|English: Christ Church Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Psalm 27 (New International Version)
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, [a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
King Solomon desired wisdom and asked for wisdom, that was Gods wisdom above all else, Solomon still made mistakes, Solomon was still a man in flesh and blood,
Solomon still fell and stumbled as any person, but God gave him the wisdom he sought, not a worldly wisdom but a Godly wisdom
And as well as this God blesses solomon and gave him far more, he sought after God and God gave him wisdom , this wisdom that Solomon sought was an anointing , an ability, because when God calls you into something God will also give you the ability to do it !!
You may not be aware of any abilities, you may never have had this ability before
You may never have walked in this area of ministry before
But if God has appointed you in the place you are in, He will also give you an ability to do the works that He has prepared in advance for you to do
You see we can spend our whole lifes searching in the wrong places, we can spend our whole lifes reaching out for the wrong things, we can spend our entire lifes doing good things and helping and being what we perceive as Good.
But it can be all futile , foolishly chasing the wind, it can account for nothing
For even our good deeds are as filthy rags to God
We can never earn our salvation, as if we could run up to the City Gates and to the elders of one of the cities of refuge and say " I have done this and this "
In the end is about seeking a relationship with God and seeking His heart.
The greatest gift is love and the greatest gift is God who is love and we seek Him above all gifts and all things and we seek first the Kingdom of God, where God is King of the City and everything else will be added to us
Matthew 6:33 (King James Version)
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you
The wisdom Solomon sought while he was talking to God and in relationship with God and seeking after God was an ability to do that which God had called him to do
Solomon was seeking Gods heart at that time and found himself in a place where he was King after his father David and he probably felt very unable and vunerable
He may have felt " I CAN'T DO THIS "
You may find yourself in a very lonely and solitary,secluded place,
A place where after that all you can do is to seek God !!
You may not be able to turn to this person and that person for help because .....They are looking to you...
Solomon I imagine felt quite inadequate and unable in the position that he had been placed in this Kingdom
I wonder who Solomon went too when he wanted someone to talk to ?
Solomons heart was saying " I need help here, I can't rule these people, I can't decide between right and wrong and settle disputes, how will I do it ? "
The wisdom solomon was seeking was a heart of God in matters of judgement
As God had placed him in this position so Solomon sought to have the ability even though it was already given him, God gave him more than and in abundance
Basically this widom that Solomon sought was Gods heart, Solomon was after Gods heart at this time, the wisdom that was given was not a wisdom of the world
Indeed the wisdom Solomon was given was a wisdom of God that is foolishness to the world and its values
You see all too often we see things as the world does even in Christian circles
We might judge by worldy values and see things in the worldly perspective
But God is far more intersted in us and what is going on inside of us
He is interested in building our character to be more like Him rather than the turmoil that is going on around us
He is more interested in how we react to people and troubles we go through far more than He is about the troubles
He is in command of the storms, but is He in command of the heart ?
He may say " Peace be still " but are we in His rest ?
If we are at rest in the storm of life, then I wonder if we notice when the storm abates ?
You see Gods wisdom took this people through a desert wilderness where no one had ever entered before, it brought the chosen people of God into danger facing enemies and foes far greater
How mad to send humans into a desert without enough supplies and water ?
This is God wisdom, not looking at the things around and the circumstance but looking into the peoples hearts as they journeyed on through the desert
The wisdom of God is a foolish thing to the mind of an unbeliever
And so Solomon sought at this point after Gods heart in the matter
But of course others sought after Solomon and elevated him above God
1 Kings 10:24
All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.
Be aware and careful
The Wisdom that Solomon sought was to decide on matters concerning the people under his Kingship and God had placed Solomon under His authority
Did Solomon always walk after Gods heart ? no
And so we turn to King David who sought more than anything to worship and dwell in Gods prescence, seeking after Gods own heart in matters
David loved Gods prescence in his life, He loved to worship God, above all else .
David sought after God even in the storms and troubles and in the good times
So that although the storm raged Davids heart was at peace, but not always was it ?
As I sought what to bring for this " Cross references" and nurture group message,
I had a picture of a man running a race and holding his arms up in triumph and shouting as he ran and around him was a crowd of onlookers, but the dominant thing was this man holding his arms up in excitement and shouting as he had finished the race
And so I have placed focus on the man and the race for this message...
