Summary: Part of 5-part series on discipleship. This message examines solitude.
LIVING ABOVE THE ORDINARY
Part 1: The Discipline of Solitude
There’s an old saying, one you’ve seen on many refrigerators and office walls before. It says, “It’s hard to soar with eagles, when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” In many ways that saying is true. It is also true that it can be very difficult to be a faithful disciple, to grow, mature, and become all God intended for you to be, when you’re bogged down with the worries of daily living, when you’re surrounded by people who seem unable to see beyond the next weekend or beyond the next mortgage payment as well.
In the past month or so we have looked at why we know there is a God. We looked at why we know the God we worship is the true, the one and only God. We examined ways you can tell for sure if you are a Christian. We also looked at how important it is that we apply what we know to life each day and how important it is that we grow beyond being baby Christians, to the point where we are being transformed into the image of the Lord we serve.
But you know, it’s one thing to say it; it is another thing entirely to do it. How do you go about becoming a disciple, how do you go about growing as a Christian and allowing the things we claim to believe impact our lives each day?
For the next couple of weeks I want us to examine the spiritual disciplines, the items we can put into our lives to help us to grow into what God planned for us.
Open your Bibles this morning and turn with me please to the book of Psalms. You will probably find that in the middle of your Bible unless you have a bunch of maps and such in the back of your Bible. Psalms chapter 46. Psalm chapter 46 and beginning in verse , as this morning we look together at the first step to living above the ordinary.
Psalm chapter 46 and beginning in verse 1.
- Read Psalm 46:1-11
This psalm was written during turbulent times in Israel. It was an uncertain time. There were a number of difficulties the writer of this song faced, many of them similar to the difficulties we face in this life. In the midst of them he says:
I. THERE IS NO FEAR
- Verses 1-3
It almost sounds like the psalmist was familiar with the headlines of the Orlando Sentinel, doesn’t it? Worrisome things are happening in our world today. During the past 20 years, earthquakes have increased at a phenomenal rate. Geologists are now looking toward a “Super quake in Yellowstone National Park, that they claim may someday wipe out most of the United States.
We remember the hurricanes that crisscrossed our state last year, and many of us duck our heads each time they name another storm. We look at the blizzards that paralyze our cities, the drought that shrivels and cracks our farm land, while some in our city worry their homes will flood. Some are beginning to cry, “What is happening in our world?
But as Christians, how are we to respond to all of this? The psalmist says, “I will not be afraid. My God has spoken to the wind and the waves and told them to be still, and they were. My Lord is still in command of the winds & the waves & the sea, & all of the elements of nature, I will not be afraid. God is my refuge and strength.
II. THERE IS SECURITY
- vv 4-7
Here he pictures nations in an uproar, kingdoms falling, of great changes taking place. It sounds like today doesn’t it?
Growing up, I am not sure I could tell you where to find Iraq on the map, “It’s one of those small African countries isn’t it?” Now we’re fighting a war there.
China? That’s the place that makes all of the cheap junk at the 5 & 10 cent store isn’t it. Today, it’s become one of the leading manufacturing and consuming nations in the world. It is largely because of construction going on there that our concrete and building materials continue to increase in price. India, that’s where ladies wear the dots on their foreheads isn’t it? Today, large numbers of American jobs are being outsourced there.
Nations are in an uproar, but we don’t have to be. The psalmist says, “I will not be moved. The Lord of Hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”
But, how do you look at the events in nature without fear? How do you look at the nations changing and not be filled with uncertainty? How do you as a believer, how do you as a disciple of Jesus Christ grow and rise above it all?