Summary: How to be free
SET FREE FROM THE PRISON OF WANT
Psalm 28 "be their shepherd and carry them forever." & 100 "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Max lacado wrote:" What is it that keeps you from real joy? How would you fill in the blank? "I’ll be happy when __________" (Healed, promoted, rich, own my own home, get my car paid off). Now if what you put in your blank happened would, but you be happy? Would it really make you happy? I would like for us to go to a prison that is the most populated prison in the world. There are more residents there than there are resources. These inmates say they are overworked and underfed. This prison has more people in it, is more oppressive and more permanent than any other prison that exists. The walls are bare and the bunks hard. Most that are in this prison are there for life. Some get out for a short while but they seem to always return. Even though it is an overcrowded facility the people want to be there. What do you think this prison’s name would be called if there were a sign over the door as you enter in? It would be in four letters WANT. You see we find many that are not satisfied with life and are encased in the prison of WANT. They always want something more. It has to be bigger, nicer, faster, greater. It does not have to be much just little more than what they have. One thing more. Like a new job, a new car, a new friend. When that one comes they will be happy. Once the happiness comes, they leave the prison of WANT. But then it happens, the car loses its new smell, the new job becomes routine and not a challenge, the neighbor buys a new bigger screen TV and the new friend becomes dull. So they return to the prison of want willingly. Let me ask you do you feel better when you have more and worse when you are in need? If you happiness is dependent on what you deposit, drive, drink or digest you are in the prison of WANT. That’s the bad news. We have good news today. Today we have man named David who comes to us to tell us the secret of satisfaction, "The Lord is my Shepherd I SHALL NOT BE IN WANT." You see David is saying that he has found the pasture where discontent goes to die. "What I have in God is greater than what I don’t have in this life." Let us think about the things we own, like the car you drive, the house you live in, the clothes you have in your closet and drawers and maybe the stocks you have bought. All that stuff. What about that stuff?
I. ALL THAT STUFF IS NOT YOURS. Take time to visit with the funeral director and ask how many of the people he has taken care of has taken any of the stuff with them. It was once asked about John D. Rockefeller, "How much did he leave behind when he dies?" His estate man said, "All of it." "Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand." Ecc. 5:15
II. ALL THAT STUFF IS NOT YOU. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes that you wear (fashion) or the car you drive (It loses the value you paid for it once you drive it off the car lot) or the things you possess (they are all subject to decay and wear out) or the money you have (interest you gain vs. interest they charge you) Jesus said it this way in LK 12:15 "Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot." It might be stated like this "you are not known in heaven for the nice suit you have on or a nice house you dwell in or the new bike you just purchased. It is what is in your heart that heaven knows about you. I SM 16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." What does God notice about you? Your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness, your willing spirit and he does not notice what things you have. So when you think about yourself it is not good to think about the things you have because in doing that you will feel happy when you have a lot and sad when you do not have much. A man who wrote a lot of the NT said this, "I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have.... I know how to live when I am poor and I know how to live when I have plenty."