Sermon preached on Sunday, December 15, 2013 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Psalm 25:4-7.
Take your Bible if you will and open it to the book of Psalms 25, Psalms chapter twenty-five.
Every believer needs guidance.
We need God’s guidance with regards to His moral will and so He has given us His revealed commands and principles in His Word to guide us. And so we pray, “Teach me thy statutes/judgments” (Ps 119:12, 26, 64, 66, 68, 108, 124, 135, 171).
We need God’s guidance with regards to non-moral decisions (i.e. the practical living we face day to day) and so we pray for wisdom, “wisdom from above [that is] first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, fully of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
We need God’s guidance with regards to His sovereign will. By sovereign we mean that He has control over all events. God is God and I am not and will act according to His sovereign will not mine.
Rightly does our Lord declare in Isaiah 55:8 -
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
From our human, earthly perspective, we can never see more than the “fringes of His ways” (Job 26:14). We cannot analyze in what manner the Lord decrees and establishes His counsel and purpose. But that’s ok for that is where trust/faith comes in and so we pray that we may “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9).
In other words, it is a prayer to be controlled (i.e. filled) with the knowledge of His revealed will in my life rather than being controlled by what I do not know. Stick with the truth that God has revealed rather than fret about what you do not understand or know.
That is why God calls us to dwell on “whatever is true” (Phil 4:8) not on whatever could be or is not true.
Not only do we need guidance with regards to His moral will, with regards to practical everyday living, and with the larger scope of things in God’s sovereign will, but we most definitely need guidance in unique cases, circumstances, and times in our lives.
Do we not? They are perhaps the most memorable for they show us God’s faithfulness and lovingkindness.
It was at such a time as this that David wrote this psalm.
He was being attacked by enemies (vv. 2-3, 19); he was lonely and afflicted (v. 16); he was in some kind of trial trusting in God to “pluck [his] feet out of the net” (v. 15); he was discouraged of heart believing his troubles to be “enlarged” in his heart (v. 17).
And so with pen and paper in hand, the lowly king asks for divine guidance to lead him in the midst of opposing darkness.
In an hour of desperation, David prays, pleas, and praises God and draws us into this hour that we too might be restored according to the Lord’s perfect will and trust Him fully to the very end.
Please stand as I read this soul sanctifying psalm. Read Psalm 25.
David provides in this psalm prayers rendered up to the Lord that include both praise and petitions as we seek to trust God all the more.
A Prayer of Confidence (vv. 1-3)
A Plea for Guidance (vv. 4-7)
A Praise for Faithfulness (vv. 8-15)
A Plea for Help (vv. 16-22)
Just to briefly remind you, this psalm begins with…
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! (ESV)
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