Greetings, friends and new listeners. Welcome to The Sound of Faith.
I'm Sharon Otz, thanking you for joining us today, because we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Our message today is from Psalm 34. If you've ever faced a strong spirit of fear, you are not alone. I certainly have, and recently a medical crisis has put me face to face with fear. But David gave us a powerful example of how to win victory over distress and despair and the fear they can spawn.
But in order to appreciate how dire his situation was when he wrote Psalm 34, we must do a little digging into the back story of the catalyst for Psalm 34 in facing and erasing fear. Glory to God. I don't know about anybody else, but I need this right now. I said I need this right now. Glory to God.
If you can, you may be seated. My God, I feel like I'm going to explode. Lord knows I needed this this morning. Amen. I hope you got the spillover. So before I get into the message today, I tell you I'm just trembling on the inside because the power of God was so strong.
And the Lord knows I needed it because this has really been a trying week for me, a very trying week. I told you before that I was going to the Maryland Proton Center, which I did go there Tuesday, but they told me that I was not a candidate for that type of targeted radiation so that I would have to get conventional radiation that is like five to seven weeks every day, Monday through Friday. Anyway, they told me that. And that wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear, but they did tell me that they would give me a second opinion oncologist about the chemo.
And so I see that person or persons, whomever they may be, at the University of Maryland this Tuesday morning. And I really need this to be a fleece that the Lord shows me something. Amen. Because I need to know what he wants me to do. And the way I'm looking at it right now, in other words, if he wants me to go that medical route, he needs to make it clear. Unless he clearly says go this route, I'm going the other route. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm not saying you've got to tell me to go this route. I'm already going that route.
So I need, if he says no, this is my plan for you, then I need to know that clearly. So please be in prayer for me. And I have had a very tough week. I had such heaviness on me Wednesday and Thursday, I thought to myself, there's no way I can preach Sunday morning. I can't even think straight.
Let's get a message together. And so it was so burden thirsty that about 2.30 in the afternoon I could take it no more. I just sat in my living room and I cried out to God and cried out to God that I need your help.
And so about 3 o'clock I went and laid down to watch the 700 Club, which I like to watch them at 3. And only a few minutes in the phone rang and it was Jamie Lash, who is the hostess of Jewish Jewels Program. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And she called me and she says, Sharon, you have been so heavy on my heart. I thought I would call you.
And I said, I thank you for obeying the Spirit of God. You know, this woman is very busy. You can understand. She's very busy. We don't talk all the time. I don't want to lead you to think that we just talk all the time. We don't.
It's like strategic points. And she called me and so she ministered to me and it really uplifted me. And so, you know, I felt that heaviness leave. And then Friday I came to church and on the way home from church we got stuck at the light. Well, you know, we had to stop for the red light at Hollins Ferry and Annapolis Road where Taco Bell is. And we're sitting there at the red light and I'm just looking around, you know, just looking around. And I was looking around for a few minutes before I actually stopped and looked at the car in front of me.
And when I looked at the car in front of me, the license plate said something. Now let me throw this out there very quick. I'll back up and say, I knew that I didn't have time to come up with a new message. My mind is just so distracted. So I get out my box of notes and I'm saying, eenie meenie miney moe.
You know? Okay, I like this one. Psalm 27. Yeah, that's a good one.
Psalm 34, that's going eenie meenie miney moe. Which one? And I worked on this one for a while and went to that.
No, I think that. So we're sitting at this red light and Benny's my witness. We're sitting at the red light and all of a sudden I just happened to look at the car in front of us, a white sedan, and I'm not exaggerating. The license plate said PSLM 34.
And I did a double take. Psalm 34. So guess what I'm going to preach on today? Psalm 34. But first we've got to set it up. So go with me to first Samuel and 21 to set it up. First Samuel 21.
I'll do a lot of paraphrasing today for sake of time, but I do want you to read this. And verse 10. And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul. Right off the bat, we're facing fear.
