Summary: David discovers that even amidst life’s pressure, confusion, failure and daily living, God provides a way through life’s wilderness.
Finding God’s Way in Life’s Wilderness
Psalm 25:1-9 (New International Version)
1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
4Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
8Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
INTRODUCITON: Looking for the Right Path.
During Superbowl 37, FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie Castaway, in which Tom Hanks played a FedEx worker whose company plane went down, stranding him on a desert island for years. Looking like the bedraggled Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home, package in hand.
When the lady comes to the door, he explains that he survived 5 years on a deserted island, and during that whole time he kept this package in order to deliver it to her. She gives a simple, “Thank you.”
But he is curious about what is in the package that he has been protecting for years. He says, “If I may ask, what was in that package after all?”
She opens it and shows him the contents, saying, “Oh, nothing really. Just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds.”
Like the contents in this package, the resources for growth and strength are available for every one who will take advantage of them. Such resources for growth are found in a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Back in the Old Testament, a leader named David discovers that even amidst life’s pressure, confusion, failure and daily living, God provides a way through life’s wilderness. Today let’s look at 4 situations that show how God leads through life’s wilderness.
SITUATION 1. When you are in distress, TRUST God to PROTECT. Elbert Hubbard in his essay, “A Message to Garcia,” defined faith “as the effort to believe what your common sense tells you is not true.” Sounds more like a good definition of superstition than faith.
People sometimes do not realize how big a part faith plays in every day life. It takes faith to eat in a restaurant. It takes faith to deposit money in a bank or in a mutual fund. It takes faith to sign a contract, drive on the highway, or get on an airplane or elevator. The Journey of Faith isn’t some kind of religious experience for the elite, it’s the glue that helps hold people’s lives together. But remember, faith is only as good as its object. If we trust people, we can what people can do; if we trust money, we get what money can do. If we trust ourselves, we get what only we can do. If we trust God, we get what God can do.
When the pressure is rising in King David’s life, when his enemies are after him, he puts his faith and trust not in other people, not in wealth, not even in himself, he puts his trust in God. He says in Psalm 25:1-3, 1LORD, I give myself to you; 2my God, I trust you. Do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies laugh at me. 3No one who trusts you will be disgraced, but those who sin without excuse will be disgraced. -- (New Century Version)
We are saved not because of who we are, but who God is. We are saved not because Jesus waited for us to make it where He is, but comes to us where we are. Jesus comes into a world filled with distress and offers Himself and what He can do, and even more what He did do on a cross to make us our own.
In another Psalm, David lays out this challenge in Psalm 27:14, Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord. -- (Today’s English Version)
SITUATION 2. When you are in confusion, SEEK God to guide. I recently received an e-mail that took a closer look at the word guidance.
When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.