jesus wants us to hear his voice but do we want to listen? Are His words something worth desiring, something worth seeking after? Are you seeking God for the purpose of knowing Him and not merely seeking the rewards in His hand? God told Abraham, “I am your exceedingly great reward”. Knowing Him is our greatest reward and nothing in this life can truly be enjoyed as it was intended outside of Christ.

As David cried out to God, God answered him and His answer was “Seek my face”, to which David immediately replied, “Lord, I am coming.” This is a call to intimacy, you seek the face of those you are close to and God wants us to get close to Him. What are you seeking today? Comfort? Riches? Popularity? God never asks us to seek any such things. He asks us to seek His face and prayer is the portal.

Will you seek Christ:

27:4 – In the holiness of His sanctuary.

Ps 27:6 – In the attitude of joyful Praise.

Ps 27:7 – In the heart work of Prayer.

Ps 27:11 – In the truth of His Word.

Ps 27:14 – In the quiet confidence of patient trust.

He is calling to your heart “Come and talk with me.” Will your heart respond, “Lord, I am coming?”

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6 The Cry of Thanksgiving – Part 2

Psalms 107

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. 3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Thanksgiving Day is over yet God is still delivering and the cry of what He has done still needs to go out. As we continue to look at the last two groups of people we again see that their difficulties were different but their deliverer was the same.

  • The 3rd Group ‘Rebels’ (Need Doctor)

17 Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins. 18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.

Here is another self-made group, those who walk through life with a rebellious attitude. Because of their rebellious ways they suffer, they are sick and dying. Sin takes control of the rebel’s life like a disease takes over the body of a healthy person, eating them from the inside out. We rebel against the truth, feeling like we have it all handled because “we can do better and God isn’t doing it, so I will”. Even as we feel our life fading away we continue in our sin, pride, arrogance, and ignorance. Rebellion turns us completely away from our basic need to survive because He is all we need. We loathed all food and it’s not until we are at a point that nothing can satisfy and death is knocking on our door that we CRY out! 19“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.

God hears the rebels cry and personally speaks life into them, His word saves. The second part of the rebels cry is a cry of revival. 21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. 22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

The difference in this “give thanks” compared to the last two, is now there is agiving back. It’s not enough to just give praise with words; there is a greater praise, one through actions. Rebel, is it time to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving?

  • The 4th Group ‘Workers’ (Need Rest)

23 Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. 24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. 25 He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. 26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.

Those that went to sea did it for business not pleasure, and it was there that they experienced God’s power. We can also experience God’s power taking care of business as we work for his kingdom. Yet even here we can experience the testing storms that melt our courage and cause us to stagger around wanting to give up. In this life we will see both the wonderful deeds and the worrying storms. Are the ups and downs of life causing you to stagger and give up? Drunken people don’t see clearly because their eye sight is distorted, in the middle of the storm our perception can become distorted, we can lose sight of His wonderful deeds. Storms don’t necessarily mean we have done anything wrong, sometimes tests come. We strive to live a good life, to follow His words, and still we are faced with tragedy.

Charles Spurgeon writes:

The Lord sends some of his saints to the sea of soul trouble, and there they see, as others do not, the wonders of divine grace. Sailing over the deeps of inward depravity, the waste waters of poverty, the billows of persecution, and the rough waves of temptation, they need God above all others, and they find him.

As we come to the end of our power, at our very wits end we can cry out to be rescued and experience the beginning of His power. Do you hear the deep cry of a heart at its wits’ end….28 Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 29 He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. 30 What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! The second part of the workers cry is a cry of rest, the waves are hushed, the storm is stilled, and He guides us into the harbor of peace.  Has God calmed the storms of your life, is He your refuge, will you give Him thanks? 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. 32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

Where are you at:

  • If you are wandering through life aimless, tired, hungry for more but don’t know which way to go, Cry Out to Him the cry of homecoming.
  • If you are in the prison of bondage, blinded by the dark circumstances that surround you and feeling alone and hopeless Cry Out to Him the cry of freedom.
  • If in rebellion you have turned away from Him and you are dying on the inside Cry Out to Him the cry of revival.
  • If you have lost your courage, and your hope is dwindling as the waves swamp your boat then Cry Out to Him the cry of rest.

As we Cry out to Him, admitting our utter dependence on Him, power is released, direction is given, eyes are open, chains are broken and storms are calmed. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out, is it time to stop right now and give thanks?