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Summary: Learn how each Psalm in the Songs of Ascent (120-134) describe the exciting life of the modern day follower of God as we climb and grow in our relationship with Christ.

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Obedience: Using the Map & Compass

July 14, 2002

Tell me what all of these names have in common…

Hitler, Mussolini, Ayatollah Khomeini, Mu’ammar Kaddafi, Saddam Hussein… How many of you would say, “They’re all tyrant leaders”?

True… but there’s something more. They were all people who were trusted by the masses. They were (& in some cases still are) leaders that sincere people placed their hope for liberation, meaning, fulfillment, a better life for them and their families… only to find themselves deeply disillusioned and disappointed.

And they’re not the only ones in that boat! See, a lot of people (drawn by their need to find meaning, purpose, and direction in life) have ended up following leaders or causes that eventually betrayed and deeply hurt them.

To the point that they have a fear of following anybody or anything. Instead, they silently declare to themselves… “I’ll never trust another person again… outside of myself. From now on… I call the shots! I make the rules! I am the captain of my own destiny!”

And in some ways, how can you blame them? I mean, how can you ever unconditionally trust another authority figure after you’ve been abused by a parent?

How do you cultivate a loving, trusting relationship with your marriage partner if you came from a broken home?

How can you learn to trust God, after His church deeply hurt you?

For a lot of people today, what they want the most – meaningful relationships – they’re afraid of the most. They want guidance and direction, but they don’t feel like there’s anyone out there they can trust!

And so they trust in themselves. Which leads to more problems than it solves… because people who trust themselves & that’s it, have only one real source of help.

What happens when you run into a situation you don’t have the answers for? What happens when you’re in deep trouble that’s over your head? Who do you turn to? Where do you go for answers?

Trust in others and we get burned, trust in ourselves…& we get lost! What we really need are a map and compass for life, and not only that… (like Hiker Hal found out)… we need to know how to use them!

Well, if you’re found yourself in this dilemma this morning, you’ve come to the right place! Because I think this mornings passage of scripture has the answers we’re looking for!

For those of you who haven’t been with us, we’re in a series of messages from the book of Psalms called, “The Psalms of Ascent”

Now, these are songs that the ancient Israelites used to sing as they made their way towards the temple to worship God. Sometimes their journey would take weeks or months, and so they had plenty of time to sing them.

Matt Morgado & I had to take make a fast trip to San Diego this week for our district conference, and so we spent a lot of our time in the car playing “Wheel of Fortune” on my little hand-held

…and another game I’d never heard of before called, “Alphabet”, where the object is to find all the letters of the alphabet in the signs along the road before the other person does!

I’m sorry to announce that he ‘smoked me’ in both games! But they helped us endure the almost 20 hrs. we spent on the road driving this week.

The same thing was true of these Psalms with the Israelites. They only difference was they actually had some redeeming value!

And as we’ve been reiterating week after week, each song (or psalm) is really symbolic of the path we take when we choose to follow God.

This mornings Psalm (Psalm 131) has to do with OBEDIENCE, & the main premise of this Psalm is this … God knows better than I do!

God knows what I need better than I do.

God knows how to handle my problems and challenges… better than I do.

God knows how to help me better than I know how to help myself!

In fact, I’d go so far as to say… that God wants for me, what I’d want for myself, if I knew what God knows! (need to hear that again?)

That being true. Because God knows better than I do, then it’s to my advantage to not only get to know Him, but to learn how to obey HIM!

Into this world of mistrust, betrayal and hurt… God dares to say to us… “Everyone else may be a liar… but you can trust ME!” I’m trustworthy! You can depend on my guidance. You can depend on my counsel. No matter how you’ve been burned, you can depend on my dependability!

God is so emphatic about this message that one of the 1st things he did when He came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ was to say to a group of 12 wandering, confused & angry men… “Follow Me!”

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