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Advice For Travelers Part 2

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ADVICE FOR TRAVELERS PART 2

We began looking at psalm 84 last Sunday. 

You may recall that I didn’t finish. 

Psalm 84:1-12 (NIV)

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

 

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.


 


 There are two more keys to go over today.

To refresh your memory:

Psalm 84 is a “Psalm of Pilgrimage”.

It was written in the “glory days” of Israel,

when they were a united kingdom with their own land.

King David was most likely on the throne.

Every year crowds would flock to Jerusalem

for the Feast of Tabernacles.

They would come from all over Israel.

They would make their pilgrimage up

to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple.


This Psalm is about what's going through the mind of one unnamed pilgrim as he makes his way up to Jerusalem.

He’s longing to get to God’s house –

He has this intense desire for the House of God.

He can’t wait to be in the company of God’s people,

He longs to experience the worship time again.


Remember, he was even jealous of the birds !

Because they spent their whole life in God’s house.

The psalmist cried out:

“Oh, to be one of those birds who can make their homes right there in the House of God.”

In Verses 3-4. The pilgrim had left his work-a-day life behind him.

He’s heading up to worship, and he can’t wait to get in God’s presence.

That’s the theme of Psalm 84's beginning verses.

But then we zeroed in on verses 5-8.

It’s in this section that we find

“Advice for Travellers”.

In order to get to God’s presence,

the Psalmist knows that there is a JOURNEY to be made.

He describes this journey as a “happy” one

he uses the words (“blessed is the man”), blessed means happy.

He’s excited about what it's going to be like when he gets there.

Even though he might have to go through some HARSH, difficult, and dangerous places – He is thinking about those words   

“blessed is the man”.

It’s this hope of being blessed that carries us through the rough times in life.

1 Peter 1:18 (The Message)

Peter said  18–21     Your life is a journey

 

And later he said in  1 Peter 2:11 (The Message)
11–12     
Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.

The song writer wrote;

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through.

My Treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me from heaven's open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

We are just passing through this world and our destination is

“That Heavenly City” - That place where God is.

We would do well to remind ourselves of this every day,

it would help us keep our priorities straight.

Last week we started looking at the 4 keys For a Successful Journey.


The first key we looked at was:

1. LOOK TO GOD FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

It’s in that first statement in verse 5:

“Blessed is the man whose STRENGTH IS IN YOU”.

It's IMPOSSIBLE to live the Christian life without God's strength.

 

(Hebrews 12:2).

God, is both “the author and finisher of our faith”.

GOD begins His work of salvation in us,

He continues it in us, and

He will complete it when we stand before Him in Heaven.

To live this life we've got to have

God’s saving strength,

His keeping strength,

His enabling strength.

Our own resources won't cut it.

And Yet,     we think     somehow we can do it by our self.

Dallas McFarland’s daughter Deanna.  I DO IT MYSELF!!!

Remember the Zecheriah 4:6 principle:

“It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord”.

We've gotta have God's strength.


So HOW do we get it?

1. We do it by our waiting on the Lord.

“They that WAIT UPON THE LORD  shall RENEW STRENGTH”.

2. By Having a consistent devotional life –

MEET WITH GOD EVERYDAY

3. And By Spending time in Bible and in God's Presence.

MOSES'  FACE SHONE AFTER HE SPENT TIME IN GOD'S PRESENCE.             WE SHOULD ALSO SHINE FOR GOD.

So, the first key for a successful journey through life was

LOOK TO GOD FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

The second key;  also found in verse 5 is:
2. PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE JOURNEY.
Verse 5 says “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,

WHOSE HEART IS SET ON PILGRIMAGE.”
HEY!!!   LET'S Make our lifetime count!

LET'S Go for the gold.

LET'S Put some jewels in our crown.

LET'S Save some people from hell.

LET'S Do something good with the time we have left.

PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE JOURNEY.
Use every opportunity that you can find!

grow and develop for God.

Be more than a conqueror.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that’s where we left off.

