Summary: in Ps 16:8 David said, “I have set the LORD always before me….” Sermon encourages Christians to practice the presence of God in their daily lives and give some instruction on how to do that.
Our study over the last few weeks has led us one phrase in Romans 8:5, “… those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (NIV).i To walk in the Spirit as KJV puts it, to live life as it ought to be lived, requires that our minds be set on what the Spirit desires.
Last week we dealt with a couple of practical steps toward thinking right. First we saw that we would need to be intentional about it. Phil. 4:8 makes that clear by telling us the kind of things we are to think on. We have a choice and responsibility as to what we will dwell on. Second, we saw that the Word of God is a revelation of the way God thinks; and our thinking is to be shaped by that revelation (Rom. 12:2). Therefore, we fill our mind with the word of God.
Today, I want to add one other step for managing our thought life. It is the most challenging and yet perhaps the most rewarding. I have certainly not mastered the practice, but I have tasted and seen that it is good. When I was a kid we would climb trees to get at the fruit. For some reason the best fruit always seemed to be at the top of the tree. Well in this study we have been climbing and eating some good fruit from the tree. But today we are at the top of the tree and this is the tastiest of all. This one practice will bring delight to your soul and bring power into your life. One thing that would revolutionize your life is to set your mind on the Lord—not just good things about the Lord and not just things He has said in His word, but I set my mind on the Person and His Presence with m. My goal this morning is to explain that more fully and to encourage you in that direction.
In Psalm 16:8 David said, “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad…” What is David talking about when he says, “I have set the LORD always before me…”?ii
I. Center my Thoughts on the Lord.
I have set my mind on the Lord. I have made Him the center of my thought life.
Have you noticed how a compass needle always points north? You can momentarily disturb that; but it will always settle back to that position. When you center your thoughts on the Lord, you continually come back to Him as your point of reference.
He is Alpha and Omega. He is the beginning and the end of all things.iii All things come from Him and ultimately it all comes back to Him. He is the source of all and ultimately the fulfillment of all. 1 Cor 15:24-28 “Then comes the end, when He (Jesus) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” That’s the way this all ends: with God as “all in all.” It begins with God (Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning God…”) and it consummates with God as “all in all.” Probably everyone here would agree with that theologically; but God wants it to be a practical experience in our daily lives. Is He all in all in your life? Is He the center of everything for you?
We live in a society that is corrupted by humanism. If you don’t think that is true, just try to talk about God in any other setting but the church. It is considered politically incorrect to even mention Him unless it is as a cuss word. This week I was involved in training mediators at the university. Even to mention preaching brought a hush in the room. I could have shouted a vile cuss word and not got as strong of a reaction. Think with me for a minute how insane that is. Everybody there is going to die in the near future. For some it may be 60 or 70 years; for others it may be 5 or 10 years. Either way, it will be relatively soon. Yet all attention must be diverted away from the most central, most important subject. It’s not just most important to a few people; it’s most important to everyone there! Yet the subject of God is taboo; it is tenaciously avoided. I say all that to say, We can’t let society tell us what is important. They’re missing the point all together. We have to think for ourselves. If it all began with God and it’s all going to end in God, then perhaps God should be central to everything and perhaps my mind should be set on Him.