INTRO: We cannot doubt that David was a man of prayer. And he was a man who was very open about his concerns, his feelings, his needs in prayer. Some of the psalms, for example, even sound as if he is complaining to God. There were those psalms in which he verbalized his feeling that perhaps the Lord had abandoned him. Among the prayers of David are the little petitions and pleas which are almost one liners in the midst of larger subjects. That is what you will find if you read the 119th Psalm carefully. The larger subject is that of the word of God. All that the word of God means to the psalmist and all that it can mean to you and me is revealed in such a variety of ways. But listen for the prayers. In Ps 119:10 is one of those prayers. And our thoughts this morning will focus on this: Dont Let Me Wander!
I THE PROBLEM WITH WANDERING?
A. It is usually aimless
1. it looks like a river course ... first this way; then, that way; etc.
2. aimless probably means goalless, purposeless
3. so, wandering suggests a person has forgotten his spiritual goals
B. It usually separates from security or blessings
1. a child wanders from his house ... alarms begin to sound
2. we leave a well marked path for the maze of dark streets - help!
3. a wanderer leaves the safety of the Lords way ... into confusion
C. It can be very dangerous
1. leaving security to wander, children often perish in their lostness
2. leaving the well marked path God has revealed, one has no idea what spiritual danger lurks around him ... ready to injure
3. spiritual wandering leads to anxiety, to confusion, to harm
II NOTICE IN THE TEXT...
A. There is a quest - seeking God
1. the quest is purposeful - wandering works against the quest, the purpose
2. Acts 17:24-28 - purpose? that they should seek the Lord...
3. the fact is, however, that few people are purposeful about seeking Him
4. they have no interest - they are lost in the maze of life and like it!
5. others go from fad to fad - seeking to be entertained, to be lauded, to be different, to be excited, to fine their high - they are spiritual wanderers
6. Heb 11:6 - here is the quest, the purpose which should consume us
B. There are attitude and commitment
1. the quest involved his whole heart
2. one reason people wander, flounder spiritually is that they do not seek the Lord with real commitment
3. they are half hearted in the quest - and very easily distracted
4. Phil 3:13 - ...this one thing I do... & Jer 29:13 - ...when ye shall search for me with all your heart (note the conditional word when)
5. seeking God becomes the most important thing in ones life - consider Isa 55:6,7 - Seek ye the Lord while he may be found...
6. we say, Ill give it my all - are we giving our quest for God our all?
C. There is a plea
1. O let me not wander from thy commandments
2. such a prayer, plea is so appropriate for one whose life is given to this great quest
3. it acknowledges that the seeker does believe in God - whom he seeks
4. it acknowledges that the scriptures both reveal Him and direct us
5. seeking to know God more closely, more intimately would seem to me to be impossible without our pleas, our petitions
6. so, Phil 4:6,7 - see the connection between the praying and the peace?
III IN PRACTICE...
A. We must have a conscious desire for God
1. Ps 63:1 - note early - thirsteth - longeth ... to see...
2. I am so afraid that we have a qualified desire for God - an intermittent desire - a distant desire
3. we need to find ways in our lives to have frequent reminders of the Lord and our need for Him (books, conversations, study, life in the body....
B. We must keep spiritual objectives clear
1. Heb 12:1-3 - lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds
2. we must acknowledge that so many things are competing, and we must take decisive, drastic steps to rid ourselves of some of that competition
3. if we do not, the distractions will cause us to wander!
CLOSE: Tenderly now Hes calling, Wanderer come to Me; Haste! for without is danger... (song #930). The song goes on to say, Wolves are abroad today, seeking the sheep whore straying. Davids simple little prayer needs to be ours, dear friends. O let me not wander....
Cecil A. Hutson
21 November 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)