Now the third Key is;

3. SEE THE OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY TRIAL.

Ya do know there's gonna be trials don’t you.


If you were thinking that when you got saved, there would be no more problems in your life, then all you have to do is wait a little while and they'll come.

Trials may come but God is greater than our trials.

Mountains come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  But be assured that they will come.

When there's a mountain in front of you, You've got three choices.

YOU CAN...

1.    Be overcome with worry and fear.

2.    Try to deal with it in your own strength.

3.    Go to God and ask for His help.  (Wanna know how I do it?)

a.     He may show you a way around the mountain.

b.    He may show you a way through the mountain.

c.     He may show you a way over the mountain.

d.    Or God may just pick that mountain up and throw it in the sea.

WHAT EVER GOD CHOOSES TO DO,

YOU’RE STILL GOING TO GET PAST THAT MOUNTAIN.

We can’t pretend that trials don’t exist ...

But  should SEE TRIALS AS OPPORTUNITIES.

TRIALS ARE LIKE OYSTERS.  HARD ON THE OUTSIDE

BUT LOOK FOR THE PEARL ON THE INSIDE.

verse 6 said.

6     As they pass through the Valley of Baca,

they make it a place of springs;

(Or you could say they turn it into a place of springs.)

The Hebrew word “Baca” comes from a root word which means:

“to mourn, wail, or lament”.

“The Valley of Baca” literally means:

“THE VALLEY OF WEEPING”.

Who hasn’t passed through the Valley of weeping at one time or another?

How do you turn the  valley of weeping into a spring of living water?

 

Do you Remember the Keys?

 

Key 1 Look to the Lord for your strength.

Key 2 is Put your heart in the Journey.

Key 3 is See trials as opportunities.

Well If the Lord is your Strength,

and your heart is in the journey,

Then God will help you see the Valley of Weeping become

A spring of living water.

What will be a place of bitterness to others

can be a place of blessing, for you.

It can become a well watered place where you can grow.

PSALM 1 (KJV) 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

--------------------------------------

It's Because we have faith in God

that we can find the blessings

that are hidden in our hardships!”

The opportunity might not be easy to see,

It might not be easy to do,

but just like the pearl in the oyster there's an opportunity for growth right in the middle of the trial.

With God on our side, we can turn our trials into OPPORTUNITIES.

[ILLUSTRATION]: There was a lady named Sue.

Sue had just gone through a very traumatic time in her life. 

She had a very serious and life-threatening illness. 

She called her pastor on the phone and told him some of the things she’d been going through.

The pastor told her how sorry he was for her and how he longed for her to be rid of that thing.

But she stopped him and said: “Oh, please pastor NO!”

Then She shared with him how when she first realized

that she had this disease she was devastated,

but as time went on she realized that she needed to

depend on God like she never had, before in her Christian life.

She said to the pastor: “I’ve never felt so close to God.  He's revealed himself in a wonderfully personal way to me.  

I can’t even find the words to explain it.

I wouldn’t trade the Lord’s presence that I have now,

for the best health in the world.

That’s why I’m calling you pastor ... to tell you that I’m doing fine!”

Her Valley of Weeping had become a spring of living water!

MY FRIENDS;
- There's no oil without the...                           squeezin of the olives,
- There's no wine without the...                       pressin of the grapes,
- And There's no fragrance without the...     crushin of the flowers.



[ILLUSTRATION]:

There was a man named Worral.

He had rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 15 ...

by the time he had reached middle age he was totally paralyzed

except for 1 finger,

He could barely speak and he was totally blind.

But he had a string tied to that one finger that could turn on a tape recorder.

By using that finger and his limited ability to speak

he wrote articles for national magazines,

he authored books

he led a happy and influential life from his bed.

At first he prayed for healing, but it didn’t come.

After a time, he accepted his lot and said,

"Well Lord! If this is the size plot in life you’ve staked out for me,

Then let’s you and me get together show the world what we can grow on it."

If Worral can put his limited abilities at Jesus’ feet and say use me, then so can you and I.

Albion needs people who will put it all there on the  ground before Jesus and say “how do you want to use me? 

