This is an abbreviated copy of my message from Sunday, July 7th, 2013.
Psalm 27: An Invincible and Intense Faith
The BIG IDEA as we examine Psalm 27 this morning, is that as a Christian, we have the same protections as King David. Psalm 27 is clear that God protects and cares for us. King David is the author of Psalm 27 and he had much to be afraid of as well. King David was not a man hidden away from adversity; he had much to fear, but he was a man of invincible and intense faith in the power of God.
Invincible faith (Credință Invincibil) David reminds us that protection comes from The Lord; we have no need to fear. (Verses 1-3) David asks a rhetorical question twice, one for which there is only an obvious answer. David asks whom shall I fear; who should I be afraid of? The answer that he expects is that because of God’s strength and power, David fears no man. There is no one stronger than our God; The Lord protects, there is no need to fear.
David refers to the Lord as his stronghold. A stronghold is not a place of weakness. It is the vision of a heavily fortified castle, with controlled access and protections against those who would attempt to cause problems. God is the stronghold of our life, because He is our Protector. We do not think of a stronghold and then imagine a building protected by walls made of paper. Walls made of paper could be passed through with no effort. A stronghold has walls made of brick, piled up high.
A stronghold is something that people take refuge within. It does little good to take refuge outside of the stronghold. If you are outside of the stronghold, you are without protection.
Salvation is the stronghold of the Christians life. We put our faith in Jesus Christ, His life, death, burial, and resurrection. That is the gospel, the Good News of Jesus. The Good News is that we as men and women can take refuge in knowing that our sin is forgiven. Our refuge is the Lord Jesus Christ who provides our salvation. Our sins are taken away in Christ. Christ is the stronghold of the Christian.
David describes how The Lord’s protection blocks his enemies. The evildoers who try to bother David, to assault him, they stumble and fall trying to consume him, as an animal consumes its prey. God causes them to stumble and fall; God protects David and God protects His people. God protects us as Christians.
When we consider God’s protection for us, we have an advantage from the Bible. We know that Satan is waging war against this earth and us as Christians. We know that we will come under attack. Our advantage of believers is that the Bible has the complete story. We know who wins in the end; we’ve read the Bible all the way to the end. We know that in Genesis Satan tempted Adam and Eve and put the world into the chaos of sin. We also know that in Revelation, God wins. Our God is triumphant over the powers of evil and sin, and that winning extends to us. We can know that God protects us and cares for us, because we know the outcome of life.
David was a man of military knowledge. He had entered into battle with many different foes. David finds his strength in the Lord; and not even an army can shut him down. This verse speaks to great adversity and the fear of an army camped outside your city, preparing to destroy you.
For most men, facing across the battlefield would cause some amount of fear; but David is saying that he does not fear armies or war, he is confident in the power of our God.
The Apostle Paul, in the book of Romans, summarizes the care for us by God when he says:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
There is no one who is more powerful than our God. Who could possibly challenge our God, the Creator of the universe? This is a crazy question to think about for those of us who believe in and follow Jesus. I pray for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior; I pray that they recognize who Jesus is and what He has done for them. I pray that they will bow their knee in front of Jesus while they still have a chance.
David’s faith is invincible because it relies upon the power of God. Do you have invincible faith? We must truly believe in the power of God, and the fact that He cares for us. We need invincible faith as well; and we must rely upon the power of God. On our own, we are not invincible. It is only through the power of God that we are invincible. We must remember that the stronghold of our God backs us, and His walls are not paper thin, but are thick as stones. Our faith must be invincible.
Faith in the house of the Lord (Credința în Casa Domnului) David’s wish is to dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Verse 4-5). It is a beautiful picture to imagine dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. David’s prayer is that the Lord will draw him closer and closer, with each breath. David is asking the Lord to provide him the passion to grow closer. David is praying to God that God will put this within him, cause him to seek after the Lord.
Each of us has some form of dwelling. We have a house where we spend time eating and sleeping. The concept of a dwelling is not foreign to us. Our house is different from the description of the house of the Lord. Our house is not fully focused on God’s glory at all times. Some times we focus on eating, or other times sleeping. To dwell in the house of the Lord is to focus on God’s glory for eternity. The prospect of eternal life is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord forever. To be in His presence for eternity can be equaled by no other place.
