By Lisa Young
Welcome, Ladies, to the third installment of Flavour Sisterhood iPsalms… yeah! I want to do a special shout out to all of our different locations. I think it’s so cool that we can gather together as women united across many different places. And we have… I’m going to try not to leave anybody out. We have Fort Worth, we have Plano, Downtown Dallas, Grapevine, Southlake-Keller, Miami, South Carolina, did I leave anybody else out? Park Cities, who probably is at Downtown because we can’t meet at the theater during the week, so anyway, that works out well. And anybody else? Maybe future in London, how about that? Woohoo!
So, we’re on our third installment of iPsalms and we’re going to be looking today at Psalm 33. Psalm 33 and Psalm 32 kind of go together. The author is David. And Psalm 32 is a precursor to Psalm 33. Psalm 32, David is thanking God for forgiveness and for the fact that his sins are no longer registered. Those sins that he has confessed. And then he goes into a praise at the end of Psalm 32 and its ushered right into Psalm 33.
Now, remember the psalms, for the most part, are songs or poetry written out of an emotional space in our heart. The writers would experience something and then they would write about it. So, as we look today at Psalm 33, we’re going to see another “p” word. Remember, Psalm 100 was about praise, Psalm 1 was about purpose, Psalm 33 is about power. Say power with me. POWER. Okay, so this is what I want to give you. I want to tell you how this progression works out. And it’s so funny it’s like I am normally not like a person who comes up with a letter and then we’re just going to roll with it. Sometimes it’s easy to just remember if you have like all s’s or all p’s or like whatever. So, iPsalms, we’ve got some p’s working here together.
Okay, so the progression is this: When I have proper praise, Psalm 100, I’m poised to discover my purpose, Psalm 1, but in order to live out my purpose, I have to have the power that only God can give. You see the progression from Psalm 100 to Psalm 1 to now Psalm 33. Only God can orchestrate that. Because when I chose the four psalms we’re looking at in this series, I did not see that. But God gave us this progression. Yes! We praise God for who He is and thank Him for the purpose He’s given us. But for us to live out this purpose, we cannot do it on our own.
So, Psalm 33 tells us, and it’s a follow-up to Psalm 1, but it tells us the genius of God and tapping into His power. That’s the million dollar question for all of us. How do we tap into the power that God has promised to give His children? Did you hear that? He’s promised to give His children. But to live each and every day on purpose, we’ve got to have that type of power.
So, as we begin, we’re going to talk about the p-p-p-power… ohhh that was good! The p-p-p-power, they are three things. We are going to first read Psalm 33, then we’re going to dive into those three things.
Sing joyfully to the Lord… oh by the way, this is a long one. This is 22 verses, versus the other two like five or six, so just get ready. Okay, Psalm 33:
Sing joyfully to the Lord you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. That’s a tortoise shell-type musical instrument. I did not know that. Just by chance, I looked it up.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy. Remember our shout? That’s Psalm 100. Now, we shift to verse four.
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. Now, verses four and five, and following in verse 6,
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, We see a focus on the Word of God. Do you remember from Psalm 1? If we meditate and delight in the law of the Lord, we’ll be a tree firmly planted, understanding our purpose being fruitful. But it’s about meditating on the Word. It’s the value and importance of the Word. So, in verses 1 to 3, we see the praise of Psalm 100. And in verses 4 and 5, we see the importance of the Word of God, and meditating on it as we saw in Psalm 1. But yet, we’re in Psalm 33. Now look at the transition. It goes to verse 6.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a]; Now, picture this. It is when God created the earth, and He formed the land masses and separated them, it was as if putting water into jars. Wow! Can you imagine the oceans as a water filtering into jars?
