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Summary: Hanging around God both exposes our spiritual need and helps us to address that need; it both diagnoses our problem and starts us on the road to recovery; it is a growth cycle that can be described in several phases...

1. I do not deny that I am a fan of Frozen Custard....lemon custard sounds bad but is delicious!

2. Interesting watching the groups of people who go there...groups of

teens/adults...alike...birds of a feather flock together...

3.Ever wonder, which comes first?

(1) people choose to hang around those like them...

(2) people who are alike find each other...

4. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes a little of both...

5. One good rule of thumb regarding change is this: hang around the

kind of people you want to become like...OFTEN PEOPLE WHO REALLY DO CHANGE DO THIS....

6. But nothing can change a person quite like "hanging around" God...

7. To hang around God means to contemplate Him (worship), study His Word (and I mean study), talk back to Him in prayer (throughout the day) and place yourself in the position as His servant...

MAIN IDEA: Hanging around God both exposes our spiritual need and helps us to address that need; it both diagnoses our problem and starts us on the road to recovery; it is a growth cycle that can be described in several phases...

I. Contemplating God as Revealed in the Bible Helps

Us See Ourselves in Comparison (1-10)

1. David reminds God of His obligation to care for His servants (1-4)

(1) in OT ethics, masters owed protection to their slaves...

(2) Joshua & Gibeonites...

(3) One of the fringe benefits to becoming the Lord’s slave is He is

obligated to care for you...

(4) save your SERVANT (2)

(5) He"lifts up His soul" expression for prayer? Presenting self to

God? (4)---certainly NOT the prayer of one who is distant

from God

2. David reminds God of what He is like (Direct Worship) (5-10)

(1) Prayers that move God anchor themselves to God’s character

and are more than petition, but also worship..."in Your

compassion..."

(2) God is forgiving (conditional--repentance)vs. 5--David’s sin...

When I sin and confess my sins....(I John 1:9)

(3) God is good...."upright, virtuous, righteous, worthy, exemplary,

conscientious and blameless"

(4) God is rich in love/compassion...Jonah learned/Nineveh

(5) Unique (8)

(6) Powerful doer of deeds (8)--Red Sea....

(7) Vindicated (in Millennium) (9)...Jesus Shall Reign

(8) Great, and alone God (10)

Contemplating God leads us to the second phase of the cycle

II. When We’ve Been With God, We Are Awakened to

Two Needs (11)

1. To learn more (11a)

---w/a view toward following, not just gaining information

---Bob S./Chicago...prophecy {no QT, did not support family...}

---People who love God love His Word...

---We must become teachable....that means we learn to LISTEN and take

time to contemplate/study...

2. To become more sincere in following the Lord (11b)

(1) an "undivided heart"---we all have it...; more aware of it when

we walk with God & better addressed when aware and bothered by

it

(2) Prv. 11:3--- duplicity (double dealing/deception) elder, "not

double tongued"

(3) Jer. 24:7--all the heart

(4) James 1:23

3. Our biggest problem is not that we don’t want to serve the Lord, but it is that we don’t want to serve the Lord with our whole heart...or at least, not for long....it is a problem of SINCERITY....we ALL fight it...

(1) we can change---John Mark deserted Paul....

(2) Peter denied Christ....later became a pillar...

(3) Solution: God’s grace as we orchestrate our lives so we can

hear Him better---avoid the noise, use His means of growth...2 Pet.

3:18

4. This issue is exposed AND addressed in our text....which leads us to our third phase

III. We Begin To See Victories

1. For a time, David is praising God with His whole heart (12)

2. He has renewed faith that God will deliver Him, so much so He

describes it in the past tense (13)

3. There is nothing like victory to escalate the cycle....but the

concentration of victory should be to know God, NOT primarily to

overcome sin (important)

-----Focus on knowing & growing in the Lord, and you’ll sin less

-----Focus on overcoming sin and you lose your vital relationship to God;

He now becomes just part of a twelve step program....

IV. Now We Are Ready To Walk Through Life With God, Even With Unresolved Struggles (14-17)

1. What is neat about this Psalm is that the problem is unresolved...we

need Psalms like this...

2. Many of your problems do not just go away....hound you throughout life.....a physical disability or terminal disease, a frustrating marriage, loneliness, a wayward child, a personality that is out of the mainstream, finances that are never adequate...

3. But God can supply you with strength (16) and will lend you His

ears...and sometimes even change the situation

4. The less divided your heart is, the richer life will be, and the more vital your walk with the Lord....

Conclusion

1. Are you part of the growth cycle?

2. Do you keep your life so busy that you have left out time for God?

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