Truth Seekers Ministries Presents...
So,…how deep is your valley?
A Lesson on Psalm 84
In this lesson, I will discuss how the Old Testament promises of God directly relate to us in this New Testament Age of Grace, the blessedness that is bestowed on those that are in Christ, and how we can apply the promises of God in our lives on a personal level.
“For All the promises of God, in Him are yea, and in Him amen unto the Glory of God..” 2 Cor. 1:20
This verse combines all of the old testament promises, and all of the new testament promises, from God, that were given to God’s people at different times throughout history, into one big bundle of GOD’s Grace, which is freely given unto us for the taking. What most people don’t understand is how to apply a certain promise in their lives. Every one has problems grabbing hold of God’s promises, and hanging on to them no matter what. The thing that has to be learned, and it seems that it takes some time, at least for me, is to be able to hand over an issue to God, claiming a promise that will handle your problem, and then (Here’s the kicker) LEAVE IT WITH GOD. This of course is the hardest part about standing on any promise of God, however it is absolutely necessary in order for God to work through our faith. When we take back our problems from God and start worrying about them again, we in effect, “Tie God’s Hands”, at least until we let the problems go again back into the hands of our loving Lord and rest in the assurance that “He Worketh”. He may in fact still fulfill our need while we fight with giving the problem back to Him, but it will not be because of our faith in any promise of God, it would be purely by His Grace. His timing is never as we would have it, but it is always perfect. We may not understand his answers, but time will prove them correct. Sometimes He doesn’t answer right away, and we think He is not listening. Sometimes we think he is rejecting our pleas when we pray about a problem. We can even see an obvious solution, but somehow God makes it not work out and we think He is working against us. We may jump ahead of God, trying to help him with our problem and things just always seem to go wrong. What we don’t realize is that He probably has His own solution, which would be far greater than ours could ever have been. So don’t be so quick to see a “Cracked door” as being from God, for Satan would have us walk through doors of problems and strife just to keep us down. Test everything with your Spirit, and He, our Comforter, will guide your steps and keep your path on the straight and narrow.
Another thing about claiming the promises of God is to discern whether the promise is conditional or non-conditional. You can’t just claim a promise of God, without fulfilling the requirements God demands in order for him to fulfill His part. Jehovah-Rapha is the Lord that healeth thee. It is his very nature to do so, and we have every right as sons and daughters of God to claim that promise with nothing else needed. It sometimes helps for us to claim a promise though, by doing some physical act of faith. Instead of a totally mental application of God’s nature to heal, we can, in the Holy act of Communion, claim that promise of physical, mental and even spiritual healing through the “Bread aspect” of the communion, while also claiming the eternal forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus via the “Wine aspect” of communion.
When we pray in the name of Jesus, and leave the issues with God, showing our faith and not doubt, His promise is that “He Worketh”. This is where patience and perseverance come into play. We must stand in faith, acting as if you already have the healing in hand, leaving the details of your healing up to God. For your act of faith, He promises to work. If we die, not having obtained the promises fulfillment, then we die in faith and are immediately healed and rewarded for our faith “Over there”. With that in mind, we can then go back and look over what God says through the writers of the Old and New testaments alike, and we can gain strength and help in our lives. Psalm 84 is one of my favorites when I am feeling the “Valley’s of Life” pressing down on me.
Psalm 84:1-4; How amiable (Beloved or worthy of love) are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts. My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cryeth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah (Think of that)
Discerning just what is the “House of God” is important in applying many scripture verses in our own lives. There are only three literal houses, temples, or tabernacles of God spoken of in scripture where He will dwell and where we can meet or dwell with Him. God’s heavenly tabernacle, which still exists in heaven, the earthly tabernacle that the Israelites used for forty years in the wilderness, and in Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem. We no longer have access to God’s Literal House on earth, God saw to it that the literal earthly place was destroyed, and the Ark of the Covenant became “Lost”. Jesus however changed forever the definition of “God’s House”. For in his parables, he tells us, “DESTROY THIS TEMPLE, AND IN THREE DAYS I WILL RAISE IT UP” John 2:19 They thought he was talking about the Temple in Jerusalem, he was of course referring to His own body and his resurrection from the dead. Now if Jesus referred to His own body as a “Temple”, and He proved His deity by raising from the dead, then is not His own body, the Temple of God? Carrying this further, are we not, as believers of Jesus Christ who are indwelt with the “Spirit of God” in the person of the Holy Spirit, also a “Temple of God”? In your inmost center, the Holy Spirit, which was given unto us as the earnest of our inheritance, is now the new dwelling place of God. We must always worship God in spirit and in truth, and it matters not where we are, God is with us. He is not bound to any building or place, he is omnipresent, meaning everywhere at the same time. When these grand and ornate churches are spoken of as being “God’s House”, as where we must go to in order to meet GOD, I just want to shout out, “GOD IS NOT HERE, ….PRIEST”, as Anthony Hopkins spoke in “The Rite”. For any church building, no matter how old or how gold it may be, is just a building. God himself dwells not in a building made of hands, but in a living, breathing, fleshly temple composed of all true believers in Jesus Christ.