he puts the deep into storehouses. Now, this is referring to creation. And when I look at God’s Word, I trust that God created the earth. I don’t understand all the implications, I don’t know how it happened, but based on His Word, from Genesis to Revelation, I know that there was a divine design. Now, many of us come from different backgrounds across all of our campuses, with different educational backgrounds and scientific experiences. But I’m here to tell you that you have got to have more faith to think that this just happened than to believe in an intelligent design. Now, we’re not going to go down that path and chase that rabbit, but I’m telling you if you want to dig deeper, I would recommend a book. It’s by Lee Strobel, it’s called The Case for the Creator. Okay? So, you can dive in and listen. Don’t be someone who just supports one theory or another, based on your own personal exposure to what people say. Dig deep and see what the authorities say. God’s Word, see what, you know, different scientists have said, and you can see how important it is to understand when God says this is Who I Am, that is Who He is. He’s the Creator of the earth. He made and designed intelligently this planet that we live on. I believe that. No question. Do I understand all the ramifications and how it all unfolded? No. Because I basically have a pea brain. I have a little, I don’t understand it. You can’t either. Even if you’re a molecular biophysicist, doctor of all doctors. You still are limited in comparison to our great God. Okay? Keep reading…
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him. Verse 9…
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations. Verse 12…
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
Wow. This verse jumped off the page and slapped me. Because if you watch the news, if you’ve read anything, if you’ve gone to the grocery store and just observed the behavior of people, in your child’s school, wherever, you just see that there is evidence that the Lord God is not leading over this nation. And we have got to pray that our leaders will seek the Lord. Continuing on in verse 13…
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
Verse 16. Now, this is where we’re going to focus on. For verses 16 to verse 22.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine. Verse 20.
20 We wait in hope say “hope,” HOPE for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust say “trust,” TRUST in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, oh Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
It’s all about power. It’s all about power. Psalm 33:16 says this:
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
I cannot live on purpose on my own. But there’s this struggle within me that I try. I think I’m capable. So the first “p” in understanding our p-p-p-power is the posture of my heart.
We’ve talked a lot over the past few weeks in the series, “Interview with the Devil,” about who sits on the throne of your life. And we were told and understand that all of us have throne issues and at some point we have to decide. Who’s going to posture themselves on the throne? Are we going to allow God to sit on the throne? To be postured on the throne? Or are we going to fight it and go and sit where we do not fit?
So, the first thing to discovering the power, the p-p-p-power is to have the right posture of my heart. God has got to be God. I am not. And this has been a struggle from the beginning of time. You struggle with it, I struggle with it, every location, you all struggle with it. We are human beings. It’s been a struggle since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve. What was the temptation? If you take this fruit, you can be like God. And Adam and Eve had a choice to make. They had a choice and they chose try to usurp the authority of God, to rule over themselves, I know better than God. Of course, I know better than God! How could He understand me? Oh gee whiz. He only created the whole world. Should He not be able to figure me out? I’m thinking. And yet, you know, we look back at Adam and Eve and go, well how stupid were they? It’s like watching a movie and you know what’s getting ready to come and you think, “Oh my, gosh! Don’t open the door! There’s a mass murderer behind there! And you see it, but, you know what? It’s easy when you’re looking from the outside in. But before we throw rocks at Adam and Eve, come on now. I struggle with the same thing. I’ve tried to usurp the power and the position of God in my life because I think I know better. Well, how did it work out for Adam and Eve? Gee whiz. That perfect palatial garden in which they lived and dwelled. No more. Chaos. Sin entered into the picture. So, for us to understand how to tap into the power that God has for us to live out our purpose, we’ve got to have to position, that posture of my heart. I’ve got to have that posture, knowing that God sits on the throne, not me. I defer to Him on the throne.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Basically that means added to you. They will be put in proper order if I seek first the kingdom of God. So often is God an “if-then” God. If you seek me first, then these things will be placed in order.
The second “p” in our p-p-p-power search is the pursuit of my mind. The pursuit of my mind. What do I seek after? What do I go after strong? That’s basically what pursuit means. And with this pursuit, I must never, ever, ever, ever, ever, did I say ever? Never, ever, ever, ever, ever forsake the reality of who God is, remember Psalm 1? Who God is, well actually, Psalm 100. God is a God from the generations from the beginning to the end. He is faithful. And then, I should never forget who God is or what His Word says about my life and my purpose. That’s Psalm 1. Okay? So, as I remember this, I pursue that with my mind. I want to think on the things of God. I want my mind to be consumed with who God is and with what His Word says. Like we saw in Psalm 1, meditating and delighting on His Word. Letting it funnel through us. It’s not just this ommmmm and anything from anywhere is coming in. No. There is an intentional pursuit of God’s Word from the external into the internal to be lived out again on the external. That’s how we process the perfect will and Word of God in our lives.
