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December 27, 2021 7:00 am
The question is how can we sleep peacefully. When we have enemies that are attacking us want to help you go to sleep tonight as the year winds down with what attitude do you look ahead you faxed by problems dreading what's to come will. That's not the way Christians are to think that on this edition of the truth.
Pulpit pastor Don Greene offers you ways to sleep is fully in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Hello I bill right and were beginning the series as the calendar turns with part one of a message titled, now I lay me down to sleep and Don fear really should not be part of a believer's life will bill it it shouldn't be. That's true. But my friend, you know all too well that sometimes it is and it brings us back to basic Scripture Proverbs 35 trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
You know we can do that based on what Scripture teaches us we can work out these things in our mind and grow in our trust in Christ. It starts today here on the truthful. Thanks Don and Fred have your Bible open the Psalm for as we join our teacher now in the truthful. How can we sleep quietly and confidently in times life, agitation, first of all I want to just show you out of verse one what David does. The first thing we can say is that you appeal to God with confidence. This is very very profound and this does so much to take our prayer lives beyond a desperate cry into the dark to a confident appeal to God, knowing that he will hear and that he will listen in a way that puts our mind at rest. I am very very eager for us over time to develop this kind of spiritual trade in our lives is as a church body as fellow believers in the walk of life together to understand that as we pray, we want to do more than just make requests.
We want to learn how to address God and interact with him in a way that is worthy of his honor in any way that that drives us to and carries us to spiritual confidence. It's not that we work up the confidence and then we come to God, we develop that confidence even as we are praying we appeal to God with confidence. David said in peace I will both lie down and sleep for you alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety. What we want to do is understand how David got to that place of confidence how he moved from his difficulties into that place of assurance in the person of God. We see first of all, in verse one. His his appeal to God with confidence what is the source of his confidence in prayer. Look at verse one with me.
David opens up and he says answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have relieved me in my distress be gracious to me and hear my prayer, he opens up and he invokes the name of God. Right from the beginning, but he's doing so with a pattern he's doing so with a particular approach to God that we need to observe very closely. Notice how he addresses him as he asked God to hear him to answer him. Notice how he appeals to God.
He says answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness first thing that you want to see in the midst of that appeal is that he is addressing God with confidence and he says God you are the one who knows the sincerity of my heart. I am surrounded by people who oppose me. I am surrounded by people that are lying about me and trying to undermine me, but God I can set all of that aside, and I can appeal to you unfiltered by their opposition, I can appeal to you and know that you will hear me because you are the God of my righteousness. What does he mean by that. First of all, he saying that Lord you know the truthfulness with which I come to you. I can't explain it to others.
I don't have to explain it to you. You already know, I am trusting in you to know the righteousness and sincerity of my heart. As he says God of my righteousness he saying you're the source of all righteousness in me and so here's what he's doing.
Beloved. Here's what I want you to see right from the very start. There is so much packed into these verses of Scripture which testified to us that they are truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. You couldn't get this much genius and content from the mere mind of man, what's David doing here in verse one. He is appealing to the promise of God to be faithful to his children. He's appealing also to the omniscience of God. God, you know the whole situation. As I come to you. You know the purity of my heart and soul. God of my righteousness the God who is promised to be with me. You are the God that I appeal to. He frames his right-thinking in his right speaking about God from the very very start. In this song.
In essence he saying God you already know the need before I speak to you now hear me favorably.
God, in light of who you are and the promises that you have made to me. I appeal to who you are to your character to your knowledge to your promise. I appeal to everything good about you and all of your good intentions toward me and I ask you to incline your ear, and hear me favorably when I pray now so from the very beginning. He is framed his view, his understanding the sense with which he appeals to God reminds me of the way Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew chapter 6, he said pray then in this way, our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. When we pray to God. We don't pray out of a desperate sense of panic and urgency because of the trials were facing, we stop and step back and say no when I go to prayer. I am addressing the God of the universe who deals with me as a loving heavenly father and we have to cultivate that kind of intimate knowledge of God. If we are going to actually succeed in our quest for spiritual growth. We do not view God through the prism of our problems and speak to him through the filter of the difficulties were facing. We remove that filter and we address him for who he is and what he has made himself known to be to us. He is our heavenly father. He loves us.
He cares for us. He is strong and mighty.
