Summary: Find your satisfaction in God, everything else will ultimately disappoint, dissatisfy and discourage you. People, career, church, etc. But not Jesus...
Dealing with Dissatisfaction – Psalms 23:1-6
Intro: Ever noticed how we always want things to be different? The seasons, our finances, our job, our age… Many Christians are dissatisfied, always wanting something else and feeling empty after we get it. Kids want more toys, teenagers want more freedom, adults want more money and seniors want more time.
I. Know Whose You Are – v.1
NOTE: When David wrote of God meeting our needs, he didn’t see a slave asking his master or a beggar crying out to a rich person. David pictured a Loving Shepherd and his dependent sheep. David was a Shepherd and knew about this relationship.
A. To understand this Psalm we have to understand a sheep’s limitations.
1. Directionless: cats & dogs can find their way home instinctively, but sheep
are directionally confused easily. They need the Shepherd to guide them.
2. Defenseless: most animals have defense mechanisms– teeth or claws, speed,
a keen sight or hearing, strength, or even a growl, but not sheep. They are
vulnerable to attack from predators. They need the Shepherd to protect them
3. Fearful: aware of their weaknesses, sheep are spooked easily. They are
driven by fear. They need the Shepherd to calm and rest them.
4. Filthy: Other animals lick or roll themselves in the grass to get clean, not
sheep, they will remain filthy unless the Shepherd cleans them.
5. Dependent: other animals find food & water on their own. Sheep will eat
poisonous weeds & die. They need the Shepherd to provide for their needs.
B. Like sheep, we were NOT created to make it through life on our own
1. God designed us to for a personal relationship with Him
2. We’ll sense something missing from our lives until we come to know Him.
Kurt Cobain, of the band Nirvana sang about life’s emptiness and frustration. At 27, he took a shotgun and killed himself. Despite his success, he regularly spoke of his own emptiness. After Cobain’s death, Bill Clinton spoke on MTV. A 17 year-old girl told Clinton, “It seems to me that Kurt Cobain’s recent suicide exemplified the emptiness that many in our generation feel.”
Top 3 survey answers for, “Why don’t people want God to run their lives?” were…
3. God doesn’t really care about me. He is unfeeling, impersonal, and a disciplinarian
2. God will withhold good from my life. He is uncaring and enjoys seeing us in need.
1. God will make me give up things I like to do. His plan will make me miserable
Do these thoughts sound familiar? Satan’s lies about God’s plan Gen 3:1-5.
II. Trust God To Provide – v.2-3
NOTE: All that God has for His people is accessed through trust!
A. Sheep will only lie down when…
1. They’re satisfied: Hungry sheep stay on their feet searching for food.
2. They’re secure: Sheep will not lie down when they are fearful.
3. They’re still: Sheep will not lie down if fleas and flies are bothering them.
4. They’re serene: If there is harmony in the flock, they will relax & lie down.
B. The Shepherd’s responsible for providing the environment for rest
1. Sometimes we hurry about life and miss what is most important.
2. God shapes circumstances so we can come to Him for rest.
a. What are your circumstances saying?
C. Water is a problem for sheep
1. They’re poor swimmers and get bogged down when their wool gets wet
2. They are fearful of moving water.
III. Rely on God’s Presence – v.4-5
NOTE: You never have to go through anything alone, God is there for you.
Illustration: A first grader stood up in front of his class to give his speech, “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.” He said, “I’m going to be a lion tamer and have lots of fierce lions. I’ll walk into the cage and they will roar.” He paused for a moment, thinking through what he just said, then added, “But of course I’ll have my Mommy with me.”
A. Fear has become a multimillion-dollar industry
1. Amusement parks, horror movies, Stephen King books, and TV shows
2. Life is not a controlled environment and fear can paralyze us.
B. God’s presence changes everything. God is with me!
NOTE: Rod and Staff: These are two ends of the same stick.
The rod is the blunt end used to drive off attackers.
Sheep are defenseless creatures that rely completely on the Shepherd to protect them.
The staff is the crooked end the Shepherd uses to pull the sheep out of tough places. Sheep are stupid and routinely require the Shepherd to rescue them. SO DO WE!!!