March 9, 2008 INTRODUCTION – Our theme and our call to greatness – – the Holy Spirit’s insistence that we doggedly pursue it
There were a lot of great men and women in the old testament era; but perhaps none greater than King David
Acts 13:22 “…He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”
“David became greater and greater…” II Sam. 5:10 & I Chron. 11:9
Reasons why David was able to achieve such greatness.
I. David constantly worshipped God for, and was confident in God’s greatness. The greatness of His goodness Psa. 31:19 “How great is your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!”
And he didn’t let adverse circumstances affect his confidence in God’s great love for him. Psa. 57:10 “For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds.” Do you know when David wrote this? “when he fled from Saul and hid in the cave.” This man was anointed king by the prophet Samuel, he knew God really had chosen Him to be king over Israel and Judah, and yet he was running for his life – living not in a king’s palace, but in caves and forests. What got David through those years of seemingly going backwards and not forward, was a lifestyle of worship and a commitment to declare and proclaim the greatness of God.
He spoke of the the greatness of God as seen in the amazing deeds or works He does on the earth. Psalm 86:10 “For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.”
And then He often spoke of the greatness of God’s lovingkindness Psalm 86:13 “For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
Psalm 103:11 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness towards those who fear Him.”
Psalm 108:4 “For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the skies.”
Going back to Psalm 86:13 – do you know what David’s state at that time was? Vs. 1 “For I am afflicted and needy.”
David didn’t just speak and sing of the greatness of God’s lovingkindness when he got a raise, or his circumstances all worked out perfectly and people treated him with respect. His confidence of God’s love for him was in the character and word of God; not in whether his circumstances substantiated what God’s word said.
If we are going to grow in kingdom greatness – it must start and continue and end here folks. God forgive us for how quickly we question His love for us.
Listen, your ability to do even greater works that Jesus did, which is what He promised us in John 14:12 – – will rise or fall on whether you can get to a place in your walk with Him where come hell or high water – you are absolutely confident that you are the apple of His eye.
Job 35:7 “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous;…”
II. Because God was with Him. II Sam. 5:10 “David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.” I Chron. 11:9 “David became greater and greater, for the Lord of hosts was with him.”
A. General sense God’s omnipresence – Psalm 139:7-12 Jonah Heb. 13:5 “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert You, nor will I ever forsake you,”
But David experienced this in a more intimate, moment by moment, personal, life transforming way. B. More experiential sense – Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” “…Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.” Psalm 18:35 NIV “You stoop down to make me great.” NET “Your willingness to help, makes me to prevail.”
II Sam. 22:36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your help makes me great.” In margin literally “Your answering” makes me great.
David’s daily, moment by moment experience was that wherever he was, in whatever circumstance or frame of mind he was found himself in, he could go to God – and if he stayed there long enough – if he wrestled with God honestly enough about what he was really feeling – God would meet him in that very emotion or that very circumstance – – and bring him out to a place of abundance, victory and yes greatness.
It was that growing confidence that God knew His every thought – and was interested in his
every emotion – and wanted to intervene in his every circumstance – and that he had plans and purposes and intentions – that He wanted to share with David – it was that growing confidence that God was that kind of a personal, interested, present God – that made David great.
Why was David able to experience God in such an intimate, tangible, life changing way? A couple of reasons
1. Because he was committed to the purposes of God Paul – in the synagogue in Antioch – in a long address to the Jews present there – said this of David – “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;” Acts 13:36
David wasn’t just out for his own spiritual high or fix. The God He worshipped was a God who put david on the earth for a specific reason – and a God who had specific purposes and intentions for the people David led – and David was all over those purposes. His faith was not a self centered, man centered faith; but a God centered one.
Disciples in the book of Acts – in the beginning – not so missional (staying); but increasingly so (going)
Rev. 2:19 “I know you deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.” Letter to church in Thyatira
We have a tendency to get distracted. David in Psalm 14:3 – speaking of the reality of and characteristics of our depravity or sin nature said, “they have all turned aside..” Isaiah said the same thing of us in Isa. 53. That’s what we naturally gravitate towards – turning aside from the purposes of God – and doting on ourselves.
John Piper books in back for $1.00
Jim Hamann is forever reading a new book. And he is always telling me about these books and why I need to read them. Seldom has he spoken of a book as highly as he did this one – as far as its impact on his heart to know and serve and follow Jesus Christ to the fullest.
2. Because he was so humble and quick to give God the glory, praise and credit. I Chron. 17:16-20 (turn to it and then introduce) The prophet Nathan had just spoken to David – of God’s great intentions for David’s son – Solomon. David had the privilege of laying the groundwork for those great intentions to be fully realized. This is David’s response to that realization. (read it)
Have you noticed the context of our memory verse or verses for today? (turn to I Chron. 29:11,12). David and the people he led had just given extravagant offerings for the magnificent temple that God had revealed to them that Solomon would build. Now they could have gloated about that. They could have acknowledged publicly that this was the biggest offering the people of God had ever given in Jewish history. But that’s not the way David responded. (read I Chron. 29:9-13)
CONCLUSION – Convince them of God’s call for them to be great
The way God is going to bring that about is first by convincing you of His greatness, and teaching you to sing it, declare it, proclaim it, and bank on it 24/7.
Then the Holy Spirit is going to train you to walk with God with an expectation of experiencing Him every moment, in every circumstance, and going to Him in every emotion – until you are able to come out on the other side of victory, abundance, fruitfulness, and yes even greatness.
One of the ways He will seek to do that is to help you become a more God’s purposes driven man or woman. And then as you begin to increasingly be His instrument in bringing about these great purposes, He will give you an increasing holy disgust of ever directing credit or glory to yourself.
Let’s pray to this end.