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Summary: Psalm 84 gives us revelation of how to thrive in the days ahead regardless of what world leaders do; regardless of what the stock market does; regardless of what decisions the government may make. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk upright

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Thriving in the Days Ahead

(08-30-15 www.LifeChurchSpringfield.org)

What kind of person will thrive in the days ahead? Is there a place of safety regardless of how political events unfold? Is there a place of blessing regardless of what the economy does? How do we position ourselves for future blessing?

Psalm 84 gives us some insight on that subject. Follow with me as we read.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah

9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”

This Psalm is arranged into three sections. The first section concludes at the end of verse 4 with the word “Selah.” Selah is an instruction to not rush ahead; pause and think about what has just been said. We are prone to read the Bible too fast. There needs to be some Selahs in our reading of Scripture. Don’t just read the words; ponder the thought; meditate on what has been said: Selah. Verses 1-4 is section one. Section 2 concludes at the end of verse 8 with the word Selah. And verses 9-12 make up the third section. There is a blessing pronounced in each section. Verse 4 says “Blessed are those who dwell in your house….” Verse 5 in the second section says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you….” And the last section concludes with “…blessed is the man who trusts in you.” So Psalms 84 addresses the subject of blessing. The Amplified Bible embellishes the word “blessed” with the words “happy, fortunate, to be envied.”

People who thrive in the days ahead will be Christians who are:

I. RESTING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD! (vs 1-4)

This Psalm opens with a longing for that presence.

Verse 1 “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!”

What is the attraction for the house of God in this Psalm? It is the fact that God dwells there. It is the PRESENCE of God in the Tabernacle that makes it lovely. I have grandchildren who reside at 1346 N. Washington in Springfield, MO. I have other grandchildren that reside at a house in San Clemente, CA. I love visiting those houses. The reason I love to visit those houses is that my grandchildren dwell there. You take them out of the house; and I lose interest in the place real fast. I care very little about the physical structure at 1346 N. Washington. I go there to meet with people I love.

The Tabernacle was lovely because God dwells there. His PRESENCE was what made the place lovely. In Ps 16:11 David said to the Lord, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (NKJV). That’s why we come together for worship every Sunday morning. We want to enjoy the presence of the Lord. Jesus promised in Matt 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (NKJV). In one sense God is always with us wherever we go. But there is a special promise of God’s presence when we come together in His name. That means we are gathering under His authority and unto Him. Did you know that there are church services that happen every Sunday in which the people don’t actually gather in His name (in the way I just described)? They call themselves Christian; but they gather for a different reason than meeting with the Lord. They may just enjoy the social interaction with each other. They may just be fulfilling a perceived duty. There are many reasons people go to church that fall outside of what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 18:20 (“gathered together in My name…). The national of Israel made that mistake. God instructed the prophet, Zechariah, “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?” (7:5-7).

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