Albion needs people who will say;

I’ll go,

I’ll do,

I’ll be. 

Just show me where to go, what to do and what to be. 

I’m your servant Lord.

The Valley of Weeping can become a spring of life welling up inside you.

 

 

God can accomplish more through you in your weakness

than he can in your self-sufficiency. 

WE ALL LOVE THE MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCES:

We love the times of blessing and the sunshine –

but let me ask you, where does the fruit grow?

You don’t find many orchards on mountain tops –

The view is nice up there,

BUT THE FRUIT GROWS IN THE VALLEY!

And it’s those trials in our lives that God can use to grow spiritual fruit in our lives.


Do you see trials as opportunities?

Do you try to find the hidden pearl?

Are you gonna let that thing make you bitter or make you better?!


JOSEPH WAS;

sold into slavery by his brothers –

carried off to a foreign land all alone –

approached by Potiphar’s wife and

put in jail for something he didn’t do.

Joseph didn't know what was going to happen when he was going through his time of trial –

He didn’t know how God was going to work it all out,

But he continued to trust in God and let God work out His plan.

I believe, Joseph would have served God even if God would have left Joseph in jail until he died there       and went to heaven.

Joseph did spend several years in jail before God lifted him up to become The Prime Minister of Egypt.

He may have spent 15 years as a slave and prisoner.

DID YOU KNOW THAT

MOUNTAINS HAVE TWO SIDES

There's the mountain in front of you side

and the mountain behind you side.

When Joseph was on the mountain in front of him side He didn’t know what was going to happen

but he SAW HIS TRIALS AS OPPORTUNITIES

Joseph trusted in God.

He had confidence God!

He had a good attitude and Potiphar saw it

When he was in jail the jailer saw it.

And when in front of Pharaoh, Pharaoh saw it too.

Joseph didn’t have a copy of the New Testament –

it hadn’t been written yet –

But He knew the principle that's found in  Romans 8:28-29,      

          that principle is;

“All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”!

ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD BECAUSE

GOD IS IN CONTROL.

The first key is...  LOOK TO GOD FOR YOUR STRENGTH.

The second key is PUT YOUR HEART IN THE JOURNEY.

The third key is SEE THE OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY TRIAL.

And now the last key is:

4. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL.

He’s ALWAYS been in control.

He always will be in control.

And He’s in control right now.

He will never surrender His position.

He cannot be kicked out.

He cannot be over ruled.

He is GOD and He is in control!


If I'm

(1)          looking to God for my strength, and

(2)          if I’ve put my heart in the journey, and

(3)          if I’m looking for the opportunity in every trial,

Then God will do two things for me:


a) He will direct my steps, and
b) He will bring me through to my destination.

And that destination is Heaven.

We’re all on a journey through life.

We can waste it or we can invest it.

Can I tell you that God’s dividends last forever.

We can know God in POWER and STRENGTH

And we can know Him in closeness and tenderness.

God wants us to become like Jesus.

And we do that by being in His presence

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.



We’re being Transformed into His likeness.

And Who does it?

The Holy Spirit does it.

When you allow the Holy Spirit to control your life,

You’ll be a different person

You’ll live a different life

You’ll grow in strength

And you’ll bear the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.

Let God do that to you!

Let Him get into your very DNA.

Submit to Him.

2) He'll bring you through to your destination

The man who wrote this psalm was just longing to get to Jerusalem – to the House of God.

He was trusting God to bring him through.

Paul, in the last days of his life, wrote to Timothy,

“I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that (Eternal) day”.

CONCLUSION:

Listen to me, I don’t want to just limp through life –

I don’t want to coast through life.

By the grace of God I want to go from strength to strength!

I want to overcome difficulties.

I want live as though Jesus were wearing me like a glove.

SAY THE FOUR KEYS WITH ME AGAIN?


1. LOOK TO GOD FOR YOUR STRENGTH.
2. PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE JOURNEY.
3. SEE THE OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY TRIAL.
4. REMEMBER, GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Amen.

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