And we are looking to Psalm 27 and 28 in our studies and we are have looked at how David entered the City of God and He danced before the Ark and before the Lord
And we notice that although we are saved we are being saved and will be saved
We notice that although we are still in our earthly bodies we are also seated in heavenly places
Although we are running the race, we have run the race...think about that
Although we are running to the City and seeking God above all else, we are aleardy in the City
Now lets go to basics, This message seems to be about " SEEKING GOD, ABOVE ALL ELSE"
We have noted that David and Solomon sought after Gods heart in matters
It never seems to be any good saying " God you do this and THEN I,ll do that "
" God you give me the monery to do that thing and THEN I,ll go "
" LORD , You give me the anointing FIRST, AND then "
"Lord , you give me the ability first and then"
More often it begins with seeking God and a relationship and after time and after time again, in Gods time when He knows you are ready and when all things are in place at His exact timing , He will lead you and you will be called to do a work
Although we are all in works, even what seems the simplest of tasks is training us for future things,
What may happen more often than not is that God will call us and THEN as we begin to do that task that may seem impossible, that maybe we have never done before,
that maybe we never though we would or could do ...as we begin to act on and move in Gods calling, THEN God gives us the ability
And so you see Solomon simply was listening to Gods heart at this time and responding, He was praying and asking and talking to God about something that God was already about to give or had already given
Solomon was praying in Gods will...
I hear stories of people being raised from the dead, I went recently to a bible week in the UK Called Detling where someone spoke about amazing things he had seen , and he was asked to shake the hands of a group of people
When he asked " who are these people "
He was told that they had been dead..in fact one had been dead for weeks but raised back to life
But you see the pastor had acted on what God had told him and God had brought revival to that area and around because of the miraculous things that had happened and these people are walking around now as living testimonies of what God can do
A fleece can be layed before God , so that you can ask God for conformation on something, we see that Gideon did this in Gods word
Be careful of this, do not do it unless you hear God tell you, remember this is about communication, you are responding to God in your heart as He talks to you
In Gods Kingdom you reach out first, you may look stupid..." ooo what if something goes wrong ? what if God does'nt answer ? what if ..what if ? "
In Gods Kingdom you do and God gives the ability, but you do..when Gods tells you
This is why it is only in relationship with God can we move
And so lets go to " Cross references "
Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Version)
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles , and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
1 Corinthians 9:24 (New International Version)
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
2 Timothy 2:5
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the
victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
So we run on the narrow road leading to the City as sinners who are
saints saved by grace, although we are in the City and saved
We run towards the Holy City as saved, believing in Faith, and we follow the road signs that lead us to that City, and we know that we are found " NOT GUILTY " and we know that we will enter that City although we are already in it
And we go on by Faith knowing that when we reach the City Gates our judge who paid the price for our sins outside of the city will lead us in and welcome us, although we are already welcomed
The Alpha and Omego , at the beginning of time and at the ending of time , but going on before time and after time, the one who is and was and is to come , the past present and future King, He is in us
Deuteronomy 4:29 (New International Version)
29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Matthew 7:7 (New International Version)
Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because
anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Isaiah 55:6 (New International Version)
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found call on him while he is near.
Luke 19:10 (New International Version)
10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Are you seeking after Gods will for your life ?
Has God shown you His will ?
If not then the time will come and you are being prepared
Seek His heart above all else
Do not give up but run the race and seek Him above all
Psalm 27:6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
Do not be anxious about tomorrow but place these things in His hands, becasue He is more than able and will give you the ability to do that which He has prepared in advance for you to do
Fix your eyes on the Author and perfector of faith and put aside anything that hinders.
God works with you not against you, God works with us not against us, all things work together as we seek Him and are fitting into His plans
I say " I CAN'T DOO THISSSSS " God says " No I CANNNNNNNNNNNNN"
We talk to Father God and in the foolishness of faith we see and believe,
And we are reminded of Hebrews 11
And we move in the wisdom of God and in His ways which is foolishness to the world
And by this wisdom and faith Noah built an Ark having heard from God and acting on what he had heard even though it seemed madness to onlookers and even unbelievable to readers who read the story of Noah ,
How much faith and foolishness to do such a thing and be a laughing stock to those around ? and even some Today still mock in disbelief at this story of a man and an ark !!
You see He can do more than we can ever imagine because He is God and He can do ANYTHING
Our imaginations can never even dream up what God is able to do in us and with us and for us and around us
In this wisdom and foolishness of God and faith Sarah bore a child and Abraham believed,without medical assistance, without hospitals and nurses, Sarah bore a child...
By faith ..by faith..God does amazing things, and we can merely stand in awe
Now lets recap and take a step at a time
We believe that Jesus Christ Is the Son Of God, He was born a virgin birth conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe that He died for our sins,
We believe that He rose again and is alive at the Fathers right hand of power and He is our strong tower.