In this section of Psalm 84, Truly Blessed men of God, will find themselves dwelling in the house of God, within themselves. They have learned to be still, listening for that still, small voice, and praising Him because of that intimate contact. At the same time they are still in the midst of the trials and turmoil's that life is constantly dishing out. We can always go inside ourselves, praying and seeking God, for He dwells within each of us through the Holy Spirit. Realize that “YOU are the TEMPLE OF GOD”, and APPLY that in your life, walking humbly before your Lord, seeking Him constantly which aids the resisting any evil influence that comes your way, for he knows your innermost thoughts, and as we seek Him within, we become truly Blessed men and women of God. Don’t get discouraged when you fail. Keep going back, and God’s promise that “As you turn to Me, I will turn to you”, will be fulfilled. You will find that finding forgiveness for your iniquity comes easy, as you truly seek to follow His voice within. Then over time you will actually find that your very nature has been altered, you will fulfill God’s law because it is your very nature to do so, not because of some regulation you must follow. Your faith walk will also become easier, as you see God working in your life. Then, when you encounter new obstacles, you will know that God can handle that too, and it becomes easier to leave problems with Him.
Another thing that I need to go over is that the term, “Blessed”, is not one of a temporal blessing bestowed, and not even of a “Blessedness” that will eventually come after we die. It is a term indicating that we are now in a constant “State of Blessedness”, that will continue as long as we continue to apply this promise. Dwell with the Lord in your inmost parts, meditate on Him “In His House”, for your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we can’t see it, but Blessedness becomes your lot. That is where things like, “Mans wisdom is foolishness”, and “God’s Grace is Sufficient”, “God works all things together for the good…”, etc. come into play. Sometimes, as hard as this is to hear, we just have to be tried as by fire, purified as gold is refined in the fire, yet even through the most severe tests of life, if we rest in the Grace of God, while reassuring yourself that you are in God’s hands, and relying on Him, we can continue on our walk of faith one step at a time. We have to stop saying to the Potter, “What Makest Thou”, let God work a good work in your life, taking the punches along with the blessings, walking in faith daily, praising and worshiping Him within yourself, and our reward will surely follow.
Recognize also that verse 3, down to the word “young”, is parenthetical. The psalmist did not intend for you to perceive that the Swallows would build their nests and lay their young on God’s altar. The altar was kept clean and free of debris. What his intention was in this verse is that just as the birds have places for their nests, homes, so should men have access to the altar of God, God’s house, and the old testament psalmist expresses his longing for such a place.
Psalm 84 5-10; Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee, in whose heart are the ways of them, Who passing through the valley of Baca, (Weeping) make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer, give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah Behold, O God our shield and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
First we need to take out the italic writing, which is added by the translators, and we read. Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee, (GOD), in whose heart are “Thy Ways”, (GOD). Passing through the valley of weeping, make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools.
Here we have a man, who exists in a state of blessedness, who is walking through valleys of weeping. He is not sitting down, crying “Woe is me”, “I’ve have enough God, I want to die so just take me now”. This man is walking in the midst of his valley, but taking steps to walk out of it. We have to keep moving, don’t sit down and give up, keep going. Our strength comes from God, we have to use Him in our downtrodden state, and claim his promise to be our strength when we seem to have none. Not only is this man, who exists in a constant state of blessedness, walking through his valley of pain, hardship, strife, turmoil, sickness, etc, he or she is continuing to walk in faith, relying on God for strength, and his valley is being turned into a well, a spring which overflows and further rain of blessings will cause his path to fill up with pools of overflowing grace.
“God’s Grace is Sufficient”
This is a verse that I use constantly, and have to rely on it almost daily. The Psalmist sees the overflowing ability of God’s Grace unto us, and also the importance of allowing this Grace into your life. We can just as easily block the flow of God’s Grace unto us, as we can, open our hearts and lives to the God of the Universe, allowing Him to live in our innermost selves, and walk in the Abundant Grace that He will flow into our lives.
They go from strength to strength, in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer, give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah
Blessed men, whose hearts are given over to God, walking through valleys of weeping, exist from “Victory to Victory”. Our victories and triumphs are evidence of God working in our lives, and once obtained we must keep walking and faithing in order for the next victory to come. We may not even need a new victory. Occasionally, we seem to be just sailing along, and sometimes our victories are like plateaus that last some time, But, eventually you will hit another valley, for most people the victories seem to be few, and a long time in-between, but if we faint not, and keep walking in faith, God will guide us to victory again. Christians also need to realize that the only way that God can increase our faith, is for us to go through ever increasing demands on our faith. Remember, He promises to bring us to completion, and I don’t know of any earthling today, that could do one percent of what Jesus was able to do, much less a hundred percent, which is where all Christians will be eventually brought to, in their walk. We will, as Jesus peers deep into our souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ, be perfected. He will burn away all the “Wood, Hay, and Stubble”, and what remains is the “Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones”, and then we will be truly like Christ. We will become the representation of Jesus the Christ to the masses of this earth, throughout the millennium and forever thereafter. Our thoughts will be Jesus thoughts, our desires His. We will be the expression of Himself to the world, as He rules from David’s Throne in Jerusalem.
