Summary: How God teaches us to do His will.
The last couple of weeks we’ve been learning why we should do what God wants us to do and how to know what God wants us to do.
Today we’re going to learn from God’s Word how God teaches us to do what He wants us to do.
This is certainly appropriate since today is Youth Sunday and a new school year has begun. A great key to successful learning is a good attitude. The author of today’s scripture was an individual with just that attitude.
But David had to fight to maintain a good attitude. He had struggles, but he always brought them to God.
Incidentally that should bless us. It ought to bless us to see that the greatest men and women in the Bible had troubles. That lets us know we aren’t alone. It lets us know our having troubles doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or that He has forsaken us. And it ought to bless us that our loving Heavenly Father allows us to pour out our feelings to him like David does in this Psalm.
Before we read the entire Psalm though, let’s look at the key sentence for our emphasis today.
Psalm 143:10a NLT - "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God."
This is the heart of David’s great success in life. Even when he was facing adversity, as you’ll see in a few moments when we read this Psalm, still he wanted more than anything to do what God wanted him to do!
No wonder the Bible says this of David in Acts 13:21,22 NLT:
"Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years."
"But God removed him from the kingship and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ’David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to do.’"
We can choose to be like Saul who was removed from the throne because he wouldn’t do what God wanted him to do; or we can be like David, a man who had a heart for God who wanted to do everything God wanted him to do.
That one decision will make all the difference in our life on earth and in the life to come!
Young people - the greatest aspiration in life is to do what God wants you to do. Adults - even though this is Youth Sunday - it is not too late for you to decide to do the same.
The 143rd Psalm gives us at least two clues on how God teaches us to do His will.
Look at Psalm 143 with me. We’re using the New Living Translation.
1 - "Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous."
(Comment: The basis of God’s response is not our rights but His attributes.)
2 - "Don’t bring your servant to trial! Compared to you, no one is perfect."
(Comment: David was looking for an audience in front of the mercy seat not the judgment seat.)
3 - "My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground. He forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave."
4 - "I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear."
5 - "I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works. I think about what you have done."
6 - "I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain."
The "interlude" (or "selah", as the King James Version says) is because this was probably a time for the instrumental part of David’s song. He probably played on the harp or lyre while his listeners could soak in what he had already sung about.
Let’s do that ourselves. Let’s think about how God helps us learn to do His will as described in these verses.
It would seem that David’s TRIALS MADE HIM THIRSTY FOR GOD. It would seem that his trials made him more thirsty to do what God wanted him to do.
Any follower of Christ who has ever been through serious difficulty can identify with all these verses, but especially notice the sixth verse: "I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain." What a description of spiritual thirst!
What made David so thirsty for God?
His problems had knocked him to the ground and forced him to live in darkness. (verse 3)
He was losing hope and parlyzed with fear. (verse 4)
He was living off the fuel of past victories because he had no present success. (verse 5)
In the last few years when shark attacks seemed to grow in intensity along some of our nation’s beaches you could find quite a few television programs telling the public all about them.