Summary: When we look at our lives some of us may feel like we are spinning our wheels without making any permanent contribution to the kingdom of God. We need God to manifest Himself and to establish our work.
Establish Our Work
Jesus Christ said in John 15:16, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." God calls all of us to invest our lives in service and work that brings honor and glory to Him and makes a lasting impact on others. When we look at our lives some of us may feel like we are spinning our wheels without making any permanent contribution to the kingdom of God, that God is no longer blessing as He once had done, and that He has distanced Himself from us. Moses, the author of Psalm 90, deals with these feelings in this prayer asking God to establish the work of His children.
The Psalm has three divisions. First, in verses 1-6, there is a recognition of God's eternality and sovereignty. In verse two we read, "Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." Then in verses seven through twelve there is a recognition and an acknowledgement of man's frailty and brevity. In verse twelve we are encouraged to realize the brevity of life and to focus on gaining wisdom from God. Finally in verses thirteen through seventeen the Psalmist pleas that the Lord would manifest Himself to His people and bless them with renewed prosperity.
I. The Psalmist cried for God's grace and mercy
A. Psalm 90:1 "Lord, You have been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations."
B. The Psalmist remembers a time when things were sweet in their relationship with God. A time when God was seen working in them and blessing them, and sheltering them from defeat. But things had changed.
C. Psalm 90:7-8 "We have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
D. Because they failed to maintain a separated walk and live consistent lives God had withdraw His blessing and allowed them to stagnate.
E. When we harbor unconfessed sin in our lives or fail to maintain our separation we invite the withdrawal of God's power in our individual lives, in the body of Church and in the work of the church.
F. We have seen in the life of Achan how one man's secret sin brought defeat to the nation of Israel. God's power is restrained when there is sin in the camp and we lose our strength, our joy, our peace and damage any influence we might have on those without Christ.
G. God has called all true believers to pursue perfect conformity to the absolute, holy standard of His Word.
H. 1 Peter 1:14-16 (NASB), "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"
I. The reason why men do not look to the church today is that she has destroyed her own influence by compromise. - G Campbell Morgan
J. In their journeying Israel had frequently taken their focus off of God and forgot the admonition of Deuteronomy 5:32-33 "Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess."
K. It is the fear of the Lord that keeps us from sin while sin keeps us from intimacy with God. If God seems to be distant and you can't see Him working in your life it isn't because He has moved, you did.
L. In recognizing their sin Moses cries out in Psalm 90:17b "have compassion on Your servants."
M. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
II. The psalmist had a hunger to see God work again in their midst.
A. Psalm 90:13a, 16 "Return O Lord... Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children."
B. The psalmist had a deep desire for God to manifest Himself to His children. They wanted to see God actively at work in their lives again.
C. This was a plea for restoration. Perhaps that is the longing of your heart to have the walk with Christ that you once had.
D. Psalm 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."