And then the last one. This is where we’re going to camp out a little bit. The position… okay, let’s back up. Let’s go over these again. First of all, we have the posture of our heart, we have the pursuit of our mind, and now, we have the position of the Holy Spirit. Oooo… sometimes when we hear the Holy Spirit… we’re like, “I don’t know about that. And what does that mean? And there are so many different thoughts.” It’s not that complicated. It’s not that complicated. You see, God exists one in three, three in one. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. And when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, we are given a relationship with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit enters into our lives in fact that it says this in, I believe its John 14:26, and these are the words of Jesus. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, Jesus is telling the disciples what’s about to happen and they’re freaking out. They’re like, “Cross? What do you mean a cross? I thought You were going to have a kingdom? A cross? That doesn’t make sense to me.” And they’re like, “You’re going die on the cross and then You’re going to rise again and then go and be in heaven?” And then “Well, hello! What about us?” And He’s saying, “You know what? I’m not going to leave you alone. You have this relationship, and this friendship through Me. You have a relationship with God and I’m going to send One who will comfort you, counsel you, lead you, be with you. You’re not going to be by yourself.” He’s like, “Stop the panic mode. I’ve got this covered.” And He says, “But the Counselor, The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Because don’t you know that the disciples are like, “Shoot. If I only had a tape recorder. Or if only I had a video camera, I could video all of this because I’m not going to remember it.” And Jesus says, “Calm down. I’m going to send One.” You and I have that same access. The Holy Spirit is positioned in our lives so that we can live out our purpose by the power of God. But that’s part of the secret. See often, we have a problem with the positioning of the Holy Spirit. It goes back to that leadership thing.
A couple of months ago, we were preparing and planning our Keller-Southlake… Did I say Keller-Southlake in that greeting? I did? Okay, good. Gee whiz! I thought I left y’all out. Okay, so, that was like not naming one of your children or something. That’s terrible! But anyway, we were getting the Keller-Southlake campus ready. And from our house to there is like, you know, 45 minutes and like the largest freeway expansion in the world. I mean that’s probably not legitimate, but it just seems like the largest freeway expansion in the world is going on by Grapevine. So, to get to Keller-Southlake from where I live you have to go through that hellacious place, and then you get to Keller-Southlake. So, one of my staff members said, “Hey, just follow me.” Now this guy has been on that route so many different times, he knows it backwards and forwards. But see, I used to live in that area where Keller-Southlake is. And I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ll follow you, but I think I know.” But see he knows that all these highways on any given day could be changed up. Any given day. So, as we head out, I start following and I could, I just had this tendency to want to get up beside him and pass him. I’m thinking, “You’re not going fast enough for me. You’re not moving out ahead enough for me. I’m not sure if this is the direction we should go. Or I would really remember to go this way.” I would call him on his cell phone. “Are you sure you know? When we get to Keller-Southlake, he is laughing. Now, you have to understand this particular staff member is not being disrespectful. He knows me well. We’ve known each other for many years. He’s just like, “That was hard for you, wasn’t it?” He goes, “You like to lead!” Like, “I can’t believe you can tell.” Yes, I like to lead! I like to be in front. I like to go first and guess what? So, do you. It might not be with directions, but you like to put yourself first. It’s the struggle of mankind. It’s why we have difficulty living the Christian life. It’s why we have difficulty experiencing the power of God because we want to get in front, which is not the position that we’re supposed to take. The Holy Spirit leads us.
If Jesus saw the need to give us the Holy Spirit, then why are we not going to defer to the Holy Spirit? See its part of our p-p-p-power. It’s part of our power. So, it’s all about following the Holy Spirit. That’s a struggle though, because it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense in our culture today for me to say God is first and not me. Because we’re in a culture that says, “me, me, me, me, my, my, my, my, selfie, selfie, selfie,” It’s all about me. What have I done lately on Twitter? On Instagram? On Facebook? All about me. Me. And it’s my way versus God’s way.
Think about Abraham. God said, “Abraham, I’m going to multiply you. And your family you will have so many generations to follow you.” It’s greater than the amount of sands on a beach. That’s a lot. That’s a lot. And yet, Abraham is like, “Gosh, God. Sara is old. I’m old, but it’s really problematic that she’s old.” And he figures that, “Yes, God, I know what you said, but You probably need some help. And I know that You want to lead out in this way, but God, I think I can lead better. And so, I’m going to get Hagar to mother me a child.” He goes against what God says and lays with Hagar, when God’s intention was Sara. The generations were not going to come from Hagar. They were going to come from Sara. You see, Abraham put God on the back burner and put himself up front in his ways. What about the spies who Joshua led into the Promised Land as they approached those fortified cities? And Moses said, “Go in and find out the lay of the land. And these twelve spies go in. Well, ten of them come out they go, “Whoa, big fella! This is not a good scenario. We cannot do this.” You see they went in there with their perspective, their power, not the power of God. See they put themselves and their perspectives first. So, for us to understand the power, we’ve got to have the position of the Holy Spirit in its proper place, which is leading… leading us.
