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Advice For Travelers Part 1

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ADVICE FOR TRAVELERS PART 1

(Home Sick for Heaven)

Today we’re going to be looking at one of the psalms.


Psalm 84:1-12 (NIV)

1     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 is a psalm about a trip. 


!! FEAST OF TABERNACLES

It was sung as the pilgrims made their way up to Jerusalem for the feast of tabernacles.

The pilgrims would come from all the territories occupied by Israel.

Once inside Jerusalem they would head for the Temple.

Psalm 84:1-2 (NIV)

1     How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!

2     My soul yearns, (it) even faints, for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

 

YOU CAN JUST FEEL HOW THE WRITER OF THIS PSALM HAD A LONGING TO GET TO THE HOUSE OF GOD.

He has this intense desire to be in God’s Temple,

And he wants to be with other people who have the same mind for worship that he does.

See how his heart and soul are longing to get closer to God?

I THINK THAT AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT IS PLEASING TO GOD

 

Let's go to verses 3 & 4.

 

Psalm 84:3-4

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 (always) praising you.     Selah

 

 

This guy’s even jealous of the birds!

 

The Temple courtyards were open to the sky,

and eaves provided a good place for nesting,

There were always birds in and around the Temple.

The writer of this psalm says:  If only I could be like the birds and be able to live in your presence for my whole life.


 DO YOU HAVE A LOVE LIKE THIS –

A LONGING FOR GOD’S HOUSE?

A passionate desire to be in His presence night and day;

to LIVE there?!

OUR ATTITUDES
You know, we need to be careful that we don’t grieve God with our attitudes.

What are we saying to God when we act as though coming into His presence is “just another one of the things we do through the week”.

Just A duty to be performed.

DR. JAMES DOBSON

What is the message we’re sending to God when we treat our time with Him like that?


The writer of Psalm 84 wasn’t like that. 

He’s left his work-a-day life behind him.

He’s heading up to worship,

and he can’t wait to get into God’s presence.

How many here have experienced the presence of God?

 

I mean really experienced God's presence.

You knew that God was right there in the room with you.

I’ve experienced that a few times and I hunger to experience it again and again.


Now let’s focus in on the next four verses.

The pilgrim has a desire to be in church.

He is even jealous of the birds that live there.

Now he is beginning his journey

Here in these next four verses we find:

“ADVICE FOR TRAVELLERS”.

 

We read:

Psalm 84:5-8

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, (Weeping)

they make it (turn it into) a place of springs;

the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

7     They go from strength to strength,

untill each appears before God in Zion.

8     Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;

listen to me, O God of Jacob.     Selah

THERE’S A JOURNEY TO BE MADE
The Psalmist knows that in order to get all the way HOME to God’s presence, there is a JOURNEY to be made.

IT’S A HAPPY JOURNEY

He describes this journey as “happy”

He says (“Blessed is the man...whose strength is in You”),

because just thinking about the destination motivates him.

Even while going through HARSH, difficult, and dangerous places;

“He is a Blessed man...”

He lets God turn the difficult times into blessings.

THIS IS HIS JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE

We see here a picture of OUR journey

(our pilgrimage if you will) through life?

Our destination is a Heavenly City

where God’s ETERNAL presence lights the day and the night.


THERE ARE FOUR KEYS IN THIS PASSAGE

4 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PASSAGE THROUGH LIFE

Do you want your journey through life to be the victorious journey that we see in Psalm 84?  I KNOW, I DO.

Here are FOUR principles, if you will use them, they will take you right through to God's eternal home.

The first key is found in Verse 5;


1. LOOK TO GOD ALONE FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

Verse 5 says,
("Blessed is the man whose strength is in You." Vs5)


How many of us have found that it’s impossible to live the Christian life without God’s strength?

Our greatest battle is often about learning to trust God

instead of doing it in our own strength and ability.

Our human nature says I can do this or it says I can’t do that

But we've got to understand that it’s . . .

6 ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. ZECHARIAH 4:6b

 

What an amazing man the Apostle Paul was.