He is so committed to our spiritual welfare that he sent the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue us from our own sin, beloved every time you pray. That should be somewhere near the front of your brain near the very surface of your consciousness that when I come to God I am coming to one who is favorable to me who is promised good to me and one whom I can trust with the deepest sorrows the deepest problems. The saddest weaknesses of my heart because this God is favorably inclined to me you know God. That way, do you trust him like that.
If you still view God as some distant remote deity as a Christian, I've got good news for you. God is not a remote deity to his children. He is a loving, gracious father who knows the numbers of hairs on our head and welcomes us when we pray, says that he will respond that he knows what we need before we ask him and he bids us to come into his presence. And so we come not trembling in fear as true believers in Christ, we come as those who are confident of a good reception from the hand of our loving, gracious God is what David starts with and that's where the. The roots of your spiritual growth can go deep.
That's a world that you can plunge into to realize that your God is a God to you like that every one of us that knows Christ can speak to God in exactly this manner of confidence which with which David prays that's good stuff from God's word. We have a loving father. Now watch this. As we continue on in verse one. I think one of the things that this teaches us is it calls us to a much greater degree of deliberate intent in prayer.
It forces us to think and to deal with God for who he is. Look at verse one with me again answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness and what's this you have relieved me in my distress be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
What's he saying there when he says you have relieved me in my distress.
Think about it this way, David is reminding God and as much reminding himself that God has a proven track record with him. David is alluding to the fact that God in times past you have relieved me of prior distresses, which no longer troubled me.
I have called out to you in times past, and you blessed me and you delivered me when I was feeling squeezed by my adverse circumstances you gave room to my heart.
You alleviated those sorrows you resolve the problem on my behalf and I walked again in freshness and newness of spiritual life. You've done that for me in the past. Now what he's doing here in Psalm four is watch this he is appealing to those past answers to prayer those past times were God has given him relief and said God just like you have blessed me in the past.
Now I'm asking you to do something similar again. God, you've done this before and so my confidence is strengthened all the more to ask you again.
You helped me in the past. Surely you will help me now as well. My circumstances are different, but you're not. You're the immutable, unchanging God, you saved me and delivered me out of distress in the past you will do it again and so I pray with confidence.
Now I'm going to meddle with you going to get into your kitchen. If you've been a Christian for any length of time at all. A few months a few years those of you many years.
Listen to what Scripture is saying here.
One of the challenges that you have been one of the ways that you need to grow spiritually when you are under times of stress and opposition in your life you need to remember this particular truth in times past in your spiritual life without doubt, without question, you have seen God help you in the past. Now your responsibility in the present distress, which in which you find yourself going is to remember that a not to be sucked into the vortex of what's troubling you right now and forget all of the prior context of your spiritual life you have to step back and not simply rush into God's presence and asked for help, but to remember your own spiritual history. Didn't God help you in that 1 Particular Way back when you were at first a believer, don't you remember as you were starting to enter into your relationship with your current spouse of difficulties that you had, but the Lord helped you through them. There were times when you are suffering financially in the provision ultimately came multiply that by any number of other examples that we could come up with what you're supposed to do is remember that and not go to God.
Now in the midst of your present distress, as if he has never helped you before know how we step back and we remember and we recited cicada II remember when I was when I was down to my last few pennies as a college student in how you helped me God.
I remember how you brought help in the midst of that profound sorrow that men and other human counselors could not help me with.
I remember how you helped me then. Lord I remember how I cried out to you in distress and said, Lord, I can't take another minute here and you intervened and you provided something that I could not have anticipated and you you brought me out of all of those distresses stop and remember those things and you recite them to God with the spirit of gratitude in the spirit of trust says Lord, I haven't forgotten and so when I pray to you now and ask you to answer me in this present difficulty. God, I'm praying with confidence not with a sense that there is any doubt that you're going to help me, you have too long of a track record, I must honor you with full confidence in my heart. In light of your character. In light of your track record. Lord it couldn't come out any other way except that you will help me again as well and so Lord with that context of trust in memory and your character in mind, I ask you now to answer me when I call, be gracious to me when I hear not asking God to do something that he otherwise wouldn't do your asking him to act according to his established character and his established track record in your own life.
So you take time to recite his character, God or the God who defends and upholds your children, you take time to remember God's past help guide you helped me there there there there there there. I have to tell you the privilege of preparing this message was that it forced me to go through that process.
In my own life and look back and it was so enriching. It was so encouraging. I can't even remember what I was troubled about when I started the song to be honest with you because I was just overwhelmed with all of the decisive ways that God had acted and brought me out of my own hardship. How can I do anything else but trust him now, here's a question for you.