There’s a military term that’s mentioned in the Bible and women hate it. It’s that “s” word. Submission. And we always think about that with our husbands, you know, “submit… over my dead body!” And yet, first and foremost, it’s about submitting to God. You see, it’s a military position where you have order and you have the proper leadership out in front. For us to have that proper position of the Holy Spirit and us behind, we have to submit. That “s” word! I’ve got to submit and let God go first. Submit to His Word. Submit to His leading. Submit to His gathering and His teaching. I have to submit, which means “just to fall in line with.” You see the genius of God? And when I do that, I have power, because I’ve submitted to His way. And you see, we serve a faithful God. We’ve already talked about that. But we serve a faithful God.
Proverbs 3:5 and 6 says,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and don’t lean on your own understanding;
6 but in all your ways trust him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do you remember the illustration we used last time about the yoke and the straight row? He will make our purpose come to be if we’ll just trust Him. And He’s faithful. We can trust Him. But this is counter-cultural. Think about, if it’s counter-cultural for us right now, think about Noah. There had never been rain. And God said, “Build a boat.” Build a boat. A boat? Why would I need a boat? “It’s going to rain and it’s going to rain a lot and I’m going to save you and your family and anyone who believes what I’m telling them and puts Me first.” Noah looked like a nut case! But he built the boat.
Moses. He had a stutter, a stammer, a speech impediment. And God says, “I want you to go speak to Pharaoh.” Pharaoh?? The leader of the greatest power on earth? I’m supposed to go speak and beseech him to let the people go?” Yes. And Moses went. He put God first.
Joshua went into the Promised Land when it didn’t make sense. And he came upon the city of Jericho. And it had the most fortified walls of any that they have ever seen. And God said, “Joshua… march. Every day, march.” I mean it didn’t make sense. “Excuse me God, just march around the city? And on that last day, blow horns? Seriously God? This is what you want me to do to take the city? Should we not have like it says in Psalm 33:16? “What about, you know, my power as the leader? What about me as a warrior? What about all the horses?” Uh-uh. No. Those don’t give you power. It’s putting God first. And Joshua did it. The walls came down.
How about Mary and Joseph? Whoa did it not make sense. That they should father and mother the King. Just young. Had never laid together and yet she finds herself pregnant. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense. But they submitted and they put their will on the back burner and put God’s will first.
John the Baptist. He had a following. People were following him and many thought that he was the Messiah, but he said, “No. Jesus is coming and I will step back for Jesus to be Jesus and that’s who you follow.” You see he knew about the submission thing.
And speaking of Jesus… He left the throne as a King to go to a cross. He submitted so that you and I could have a relationship with God. But what about the power in all that?
Noah? He and his family were saved. Moses? Oh, yeah. The people were let go. Joshua? The city fell. Mary and Joseph? Wow! What a legacy. John? Unbelievable. What greater thing could you be a part of than the baptism and the launch of the ministry of Jesus? Whoa! Hello. And Jesus? Oh, He conquered the grave alright. And He sits at the right hand of the Father. You and I, if we submit to God, we have on tap that power. Where when we live each day and put God first and submit to the position, the Holy Spirit will not only comfort us, He will counsel us, He will give us strength, He will remind us of everything that Jesus said and when we’re… oh, this is a funny word, lollygagging through life, that’s just one of those terms that I used when I was a kid. When we’re lollygagging through life, when we’re walking through life and we say, “You know what? I’m not going to sleep with my boyfriend before marriage.” Where does that power come from? It’s submission. Putting God first. “I’m going to put my marriage behind my relationship with God and before my children.” And where does that power come from? Putting God first. “I’m going to be legit in this business deal and I’m going to walk out this deal with integrity, even when everybody else is saying we could fudge here and fudge there.” Why? Because I have the power to do it because God is first. You see how we have this power on tap. It would be as if we have a car. A brand new car with a perfectly running engine. But instead of driving it around town, we pushed it everywhere. It’s got the power. It’s got the octane. But no, let’s just push it. You and I have the power within us to live out the purpose that God has designed for us. But we have to unleash it. And that is done by submitting and putting God first. I needed that! Whoo! That’s the word for all of us because it always tends to goes back to me first, me first, me first. But the secret to our power is putting God first.