November 25, 2018

Thriving in the Wilderness of Life

Pastor: Shannon Ford Scripture: Psalm 63:1–8

Thriving in the Wilderness of Life

(Psalm 63:1-8)

A “wilderness experience” is a tough time or unpleasant place in which a person endures discomfort and trials.

It can involve spiritual, financial, physical, relational or emotional drought.

The superscription informs us that David was in the wilderness of Judah.

  • Seek the Presence of God (63:1)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

  • Seek the Lord earnestly
  • As soon as David arose in the morning, he became aware of his need for God just as he needed water.
  • Seek the Lord desperately
  • When there is no hunger or thirst for the presence of God, it is an indicator that something is wrong spiritually.

→ Desire to be in God’s presence and be satisfied with Him regardless of your location.

  • See the Power of God (63:2)

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

  • Seek the Lord in the sanctuary
  • David sets his mind upon and occupies himself with the Lord’s power and glory.

→ We should be like David and say, “I want to see God’s power and glory through this wilderness experience just as though I were worshipping God in a church service.

  • Show your Praise to God (63:3-5)

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.  So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

David’s thirst for God found relief as he praised Him.

  • His lips – “My lips will praise you” (3b)
  • His tongue – “I will bless you as long as I live” (4a)
  • His hands – “I will lift up my hands” (4b)
  • His soul – “My soul will be satisfied” (5a)
  • His mouth – “My mouth will praise you” (5b)

There was no desert in his heart, though there was a desert around him. (Charles Spurgeon)

→ It is our regular worship that prepares us for the wilderness and crisis experiences of life.

  • Saturate on the Passages of God (63:6)

when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

Fretful nights are calmed by meditation and prayer.

I will remember the deeds of Lord; yes I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:11-12)

→ Turn sleepless nights into quiet times of reflection and worship.

  • Sing of the Protection of God (63:7-8)

for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

  • He guards you (wings)
  • He guides you (right hand)

→ As a result of being under God’s wings and in God’s hands, David was protected and sheltered from the enemy.

Wilderness experiences are good for you.  They teach a very important truth.  You draw satisfaction from blessings on the inside, not from circumstances on the outside. (Warren Wiersbe)

Making it Personal:

  • Where are you in the journey today? Are you facing a wilderness, in need of help? How are you seeking His presence, power, and protection?
  • How will you use Psalm 63 in the future to turn your wilderness experience into a worship experience?
  • How does your passion for God’s presence determine the priority you give Him in your life?
  • Who can I share these truths with who is living in a wilderness experience?