You see that? For fear of Saul. And he went to Achish, the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, is not this David, the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another of him in dances saying Saul hath slain his thousands and David his 10,000s? And David laid up these words in his heart and was sore afraid of Achish, the king of Gath. And he changed his behavior before them and he feigned or he pretended himself to be mad in their hands and scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish unto his servants, lo you see the man is mad. Wherefore have you brought him to me? Have I need of mad men that you have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence?
Shall this fellow come into my house? Chapter 22 verse one. David therefore departed thence and escaped to the cave of Dulem and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.
So what is happening here? Well, we know the history of David and Saul. We know that David was hunted down like an animal by Saul who was, uh, he was really demonically paranoid and he was so jealous of David and in his rage he bowed to kill him. And so he tried no less than 21 times to kill David. So David was forced to flee to the wilderness and, uh, that's what he had been doing, running on the run from one place to another. And he had about 600 men who had come to join up with him.
And so they're running here, there and everywhere. Now I won't go into details, but something had just happened that a spy of Saul's knew where David's whereabouts were, went back to Saul and said exactly where David was. So David now is on the run again and he is so desperate that he runs to Achish.
Who is he? He's the king of the Philistines. He ran to the town of Gath. What do we know about Gath? Gath is Goliath's hometown. So David is so desperate to get away from Saul that he runs to the enemy, Israel's arch enemy, the Philistines. Now, you know, this man was in a desperate position. Amen. And so when he got there, um, he heard the advisors of Achish saying to him, are you going to let this David come?
Come on. You're going to trust him. We all know who he is. He's the giant killer. He's the one that killed our champion.
You can't befriend him and take him in. And so when David overheard this fear jumped on him and he was sore afraid. Now he's not only afraid of Saul coming and killing him, now he's afraid of Achish coming and killing him.
And let me tell you something. Fear will drive you to do irrational things. Fear will drive you to do foolish things. And in his fear, he decided, I know what I'll do. I'll pretend like I'm insane. And before the king, he started slobbering and foaming at the mouth.
Let the spit all go down into his beard. He was going over to the doors and scratching on them and banging on them and acting like he was out of his mind. Like an insane person. You talk about going low. You talk about sinking into such despair. You talk about fear doing a number on you. Amen.
This is David, the mighty champion, the Goliath, a killer, the giant Slayer, the lion Slayer, and the bear Slayer. Amen. And now fear is on him so much because he thinks if Saul don't kill me, Achish will. If Achish don't kill me, Saul will. So we thought if I pretend like I'm a mad man and I'm insane, amen, maybe they'll have pity on me. That just breaks my heart. It breaks my heart.
But I understand that I do because I know what fear can do to you. And so it worked. Achish said, get this guy out of here. Obviously he's crazy. This man is insane and you're going to bring him in front of me.
I don't have time to deal with this. Get him out of here. So they let him go.
They saw him as harmless because obviously he's insane. And what does he do? He runs and hides in a cave of a dolom, in a cave. And how many know a cave is metaphorical for a very dark place where you're in despair, where you're surrounded by darkness and you don't see a way out of your troubles. Now in that cave, or let's say out of the cave experience that I just told you about, David wrote two Psalms that are actually attributed to that time. Psalm 34 and Psalm 56. And we will concentrate on Psalm 34.
And as we go through these verses, keep in mind just how low David had sunk in despair and how great his fears really were. And keep in mind also, we do not face physical enemies on a physical battlefield against armies, but we do face enemies in a spiritual battlefield, enemies that hate us just as much as those enemies hated David. Amen.
We have a battlefield in our hearts and in our minds that we've got to overcome those enemies of fear. Amen. So keeping that in mind, let's now turn to Psalm 34, beginning with verse one. I will bless the Lord at all times and his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord and the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.
Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. Now we're all familiar with these because we hear them quoted a lot. Many ministers, that's the first thing that's their prelude to their message. They break the ice kind of thing in the pulpit by quoting these three verses, but they mean a lot more to us now, don't they? When we consider that he wrote them out of that experience that we just discussed. Amen.
We're thinking it's all happy day. I bless the Lord. Glory to God. Well, he did that. He did worship the Lord.
He did that. He said, I'm going to bless the Lord at all times. I'm going to bless him in this cave. I'm going to bless him in this place of great distress.
