Summary: What if you could only get 1 thing from God in the New Year? What would that 1 thing be?
Crowded. Pressed. Overwhelmed. Panicked. Pressured. Distracted. Pursued. Sleepless. Scattered. Scared. Shattered.
That sounds like I am talking about Walmart on Christmas Eve doesn't it? However, the truth is I am describing what seems to be the consistent condition of one man's life even though he changes status/position. Although it may be most on display at two different times in David's life.
He certainly must have felt this way early on his life when overlooked by his family. Anointed to be king and misunderstood by his brothers. Mistrusted by the current king. Running for his life through no fault of his own. Living in caves. Hiding like an animal. A national hero now a fugitive and on the most wanted list. Then he becomes king and you would think everything would be right in the world but the scene replays again. Even though he is now surrounded by armies at his command, palaces and servants he is also dealing with dysfunction in his command and in his family. Betrayal by close allies. Death of a son. Disloyalty by another son. In both cases, whether as a shepherd boy or a ruling king he faced these feelings.
I draw your attention to this because, although most scholars attribute today's text to the early years of David's life when he was on the run from Saul, I think it is important to see that the when of what he says isn't as important as the what of what he says. Whether in lack or luxury. Whether as an accused convict or a conquering king. Whether as singer or a soldier. Whether as a fugitive or a father he comes to the same decision in our text:
I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.
Think about this statement. If it was made while running from Saul, then think about all the things he could have requested . . . justice, retribution, revenge, safety, help, peace. If it was while he was king, then he could have asked for restoration of his family, healing for his son, wisdom, or peace. He could have asked for so many different things. However, what I want to point out is not what he requested but the scope of his request. In in all of his pain, panic, confusion, distraction, pressure David narrows down his request to one thing! David somehow came to this place where even in light of everything he so desperately needed God to do . . . he was able to use laser like focus and ask for 1 thing.
The description I started with doesn't just sound like David's experience it sounds like ours as well doesn't it? Some of you are coming out of 2018 and approaching 2019 in a situation that sounds like David's early life. It has been a brutal year. Nothing has gone like you planned. Provision is scarce. Favor seems to have been fleeting. Healing is just a distant hope. Other's of you are coming into 2019 on top. You were promoted from shepherd to king but there is still much that you could request and desire. The truth is in valley or on the mountain the requests we have for God in the coming days and months could fill a multi volume set.
But I want to challenge us this morning to take a page out of David's book.
In all of the madness and of all the things we could request like resources, raises, promotions, healing, breakthrough or any multitude of things I want to challenge you to drill down to one thing.
If you could only ask for one thing. If you knew that in 2019 God was only going to give you one request. If you knew that you would only see one promise, one miracle, receive only one answer, then what would you request? If at the end of 2019, God only gives you one thing, then what is that one thing that would cause you to sit back in thankfulness knowing that God has done enough? If you got this one thing, then it would make the other things you face tolerable. ?
We ask for so many things that we fail to make the one thing known!
What is your 1 thing in 2019?
Going to have cards placed here . . . as they sing I want you to spend some time in prayer and contemplation and really get down to the 1 thing. It is easy to flippantly say it would be this or that. Remember it is the one thing. Narrow it down. Write it down. Then I am going to ask you to keep the card. Watch for God this year! When He responds and gives you that one thing (not another thing) that thing I want you to bring the card back and during worship one Sunday drop it on the steps. It will be a testimony to the rest of us that God still answers our cries, our prayers and gives us the desires of our heart! It will encourage us to hold on to the 1 thing we have requested!