We are also called to seek after the Lord, to place our eyes upon God’s glory, and to always keep His glory in focus. We must seek after Him by seeking what His Word has for us. We must seek after God’s Word with great attention, reading and understanding what God has for us. God’s Word should change and influence us to be more like Jesus. We must consider what God says, and then consider how God would have us to change. We seek after the Lord through a consistent prayer life. God is not unfriendly; God wants us to call out to Him, offering praise and thanksgiving for His care of us. God listens and God cares, so seek Him in prayer. We also seek after God by living in community with God’s people. We enter this community with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I enjoy going to different camps and having the opportunity to speak with the young people from Cahul. Many of these young people are not believers, so I enjoy telling them about Jesus. Each year at camp, I try to ask a question of my group regarding Heaven. Dwelling in the house of the Lord for all days is a picture of Heaven. Being in the presence of God is described in Psalm 27.
I ask my group what they think Heaven is. Many times the answer that I receive is based on perceptions of Heaven from television or cartoons. They think of Heaven as sitting on a cloud, wearing a white robe, and playing a harp. The problem is that this is not a correct perception of dwelling in the house of the Lord, and being within God’s presence for eternity. Eternity in God’s presence, when God will dwell among His people, is the promise of Heaven. Heaven is not as portrayed on television, but is as portrayed in God’s Word.
Worshipful Faith (Credință deplină de adorare) Our reaction is to worship (verse 6). God is the one who lifts David’s head up over his enemies; David has been acknowledging the Lord’s protection of him. We are called to worship by singing and making melody to the Lord; praising Him for the great things He does for us; for protection that He places on us
The focus of our worship must always be on Jesus Christ. Our salvation is and will always be through the spilled blood of Christ. Jesus came to earth as the God-man, lived a perfect life, was put to death on a cross, and was buried. The grave could not contain Him! He rose again, as proof of the fact that He is God, and proof that we who follow Him will experience eternal life with Him.
Every song we sing is focused on Him. Every time we pray we pray to Him, because He saved us. Every time we open and read the Word, our focus is what His Word has to tell us. When someone stands here to preach, the focus must be on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing else matters! We are creatures created by our Heavenly Father to worship Him. Our hearts are pulled in many directions, to worship anything in our path, but we must focus our worship on God! Idols tear at our focus, but we must focus on Jesus.
Intense faith (intensă de credință) Seek and wait for the Lord with an Intense Faith (verses 7-14). David cries out to the Lord, asking God to hear his prayer and answer. David is a man of massive emotion. We see proof of his emotion as we read through the book of Psalms. We feel the emotion in David’s cry; not just simple speech, but emotionally crying out to the Lord. He is a man who has an intensity of faith, a man who believes that God is true and worthy of praise.
We seek the Lord in relationship with Him. We do not serve a God who hides behind curtains or buries His head from His people. Our God is a God of relationship. As a believer, we experience a relationship with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our relationship with God is one of worship. We worship God as our Creator and Provider, and we worship Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit within us. We seek the Lord in relationship. Lord, continue as our salvation, for those that believe, repent, and enter relationship with You. Please do not hide your face from us.
David asks the Lord to teach him God’s ways and lead David. We learn God’s ways through the study of Scripture. The level path is the process of sanctification, as Jesus transforms us to be more and more like Him. This is a process that the believer experiences. David calls to the Lord for help in staying strong; even though false witnesses rise against him and breath out violence, David calls to the Lord to protect him and to stay away from the will of the evildoer.
To wait for the Lord is to be patient in the Lord’s timing. We are to be strong and have courage based on what the Lord will do for us. God answers our prayers. Sometimes He answers yes, other times no, and other times not yet. We have to be willing to wait for the Lord’s timing. God does not answer to us. We worship Him. It is difficult to wait patiently for the Lord. We are not patient creatures by design. Only through the molding by our Lord, can we wait patiently for what He has for us.
Brothers and Sisters, our protection comes from The Lord; we have no need to fear. Put your trust in the stronghold that Jesus provides for us as Christians.
As Christians, we must live out the invincible faith that David has. This faith is anchored in the power of God; He is invincible, and we live within His power. We must live our Christian lives with an intense faith like David, loving the Lord Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Be intense in your pursuit of the Gospel, sharing Jesus through your words and actions daily. The Gospel is the “Good News” about Jesus, and is not to be kept under a basket. Share the Gospel in the power of God; I pray that God will provide us an invincible and intense faith.