Our tower of strength in times of trouble and in times
of plenty. We also believe that we will be with Him and that this life is a training ground for future things
We beleive He lives in Us and we believe that the Bible and the books contained are the very living words of the living God and that Jesus can live, reign ,have Kingship in our lifes and move and walk amongst us
In this we talk to God the Father In Jesus name believing in Faith that He hears us and that He responds to our hearts , we walk in relationship with the Living God and in so doing we talk,listen,and act upon His word spoken to us through His word.
But also through people, His Holy Spirit voice and which ever way God chooses to speak to us, always confirming that which He has spoken in various ways
In this relationship with God we walk day by day in faith one step at a time, and after a while and a while longer we begin to mature as Christ grows inside of us and the Father makes us more and more like the Bride He wants for His Son
This metaphor can be difficult for some Men to grasp and to take hold of, seeing themselves as a Bride is not easy and can be difficult to comprehend. But nevertheless they are also as a Body ,the Church, part of The Bride .
And so we mature and this is where we come back to Solomon and David who were walking and talking to God and interacting with The Father, of course Jesus had not yet come to earth to die on the Cross.
But Jesus was there nonetheless, as was
the Holy Spriit and God the Father, one but three, and three but one
And we see David prophesying of Christ, speaking of Christ who was to come, but also who was and is and is to come, the Holy Spirit speaks through David,
You could say Jesus was speaking to David about the future time when He would be led like a Lamb to the slaughter
But you know this is not all about relationship alone, test the fruits, watch the person, see the heart, watch for the spirit behind the person,see the affects that person has on others, don't forget satan has a relationship with God and Jesus and has known them for longer than we have.
And so in this reltaionship we hear God speak and God confirms it to us and we act upon what He says, God places us where we are and then gives us the ability, the anointing...
And so it goes and continues on, we must keep going back to the beginning, it always starts at the beginning where we hear God, He initiates, He speaks, we respond, We act and back again
We need constant filling, refreshment, the Holy Spirit will not force His way in, The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, He is a person of power and of love, His attributes are those of the Trinity, He will come when asked, But He will always be there.
He will always be speaking to you, to us, to me, we may not always listen, but He is always calling to us
David loved to worship at the Temple, He loved the prescence of God, he cries out, " take not your Holy Spirit from me "
You see again as Solomon was about to be given the ability with the position, and He simply prays for the thing God is about to give, thus praying in Gods will solomon hears God and speaks out Gods own heart back to God !!
The same with David as he cries out " TAKE NOT YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME "
You see David heard Gods heart, David had murdered, committed adultery,lusted and broken every commanded ( as have we all )
David seeks the ongoing salvation of God, He wants to be saved from the situation, he seeks reconciliation with God, He hears God and says " TAKE NOT YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME "
You see God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit...they are Holy, God cannot look upon sin, He hates sin, David had slept with Bathsheba and watched as her husband was led to his death.
And David seeks " Refuge " He seeks the City , He seeks those walls of protection
He hears Gods heart and responds, David is convicted by the Holy Spirit
And after David is restored, forgiven, the price was payed, the verdict...
" NOT GUILTY " YOU MAY CONTINUE IN THE CITY OF REFUGE...
In both cases both Solomon and David talked back to God responding to His voice
Lets talk to Father God now and in faith and believing that He hears us, seek Him above all else that we might see the miraculous in our lifes and that things would happen that we could never in our wildest dreams have made up
Lets talk to Father God now in relationship with Him and seek Him above all else, that we would be that person leaping and jumping and raising our arms as we race on.
Lets believe in the foolishenss of God and be fools for Christ
1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ,
Lets put aside all the things that hold us down and run the race, and dance for joy into that City and seek Him above all else
Lord God father in Jesus name of all the things we desire we desire you above all and we come to you now ..today..and we put aside earthly things and we put aside storm and we put aside the anxiety and we put aside the troubles and we seek you who stands at the top of the mountain of problems and we seek you who is above
all else and who reigns above all
We ask for a desire to seek your heart more and more , we desire to seek your face and your will and we walk in relationship with you, putting all else aside
You LORD are our light and salvation, you are the city on the hill and we shall not fear, for you are our stronghold and City,
One thing we ask of you LORD,is that we seek you above all else that we may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of our lifes, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and seek him in his temple.
For in the days of trouble...you will keep us safe in your dwelling;
you will hide us in the shelter of your tabernacle and set us high upon a rock.
Then our heads will be exalted above the enemies who surround us,
and at his tabernacle will we sacrifice with shouts of joy,
and sing and make music to the LORD in our hearts
Lord fill me now with your prescence and give me a seeking heart, give me a hearing heart and a willing heart, let me know your Holy Spirit power and love in my life as I ask you each day to fill me anew,
And most of all remind me to keep going back to the start and to find my first love by hearing and talking and walking in faith
In Jesus name amen