Look at the pilgrimage that Paul made.

Paul says in  (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

23 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

And in the last days of his life he was able to say –

2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8 

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

 

 

What was his secret?

How was he able to go through all that he did and still have the victory?

The answer is in 2 Corinthians 12:9

When God spoke to him and said:  9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

 His strength was in God!

We don’t have enough resources in ourselves to get the job done.

Actually sometimes we can go along for a ways,

but we’ll never finish without God’s strength.


 

THE MOJAVE DESERT

There was a man that started out across the Mojave desert with only a half tank of gas – He thought that If he just drove a little slower

he would make it to the other side of the desert. 


You’d think that a man who tried something like that was crazy, wouldn’t you?!

The Mojave desert is big and dangerous.

At some point there has to be refueling.

There has to a time for Refilling.

And It’s just as crazy to believe you can finish the Christian life

in your own strength - with your own resources.
There has to be refueling, there has to be refilling.


If you were to ask most Christians,

They’d agree that they can’t make it, in their own strength,

And yet how many of us don’t take the steps that are necessary

For us to get God’s strength into our lives.

The plain fact of the matter is that

We don’t have enough gas in our gas tanks to make it to heaven on our own.

And We don’t even have enough gas to get the job done here on earth.


So, how DO you live in God’s strength?



It’s found in:  ISAIAH 40:29-31 NIV.

29     He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30     Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31     but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.



! THERE ARE FIVE THINGS THAT ARE NECESSARY

FOR GETTING GOD’S STRENGTH INTO OUR LIVES

                   - Waiting on God
                   - Devotional life
                   - God’s Word
                   - Prayer.

- Church


I would love for God to give me dreams, visions

and a clear picture of where He wants me to go

and what He wants me to do.

 

GET THE BASICS

But the truth is

what I need to do is get the BASICS of the Christian life right.

(Bible, prayer, devotions, church, witnessing.)

Live daily in the Lord’s strength!

Simply, yet powerfully, being built up and led by God.

If you keep to the basics consistently

Do them often enough

God will lead you in the path you should go, and

God will get the blessing to you!

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in you.” vs. 5

****************************

What’s the first key for a successful journey through this life:

The first key is:

LOOK TO GOD ALONE FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

The second key is:
2. PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE JOURNEY.
                   Verse 5 says:

5     Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.



HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT

GOD LOVES WHOLE HEARTED PEOPLE    

People who throw themselves into life.

Don't you like people like that too.

People who are excited about the journey.

STORY;  Vicci

I have a friend that told me a story about her husband.

Whenever they stopped at a rest stop and she came out of the restroom she would find her husband standing there looking at the traffic

and thinking about how many of those cars that he passed on the road are now ahead of him again.

All he can think is about is getting back on the road

and continuing the journey.

His heart is set on pilgrimage!

****************************

GOD LIKES PEOPLE LIKE THAT

BUT God has some things to say about half-hearted people too,

doesn’t He?!

Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

DON’T JUST LET LIFE PASS YOU BY

MAKE YOUR LIFETIME COUNT!

 

We don't want to be people who are just letting life pass us by -

 “Just waiting out” our life until Jesus comes -

We should have our eyes on the finish line,

but our energies,

our heart,

our hands and feet,

ought to be occupied with making the journey count -

Paul wrote: “For me to LIVE is Christ”.

It’s not wrong to want to do something with your life.

THE PROCESS IS IMPORTANT.

What you learn and achieve here on earth is important to God,

otherwise

He might just as well “rapture” us all out, when we first come to Christ.

What's the first key for a successful journey?

 

LOOK TO GOD ALONE FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

What’s the second key for a successful journey through life?

PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE JOURNEY.

Don’t wish your life away.

don’t let it pass you by.

Make it count for God’s glory.

Grow.   

Learn.    Live, Really Live.


I have two more keys to share with you from Psalm 84,

but our time is gone.

Come again next week and I’ll share them with you then.

PRAY.

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