I'm besieged by fear. Then the only thing that I know to do to keep those fears and those thoughts from totally destroying me is to keep praising God and keep praising God, continually keep praising God. Regardless of my circumstances, where I am, what I'm going through, I'm going to keep praising God. And we know there are New Testament verses that confirm this.
You don't have to turn there, but you know them well. So I'll just quote to you from Philippians, the fourth chapter, verses six and seven. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your request known unto God and the peace of God that passes understanding shall keep your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. Amen. So he says, when you're anxious, that means you are facing fears and worries. Amen.
That are coming against you. He said, what you've got to do in the midst of that situation with prayer and supplication of supplication is strong prayer. Amen. But don't forget on the envelope of prayer, you must put a stamp and the stamp is with thanksgiving.
Amen. You're not thanking him because you love what you're going through. You're not thanking him because you're in the cave of a dullum. You're not thanking him because Saul's trying to kill you here and the Philistines are trying to kill you there.
No, but you're thanking him for the victory that he's about to bring. Amen. And when you do this, a supernatural peace that is heaven sent, it is not manufactured. You can't conjure it up on your own, but it comes directly from God. And he gives you this peace that passes understanding. It bypasses your brain, your intellect, your rationality, your everything there. You're going down the what ifs and the supposes and all of the scenarios of the hypothesis of what you should or should not do.
And it only genders more fear and anxiety. But in the midst of all that, the peace of God shall guard your heart. That is a military term. It refers to a soldier, specifically the soldiers that stand at the entry point, the gate and says who can and cannot come in. If you go down to Fort Me, you're not just going to go driving your car on the base. How many know you're going to have to stop at an entry point and there's going to be some soldiers standing there and they got weapons and anybody get the bright idea they think they're just going to drive through.
Amen. They have been trained to shoot. They tell you to halt and you don't halt and you go through that barricade, they're going to shoot and they're not going to let you get too far on that base. And you've got to see it's the same way. The peace of God is the soldier at the door in the entry of your heart in mind. And when these lies and these fears come, this soldier says, you may not enter. Amen.
And so we have to see that. And there are many other verses, but that's one of my favorites. So he goes on and says, I'm going to bless the Lord. I'm going to praise him continually. And my soul shall make her boast in the Lord. See boasting on God inspires your faith. Boasting on your God will inspire your faith.
And can I tell you what I also think in my opinion? I think it also inspires God. When you boast on God, I believe it inspires him to move for you because come on, let's tell the truth. If someone boasts on us, then man, we really want to live up to it. Don't we? When somebody says, Oh, so and so does such a great job at this. And then you really want to do a good job.
Don't you? And you know, that's the smart thing for us to do about our children. You brag on them. You are the best, whatever it may be. That kid will stand on his head then because you said he was so good at that. And then he'll try even harder at that. And so when we boast of God, I believe we inspire God to move for us. Oh, magnify the Lord with me. You see, to magnify God is to make God big. And so by comparison, and I want to repeat that, by comparison, our troubles are little. Now if you take God out of the equation, maybe what you're facing is huge. Maybe what you're facing is life and death situation.
Maybe what you're facing is so life changing that you don't even know what your future may be. But when you magnify God, then by comparison, your trouble becomes small and little and finite because God is infinite. Amen. So here he is in this cave and he knows Saul and all his armies of Israel are trying to track him down and find him. He's got spies looking for him. And now the only reason why he escaped Achish and his armies is because he pretended like he was a crazy person. But how long is that going to last? Somebody is going to get the news back and say he was just pretending. That was a ruse.
It's a good thing you didn't let him in. Amen. So but in the midst of all of this, he says, I'm going to magnify the Lord and I'm going to exalt his name. And you know, for me, this is huge to give God his due by exalting his name. And I mean specifically, I would say probably almost every morning without fail when I worship the Lord and sing, I always go through the Jehovah names. You know, we sing that song because of who you are, I give you glory because of who you are, I give you praise. And then we say Jehovah Jireh, my provider, Jehovah Nissi, my victory.
