What is Your One Thing?

August 28, 2020 Preacher: Gareth Franks

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Psalm 27:1–6

  1. Seek the Lord in a Time of Fear. (v.1-3)
  2. Focus on the Lord in Times of Fear (v.4-5)
  3. Worship the Lord with His Church (to help overcome fear) (v.6).

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation

Of David.

27 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?

When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
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 inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Max Lucado a well known Christian author tells a traumatic tale - a chapter in the life of a parakeet named Chippie.

It began when the bird’s owner decided to clean his cage.....with a vacuum cleaner. She was almost finished when the phone rang, so she turned around to answer it. Before she knew it, Chippie was gone. In a panic she ripped open the vacuum bag. There was Chippie, covered in dirt and gasping for air. She carried him to the bathroom and rinsed him off under the faucet. Looking at this dripping mini mass of poultry, it dawned on the owner that Chippie was cold and wet... so she reached for the hair dryer.

A few days later a friend asked Chippie’s owner how the little parakeet was recovering. "Well", she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares." No kidding! Sometimes life can do that to us, can’t it? We feel sucked up, washed out and blown away by one struggle or another. The song is gone. All we feel like doing is sitting and staring.

On a collective scale, the comfort and security of our ordinary lives during this Coronavirus pandemic has been blown away. COVID-19, hasn’t only disrupted our sense of safety—it’s also disrupted our plans. Disrupted plans have sparked questions about our future, about when life will regain a sense of normalcy. Further, social distancing has led many to experience disconnection, fear, loneliness and depression.

Welcome to the club, David would say. I’m referring to David, king of ancient Israel and legendary hero of the Jewish people. Their flag bears his star. If there was someone who knew both sides of the fence: - the side of good times and power - and the side of suffering and pain ............that would be David. King David began his life as a poor shepherd’s son. He was plucked from there under rather strange circumstances into the service of the king. He fought giants. He became best friends with the king’s son. Later David became king himself. He led Israel on an unparalleled time of national expansion and conquest. He accumulated vast riches. He was a very skilful musician. A poet.

HOWEVER...... David also was plotted against in a coup attempt by his own son, who was killed when David’s army counterattacked. There were years in David’s life when he didn’t know if he would live to see his children grow up – in the days before he became king, the reigning monarch pursued him with an army, intent on killing him. There were years of tremendous unrest that David experienced along with the entire nation of Israel.

David faced not only enemies outside. Along the way he was surprised by sinister elements in his own character, heart and mind that he didn’t even know existed – that led him to adultery and murder. And then there were the times that his family, including his own wife, scoffed at and ridiculed him.

So..... What kept David from turning into Chippie the parakeet – perched on some little branch, staring ahead, all sung out?

Psalm 27 gives us the answer - a poem that David wrote. David knew what he was talking about! David says in vese 3, “My heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I am confident!”. The man knows his subject! He can teach us about overcoming fear.

Though “seeking the Lord” may sound easy or simplistic, I warn you that David isn’t dispensing a formula that’s easy or simple to apply. God isn’t a good-luck charm which you can pull out when you’re in a jam and rub the right way. David is talking about a total way of life that is focused on God and which clings to God with naked faith in desperately overwhelming situations where there is no other source of help.

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you counsel a fearful person?
  2. If psychology helps a person overcome fear, is it wrong to use it?
  3. How can a person who lacks faith get it?
  4. How can we know, in a given situation, whether fear is healthy or not?