“In Zion, appeareth before God”, is a proclamation of the faith that one day, these blessed men, will appear in Zion before God. “The city of David”, the site of Messiah’s reign, God’s dwelling place, Salvation to come out of.., A place from which God’s perfection and beauty will shine out of, Capital of the whole earth during the millennium, Central place of worship during the millennium, etc. These are just a few proclamations spoken of Zion in the Bible. Christians today are to be the future residents of this city on earth, where God will dwell in his fullest embodiment of His “Messianic Self”, so he can intermingle and dwell among mankind. The inhabitants of Zion, will be these “Blessed” men spoken of in this psalm. Then David prays to the “God of Hosts”, meaning the God of all gods, that He would hear his prayer. David emphasizes the fact that He, God, was the God of Jacob. Why did he not say Israel? Because when God came to Jacob, Jacob, the old “Heel catcher” himself, deserved nothing, and yet God promised him everything. We deserve nothing, and yet God still promises us everything. All of Grace, nothing of merit. GOD comes to us in our most unworthy, even unrepentant state, and offers us eternal life full of blessings and God’s grace, if we would but trust Him. Then the psalmist ends this part with “Selah”, “Think of that”. We all need to think about the fullness of God’s grace, in that while we were still sinners, Jesus gave his life for us so that we may be counted part of the redeemed of God. Walk then in that humbleness with pure blind faith as a child, and we can continue existing in that “State of Blessedness” and abundant Grace of God.
Behold, O God our shield and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Behold, O God our shield, for you are our Shield, this is absolutely true, but I also see this as “Behold O God, our shield, our Faith”, for in the “Armor of God”, the Shield represents our Faith. So, God, as we show You our Faith, look upon the “Face of thine Anointed”. Look upon us Lord, for as types and shadows, we are “Thine Anointed”, just as Jesus is God’s Anointed One. When God looks at us, in our faith, he sees not an undeserving soul, He sees us already “In Christ”, and our justification and reunification with God is complete. Behold me Lord, and no matter what I may or may not deserve in Your Kingdom, by FAITH I am claiming my inheritance. I would rather be there than any where else. True joy and happiness occurs by dwelling with God within ourselves, where He will meet us. Living in the evilness of this world only serves to separate us from God, maybe not eternally but will certainly block any true blessing of God that would have come otherwise. So it is better to be homeless, and able dwell with the true God within yourself, than to live in the mansions of the wicked, and never be able to connect with the only true source of Life and happiness.
Psalm 84 v. 11-12 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
God is our sun and shield. The sun provides light, life, and warmth, and a shield is for protection. His promise is to provide and protect us as we trust in Him. Trust in Him with all your heart and as you walk in faith, allowing God to manifest himself through you so you can be a light to others in some manner or another, God will not withhold any “Good”. Just as God’s grace is needed by us to persevere, God’s “Glory” is not given unto us to as some reward, as much as it is for us to be a light unto others, to help them in their path, without being a stumbling block, teaching and edifying other saints and non believers alike. Trust in Him everyday. Practice recognizing God’s presence within. Start out your day talking to Him, and it is easier to talk to and recognize his presence within you throughout the day. Remember also, this is a Sacred, Private thing, between you and God. We must worship Him in Spirit, (within), and in Truth. We are to pray in private, as we commune with God. There are times when many may join in prayer, such as at meals, and when coming together to pray for the sick, I am not talking about these prayers. We are not to say our prayers on the street corner to be heard by men, for in that we have our only reward, being heard by men. When you are serious about talking to God, go somewhere private, or just silently seek Him within yourself, and He will respond.
Bear in mind, that as I teach this lesson, I am first teaching to myself. I have just as much of a hard time with standing on promises of God, as the next guy does. What I do know is this. I’ve been through many valleys in my life, some tougher than most people go through, and some so deep and hard that only a parent that has lost a child can relate to. So I know a few things about valleys, but I also know a bit about walking out of them. I know what it is like to want to sit down under my juniper tree and ask God to just take me because I had had enough. Yet somehow, my Comforter, that deposit in my heart of the earnest of my inheritance, aroused again the desire to walk in faith within my inmost soul as I was crying out in agony to God. And I walked out of the toughest valley anyone can go through. I came out of the deepest valley so far, with a clearer understanding of what God had to go through, by giving up his son to be crucified. I am still faithing and still walking, and if I can do it, I know that you can. “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of Good Cheer, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
So summing up this lesson, “Blessedness” is ours for the taking for those that dwell with and seek God within themselves. God’s new abode is within all true Christians that walk in faith through the trials of life, trusting in God’s grace to sustain them, and those that pray and trust in the Lord, the God of gods, leaving their problems at God’s feet. If we will just “Walk Humbly” and “Uprightly before our Lord”, we can proclaim just as Elijah did, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, “Before Whom I Stand”. We can know the Presence and the Power of the true God that is dwelling within us, while emanating outwardly His Power and Glory, Amen and Amen.
With Love in Christ,
Patrick Robinson, Minister