You know, I think they only give you three. Jehovah Shalom, you're my Prince of peace. Oh, I've, I've written quite a few more verses. I sing that and then I keep going and I say Jehovah Rafi because you're my healer. You're the Lord that healeth me. And then I say Jehovah Rowie because you're my shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. And then I say that you are Jehovah Shammah.
You're the Lord who's with me, will never leave me and never forsake me. And you are Jehovah Sid Caney. You are my righteousness. You are Jehovah Mckettish. You are my sanctification. So I, I exalt his name. I claim the, not only the fame, but the power and the authority in who he is in his name.
And when you start telling God, you are Jehovah and you put on that annex of whichever one you want. Amen. He's going to rise to the occasion.
Yes, he is because he's going to honor his name. Let's read verse four. I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears. They looked onto him and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all of his troubles.
My God, this is powerful here. Amen. I sought the Lord. Okay. Does this mean that David got on his nice church clothes and dancing shoes and went to the tabernacle and sought the Lord?
No. In the cave of a dullum. In the cave where he was hiding out of many and diverse phobias that were playing with his mind and his emotions. In that cave, he said, I sought the Lord and you know, sought is strong. It's past tense of seek. Amen. And when you seek something, it's not something that's casual.
It's not something that's just a surface thing. You seek the Lord. You go after God. Amen. And you don't have to be in church. In fact, most of the time when we really seek God, it's when we're alone in our bedroom or wherever we may be. Amen. And when we really seek after God, he said, if you will pray in secret, I'll reward you openly.
Amen. Sometimes you seek the Lord in tears in your home. And when you get to church, then the Lord begins to bless you and strengthen you. He said, I sought the Lord and he heard me. You see, he said in Isaiah 55, seek me while I may be found. Call upon me while I am near.
Amen. Seek the Lord. He said, and I will answer you. I will show you great and mighty things you know not of. He said, I sought the Lord and when I sought the Lord, I worshiped him. I praised him.
I exalted him. I magnified him and I cried out in my fears and he heard me and he delivered me of all my fears. The fear that had made him pretend to be insane.
The fear that had drove him to a cave to hide. But there in that state of mind and in that condition, he did not give up. And that's, that's for you and that's for me. You can't ever, ever give up. Amen. You got to keep crying out to God. You got to keep seeking after the Lord. Amen. And he said he heard me and he delivered me from all of my fears because that is the first enemy that must be faced.
Fear must be faced first because if God just delivers you out of your situation and your trouble, that spirit of fear will come back to you and try to talk you out of it. How many of you have ever had the Lord touch you, move for you, do something for you? And then that old devil comes and tries to talk you out of it and tell you, you didn't get anything.
Nothing happened. You imagined that you got something. Amen. So God had to deliver him out of his fears first. Fear is the first enemy to be faced and erased.
The first enemy to be faced is fear. And through what David did, God delivered him. Amen. Because let me tell you folks, fear will neutralize our faith. You had faith. You don't lose your faith. God gave you good faith. He didn't give you junk faith.
He gave you good faith. Amen. You don't lose your faith.
However, it can be rendered inefficient. Amen. It can be rendered inoperative because it's like fear neutralizes it. Amen. It's like fear paralyzes your faith because the devil will even lie to you and tell you, you don't have faith or you lost it. When he tells you you lost your faith, just say, now you're a liar.
Right now, I'm not even going to argue with you about that. Now my faith might need some work. I might need to hear some more word of the Lord, but I had faith. And so you got to get rid of the fear because faith is vital to victory. Now where does fear come from? Fear comes from Satan.
It doesn't come from God. Fear does not come from God. Fear is the first negative emotion that man ever felt in the garden of Eden. Remember after they sinned and they ran and hid, fear made them run and hide. And when God came walking in that garden and called out for them and said, where are you Adam?
He said, I was afraid. It comes from Satan. Amen. You know, this is a hallmark verse that you know well, so I won't turn there.
I'll just quote it for you. Second Timothy one seven, for God has not given you a spirit of fear. So if it didn't come from God, it had to come from the enemy. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Amen. You know, the devil will really try to put a double whammy on you when he comes with fear and tells you you're losing your mind, tells you you're losing your mind and you already got all these emotions that are really stirred up. So turmoil's in here emotionally.