How could you, how could you betray your own spiritual experience by doubting God's provision now and what you don't see is going to work out today. How could you betray all of his character and all of that past blessing that he's poured out on you by saying God. I'm not sure about this one.
In all, because the guy who's challenging me at work is really powerful. The trouble that I've got here today is bigger than anything I've ever seen before.
You can't think that way you can't let yourself think that way. You have to stir yourself up to faithfulness in the way we do that is by calling to mind the character of God in the past, ways of these helped us what this does for you, beloved.
What this inevitably does for us is rather than making prayer, the irksome duty that sometimes we think that it is or the cry of panic. The cry into the dark. It makes prayer something really sweet and precious when you remember how intimately God has helped you in the past. You can't help but have your affections warmed to the God is been so good to you and is still with you today. Right. And so when the difficulty comes don't pray like this is the first crisis you've ever faced as a believer.
Her worst bike it's a first crisis. The gods ever had to deal with.
It's not it's not God, pardon the crass metaphor here, God has made his living throughout all of eternity doing the impossible. Let's remember that and pray to him as those who know that and trust him. Beloved this great God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hung on a cross for our redemption. He deserves our trust and confidence. Even if we are suffering severely at the moment our circumstances don't contradict what he has already done our circumstances don't change who he is and so we have to disengage our emotions from our circumstances.
Unplugged that appliance and plug it in instead to the goodness and faithfulness of God, and I realized it takes effort have to try to do this. It doesn't just happen you have to rouse up you have to stir up your soul to move in that direction. That is the exercise of your faith and our God is worthy of that now. So David has stirred himself up to faith in verse one and he's appealed to God with confidence what's going on in the verses that follow. In verses two through five will that brings us to our second point and what you see here in verses two through five is is that you assess your enemies with clarity you appeal to God with confidence. Now in verse two. David is assessing his opposition with a clarity of thought. Having addressed God in verse one. Now he's going to address his enemies. Beginning in verse to look at it with me.
Verse two there. He's notice how the who is addressing changes he says oh sons of men.
He's prayed vertically in verse one, now is speaking horizontally in verse two and is addressing those who are making life miserable for him.
In verse two, he says, oh sons of men.
How long will my honor become a reproach. How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception.
This phrase sons of men indicates people of nobility. They are men of influence that are opposing David at this point in his life.
Somehow, in some way that isn't made expressly clear in the context of the song they despised David's throne. They were opposed to him.
They were trying to undermine him and they had betrayed him for a worthless cause and what David is doing here as he addresses them.
How long will my honor become a reproach. In other words, how long are you going to oppose God's anointed king. How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception he is confronting them spiritually and he is addressing them directly and confronting their sin.
He is appealing to them to stop and think.
He says, in effect, to them he says you despise me even though I'm God's anointed king. How do you think that that could ever possibly come out good for you.
If God has installed me on the throne.
What can your opposition to me be anything other than opposition to God himself, your heart is filled with deception.
He says to those people either actually addressing them or addressing them. Hypothetically, in his mind, will, it's not entirely clear, but certainly when the song was published. These enemies would have found the word addressed to them in notice at the end of verse two there is are our little word against the law stop and think about it, park it here and contemplate what I am saying to you.
You are being ungodly. How long are you going to persist in that foolish path of conduct.
What's that say for us today were not God's anointed king that were his chosen people were in a position of chosen privileges before a holy God. What this verse is teaching us to do there so much spiritual effort so much spiritual thinking that goes into being able to put your head on your pillow at night and sleep in peace.
It's not just thinking about the character of God and his faithfulness to us. That's part of it. But when you're under the assault of wicked people misrepresenting you in your employment family who is treating you wickedly on account of the of your faith in Christ mocking you making life miserable for you and you know that is for spiritual purposes for which they do that again. Beloved, you have to step back and you have to think biblically you have to process this situation in light of truth and you have to take a longer-term perspective than just the immediate events of today are the things that have no Brewster sensibilities or threatens your confidence about what the future holds. You have to think like this. You have to think like this in light of that, you have to think like what I am about to say their sinful dealings with you carry the seed of its own destruction. The way that they are dealing with you is a guarantee of their own lousy outcome of the fact that their way with you cannot prosper in the in will pause right there for today but pastor Don Greene will have part two of his message. Now I lay me down to sleep. Next time on the truth pulpit as we continue our current series as the calendar turns.
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