of a sermon on Psalm 142: 6-7, Sunday Unfinished

Aiming your life at His glory puts you in the path of the Holy Spirit. As our life collides with his purpose, the by-product is heaven, the greatest happiness. Like breathing out before you pull the trigger, the lonely cave is a decisive moment.

Listen to my cry,    for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me,   for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

The cave is an intensely focused concentration that obliterates all but the relevant realities. We worship when we momentarily we forget everything else around us.

Here David breathes out his desperate need. God knows our need and allowed it to be a need. Sometimes the need is there in our life for this very purpose.

I remember being young once, by which I mean inexperienced enough to be very unwise. Sometimes in those days, one dreams the American dream. “I can do anything,” I thought. Even in the face of obviously contradictory evidence, I would think, “I can bear any pain.” Then I sat with dear friends dyeing slowly from cancer. I used to say to folks, “I thought I was Jesus and could save everyone.” Then after 14 years of 70 hour workweeks and much sacrifice, the church would not even follow me out of a corrupt denomination. A number of individuividuals came to Christ and still walk with him now. That was the gracious work of God the Holy Spirit in spite of me. The church did ultimately leave for a more biblical denomination but obviously not following me. They followed my Lord for the enemy of me is to strong.

I would strive to discipline myself into a more holy life and continue with the sins that so easily beset me.

By God’s grace, I came to understand with David, “they are too strong for me.” This is where every believe comes or else on the other side of the tight rope of holiness we simply fall off into a definition of holiness as the Galatians were prone to do. Paul’s divine answer was and is that we are saved and sanctified by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps the most important conclusion of these verses is the target at which David took aim. He sought freedom but not freedom that he might be free to indulge his nature or will. He sought freedom to Praise God’s name and gather with those who are right with God in Christ Jesus. He instinctively knew that raising up Jesus would draw godly men together.

Finally, David reasoned with God. His logic is that if they see God’s goodness in Him men will gather to praise God. David had been a man to whom others gathered to praise. His great skill as a general and solider drew others. However his aim now in the narrowness of the cave is cleared. His aim is “Father in Heaven Hallowed be Your Name.”

A Mighty Cave Is Our God; Private prayer times turn our lonely cave into a mighty fortress.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,

our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side,

the Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.