And then when he on top of that comes and tells you you're losing your mind, then there you are. You're like a wave on the sea, but you need to get this verse out and say, first of all, he hasn't given me a spirit of fear. And second of all, he's given me a sound mind and he's given me a mind of power and a mind of love. And that is important because as I preach for two weeks straight to you, walking and healing by walking in faith and love and all the verses that we went through, one of the major ones we know is that it says that perfect love cast out fear. And he that is full of fear, he that is afraid is not made perfect in love.
He doesn't have a mature love walk. How many know I preach that for two weeks? Because if your love walk is not mature and if your love walk is not where it's supposed to be, your faith won't work because Galatians 5, 6 says, and faith works by love. Amen. So Satan will have less success of coming against us with fear when we are really feel sound and rooted in the knowledge God loves me in spite of what I'm going through. And I will be the first to say, I don't understand what I'm going through or why I'm going through it, but that's beside the point that nevertheless God loves me.
Amen. And if God loves me, he's for me. And if he's for me, he's more than all that can come against me. So you have to work on your love in order for your faith to stand up against the spirit of fear. That was 1 John 4 18 because as long as we have fear, what did he say in 1 John 4 18 for fear has torment. Don't you hate that word torment?
It just conjures all kinds of things in your mind. You know, they don't have to hang you by your fingernails for you to be tormented. You know, they don't have to hold your hand to the fire to torture you or torment you. You can be so tormented in your soul, in your heart, in your mind, in your thoughts that you almost cannot function. That comes from the spirit of fear. And if we do not get rid of that spirit of fear and fight against that spirit of fear, we will be tormented.
We will be tormented and we will be double minded and the devil will just have a field day with our thoughts and our minds. Amen. He'll be able to come and say what if, what if, and you know when he comes with that what if, do not walk through that door. Shut the door. Don't open that door and see what's in that room. I'm not going in the room that says what if on the door. Amen. Because all of it is suppositional, conjectury, hypothetical. Amen.
Speculative. The devil's not charging my life. My life and times are in God's hands. I ain't going in that door of what if.
Amen. So we have to know that we've got to face and erase the fear. Job said, the thing I greatly feared has come upon me. He said, I was afraid and the thing I greatly feared. He said greatly feared. Now this tells me that Job had a problem with chronic fear. Amen.
He obviously wrestled with a spirit of fear. Now we have to understand and we can't be too hard on Job because unlike us, he didn't have the 66 books of the Bible. Come on now.
Come on now. And he didn't have all the faith preachers on television and he didn't have all the CDs and the books and the teachings that there's a plethora of them out there that we can avail ourselves to, to help us. Amen. Job didn't have any of that because Job is the first book written in the Bible. So we have to realize he did not have what we have.
And like I preached last week, he didn't have that healing covenant. Amen. And so we need to understand that.
So we can't be too hard on him. But the fact is, he said, what I greatly feared has come upon me. Amen. I hope you're uplifted by this message Psalm 34 facing and erasing fear. You know, I preached this in the midst of my own medical crisis of breast cancer diagnosis.
The warfare and anxiety that accompany this type of life event is great. I found out it's one thing to preach faith in the pulpit. It's another thing to walk it out when you were in the fiery trial of faith and facing fear. When I read Psalm 34, I heard a man who was in great distress, so much so he actually pretended to be insane, so Achish, the king of Gath, would give him refuge from King Saul who was hunting him down to kill him. Imagine David, the giant killer, having to flee to his worst enemies, the Philistines, and to Gath, Goliath's hometown. You talk about a low place, but in that cave of despair, beset by fear, David called upon the Lord, and God delivered him from his fears. Then he cried again, and God delivered him out of his troubles, because fear must be faced first.
And David showed us how in Psalm 34. To order Psalm 34 facing fear, send a love gift of at least $10 for the radio ministry to Sound of Faith, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203. Request SK192. You may also go online to soundoffaith.org, where you can order it on MP3s. But to order by mail, send your minimum love gift of $10 to P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203, and request offer SK192. Till next time, this is Sharon Ott saying, Maranatha.
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