Summary: An examination of Psalm 114.
It has been observed that too many in the church today put more emphasis on human influence than divine power. Often times, we focus more on who we know in Washington, D.C. or in city hall than we do on Who we know in heaven! Truly, we live in a day in which God’s people need to become "power hungry." Hungry to experience the power of God at work within our midst. Hungry to know that the work that is happening among us is not one that has been "worked up," but "prayed down!" Hungry to be part of something that cannot be explained in terms of men, but only in terms of GOD! Hungry to see divine power change people’s lives, including our own! In this Psalm, we are told about the power that God gives, as the Psalmist recounts how God demonstrated His power on Israel’s behalf. As we consider this Psalm today, I believe we can learn some important lessons about how we might experience God’s power among us. Let’s see what we are told here about the power God gives. We learn first about. . .
1. The Roots Of Spiritual Power - vs. 1-2
God does not bestow His power upon every person who requests it. Instead, we are told here that there are three principles which must be applied to our lives if we are going to experience the reality of God’s power at work in us.
A. Separation - v. 1
The key: Our Calling from God.
Everyone of us as a child of God are called to live a life that is separate and apart from the influence of this world. That’s what the Psalmist is saying when he mentions how the people were called to separate themselves from a people of foreign tongue. The point is not that the language of Egypt was sinful, but that the thoughts of the world of the Egyptians were counter to the thoughts of God.
A Christian is called to let his thinking be transformed according to the thoughts of God, not the thoughts of this world - “Do not conform any longer to the (thought) pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” - Romans 12:2a (NIV).
When we think as we ought, we are enabled to feel as we ought, which leads us to choose what we ought and, consequently, live as we ought.
A college freshman was giving her friend a tour of the college she at¬tended. They saw very little of the classrooms or the library as most of their time was spent observing the hot spots for finding men. She pointed out the various recreational sights in the area and the numerous places for eating out. When they returned to the dorm, the freshman reminded her visiting friend that they needed to be quiet because her roommates were studying. Before they entered the room she whispered to her friend, "All they do is study. Honestly, I don’t even know why they came to college."
Just like the college freshman had forgotten why she had gone to college, too many of God’s children have forgotten why God has given us His Word. If you want to experience the power of God at work in your life, focus on your calling to live a Christ-like life through renewing your mind according to the thoughts of God!
B. Sanctification - v. 2a
The key: Our Communion with God.
The statement here about the people being the sanctuary of God is a reference to God’s presence being in their midst. Likewise, God is present with His people today, but too often, God’s people do not live each day aware of His presence.
It is important that I live daily with an awareness of the fact that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit - that the Lord has taken up residence within my life! Living each day with an awareness of His presence with me will motivate me to live as I should for Christ. The key to living my life with a daily awareness of God’s presence is daily communion with Him.
“To keep God at the center of one’s life requires frequent renewal of power through prayer. But such renewal is not measured by the amount of time it takes, rather by the degree to which one is able even for a short time to have relaxed and unhurried communion with God. One can pray inwardly at any time and anywhere - in a subway or on an athletic field. But one prays best either alone or with understanding friends. To avoid neglecting to pray, it is best to have a time habit and a place habit. This is so important that it is worth great effort, in spite of the hurry of life and our lack of privacy.” – George Harkness