Summary: Part Three of three sermons based on how we can enjoy the practical presence of God in our daily lives
GOD’S PRESENCE IN PRACTICE.
PART THREE - THE CONFIDENCE
GOD’S PRESENCE IN PRACTICE.
Over the last two Sunday Mornings we have been looking at the wonderful promise of the presence of the Lord. We looked at THE CONDITION that was laid down for us to fulfil, and we also saw THE COMMITMENT that the Lord makes to those who keep His ways, now we are going to move on to see that we can now have the greatest CONFIDENCE in the promise the Lord has made to us.
We must look first at the starting point of this confidence, and we will see that the source is ‘The Lord’.
1. THE SOURCE
6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; [NIV]
You will see immediately that the source is ‘The Lord’. It is not our own ability, or the capability of others – it is ‘The Lord’ who is our helper. Perhaps I should make clear that we should all seek to develop our ability, and we should never despise the capability of others, but the real source of our help is ‘The Lord’.
Poole has a comment worthy of note just here, he says
So that we may boldly say; upon the account of which promise of God all the true subjects of Christ’s kingdom, together with the apostle, may with an undaunted boldness of heart, above all fears and doubtings, and with a daring confidence, professing that which they believe, nor staggering, nor shrinking, nor being ashamed of their faith, but openly owning it to all the world, own that The Lord is my helper; the Lord in the infiniteness of his power, wisdom, and goodness, is a real, present, universal, and permanent help against all trouble, and for all supplies in all cases, and at all times, to every one of them.
This is a thought that David rejoiced, and had confidence in,
Psalm 27: 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom should I be afraid? [Holman]
With this truth firmly bedded in David’s spirit, it is no wonder that he was constantly praising the Lord; even in adverse situations! There were times when his circumstances were more than he could handle, and when there was no man who could help him, but he knew were to look at a time like that. It appears that in the midst of trouble he begins to sing, and what a song; it is so uplifting that he shares it with others.
Psalm 121:1-4 A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! 3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. 4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. [NLT]
This particular Psalm was one of a number sung by pilgrims as they went to worship the Lord, and it suggests that they take their eyes off the surrounding hills where the nations around worshipped their gods, and lift their eyes higher, much higher, and look to the Lord. There is also the thought that they were to take their eyes off the Temple which was built on the hill they were climbing, with all its magnificence, and look to the Lord, not the Temple. Here is something that we can bear in mind. It is not the size or attractiveness of a building, but the power and wonder of the Lord on which we should focus our attention.
To know the protection from our ‘Divine Helper’ we need to be near to Him, otherwise we cannot be ‘in the shadow of His wings’! David makes this point in Psalm 63:7;
Psalm 63:7 Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. [NLT]
Here is the source of our confidence – it is not ‘wishful thinking’, or positive thinking, it is simply taking God at His Word! Let us take a note of David’s confidence,
Psalm 54:4 God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my life. [[Holman]
When we take all this into our hearts, we begin to feel a little like Paul must have felt,
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? [Amp]
THE SOURCE of THE CONFIDENCE is the Lord, who is our helper! THE SEQUEL, or follow-on to all this, is that all fear will be gone!
2. THE SEQUEL
I will not be afraid. [NIV]