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Divine Note #11-04 - Our life through God’s perspective

January 30, 2011
Psalm 23:1-6 (GW)
1 A psalm by David. The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters.
3 He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name.
4 Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage.
5 You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
6 Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD'S house for days without end.

I was touched by yet another of the sermons of Dr. Charles Stanley, my spiritual “grandfather.” His preaching has helped me mature in my Christian walk. It’s no surprise that I was taken off guard when I had my first valley experience after I rededicated my life to Christ almost five years ago. I'll share my notes from his “The Valley Experiences in our life” sermon. Get his sermon notes at www.InTouch.org.

 
• Valley experiences are inevitable; we’re not always going to be on the mountaintop.
• In some cases, our Shepherd leads us where it hurts – perhaps so we can grow and learn something - v4 Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage.
• We learn the most about God in the valley, v3 He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name.

Key points:
1. The right response is to make a full surrender to God.

2. Believe that God is using your valley experience for your good. See the possibilities of your life through God’s perspective.
3. Trust God’s purpose: Rest in his wisdom, love and power, v5 You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
4. Thank God for bringing you through the valley.

My valley experiences have matured me (trust me it has been the hardest part of my Christian walk). Trusting God, taking action in the valley and deciding to do something about any issues has taken me to new levels of intimacy with the Lord.



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These are a few of my favorite Scriptures. I cannot live my life without God and his word. I keep a 3x5 wire bound note diary of verses that pop off the pages of my Bibles. This helps me in case I need to comfort someone with a specific verse. Start your own collection!


Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for the LORD, and let your heart be courag…

Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
Ouch. It hurts. I reveal this because I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul, but the sinner in me wins. It's the same struggle the A…