Let’s begin today by looking back at the 65th Psalm. If you recall, this psalm contained a passage of Scripture that the Lord gave me for us at the beginning of this calendar year, and it is no wonder why, for it echoes what we have been learning over the past several months regarding the “good life.”
Again, Psalm 65:11-13 says, “You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.”
Again, church, I believe the Lord is set on crowning our year with His goodness! I believe that good things are on the horizon for HPC, and I believe we are already seeing signs of it! Amen!
Let’s back up and look at the entire Psalm quickly because as the Lord drew me back to this “rhema” this week, He began to show me more that is contained for us in this Psalm.
In verse 4, David says, “Blessed is the man You choose…” Church, we must realize that we are a chosen generation! We were hand-picked, selected and chosen for His goodness! What a blessing to know that the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth chose each of us! We are, therefore, a blessed people! Amen?
Then he goes on to say, “And (blessed is the man you) cause to approach You” Now it is one thing to be chosen and it is another to be given the opportunity to approach Him! Church, as James chapter 4 teaches us, drawing near to Him is the key to grace, as He has promised that He will draw near to us when we draw near to Him!
But notice what He says that we have chosen to draw near to in the rest of verse 4 - “That he may dwell in Your courts, we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.” Now this ought to sound familiar to all of us who heard our prior message in this series where we learned about the house of the Lord that we are able to dwell in forever (see Psalm 23:6).
But notice here that David calls it being satisfied with the goodness of His house. Amen! Church, this is what God’s presence provides - tastes of His goodness! There is nothing like it, amen?
Now notice verses 9-10: David went on to say, “You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it. You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.”
What we are seeing here is how rain showers were considered a blessing - especially to their agricultural based society. Rain was, and is, a sign of blessing! Amen.
Now have you noticed that before today, 6 out of the last 7 Sundays have been filled with rain? Well, my attitude towards all the rain on these Sundays was not the best. But the Lord showed me something this week. He took me to these verses in this psalm and began to show me that these rains we have been receiving are a sign of something. Yes, they are prophetic in nature. The Lord showed me that we are about to see a harvest, a harvest of a year crowned with His goodness. That’s right - He is leading us to verses 11-13. Glory!
You see, this psalm is believed to be sung at the Harvest Festival at the end of their agricultural year! In other words, it was the Jews’ psalm of praise for the First-Fruits! Therefore, we ought to be expectant of a spiritual harvest that is coming on the heels of the latter rain - healings, miracles, etc! Amen and glory!
And what we have been covering over the past few months is what I believe to be the Lord is “watering” our fields with. Yes, we have been getting “washed in the water of the Word” of the 23rd Psalm and I am believing for a harvest of goodness in our lives.
So, we have seen what this good life that Christ came to make available for us consists of- namely:
So, what I would like to do this week is wind up this teaching by revisiting the many “how to’s” that we learned over the past several months. You see, it is one thing to make known what is available unto us, but how do we begin to experience these things in our life. In other words, how can we practically apply these truths to our lives, and make our life emulate this “good life?”
Well, the first and most obvious key is that the Lord must become our own, personal Shepherd (Psalm 23:1). Everything else in Psalm 23 is quantified by the first verse. In other words, have we made Jesus our personal Savior and Lord? Have we come to the Lord and become a part of the fold? If we have, then guess what the fruit of this is? As we’ve said, if we are His sheep then we are known by Him, we hear His voice, we know His voice, and we are led by the Spirit of God (see John chapter 10).
Of course, there are varying degrees to this. There is the expectation that if we are children of God, we are led by the Spirit of God. Also, if we are His sheep, we know His voice and follow Him. But while we might steer clear of sin and do general things that a child of God is compelled to do, we might not always truly let the Spirit of God lead us in all things. We might not always strive to hear His voice and be guided by His ways. This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest hindrances to us experiencing the quality of life that God has for us - for if we persist in doing things our own way and not His, then we are foolish to expect to walk in everything He has for us.
To learn how to hear from God, go to our website and listen to the series “How To Hear from God and Be Led By the Holy Spirit.” To do this, go to www.highpointmacon.com. Then click on “Recent Messages” on the top menu. Next, click in the search box and type in “how to be led” and press enter. Then click on part one and go from there.
No, saints, living the good life starts with making the most important decision of making Jesus your Lord and receiving the Spirit of God, but it is consummated in deciding to let the Lord truly lead every area of our life by us adhering to what is written and in communion of the Holy Spirit.
But I believe there is another very important principle that is key to us experiencing the good life, and it is found in the very heart of the 23rd Psalm:
You see, this is called the 23rd “Psalm” for a reason - that is because it was a song, a song written by King David to declare who he believed His God to be and what he believed His God would do for him personally. Now that might too simple for you but hear what I am saying today: This is psalm is to be our song! It is to be our declaration and the confession of our faith as it was David’s! Amen?
So, another key to experiencing this “good life” that is described in the 23rd Psalm is to begin to, first, fill our hearts with the faith and hope of these truths, but then to begin to declare these things out of our mouths! Why? It is because, as Proverbs 18:21 states: life and death are in the power of the tongue! So, if “life” is in the power of the tongue, then the “good life” is in the power of the tongue as well.
I believe James 3:3 illustrates this truth perfectly. It says, “Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.”
First of all, whenever the Scriptures refer to things like the wind, waves, storms, floods, and rain from a negative standpoint, these are always examples used to describe negative circumstances, trials, and tribulations. Therefore, I see this verse which describes something large like a ship describing our lives.
You know, our destiny in life seems so big, how could we ever determine its direction? It seems as though what determines its direction are the circumstances of life. These fierce winds “drive” our life from one direction to the next if we let them. But there is a way to determine our destiny! I said, there is a way to determine the direction our life goes in - and it is with our mouth! Notice what James says that these large ships are steered by - a very small rudder.
You see, friends, even though our words seem so little and insignificant, they are able to turn our lives around for the better! Even that very small rudder can influence the direction that the ship that is so large goes.
But just as we cannot turn the wheel of the helm one or two times in a direction and then take our hands off the wheel and expect the ship to turn, likewise, we need to hold fast to our confession until the ship turns - holding the proverbial wheel in the direction we want our life to go.
However, notice that it is wherever the pilot desires. In other words, it is up to the inner man to decide which direction the boat is going to go in. It is his desire. You have to let your spirit man - who always desires the good plans God has for you - turn that wheel and hold it there until your life begins to buck the tides of life and take you into the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God, which is the good life. Amen.
So, what we have seen here is how to see our year crowned with His goodness! There has to be showers that come through the watering of the Word, and then, the harvest will come! But it is vital that you begin to let it rain in your own life by learning to declare what God’s Word says. In other words, watering your own field by speaking God’s Word.
So, let’s do that now! Let’s declare these prophetic promises and make them our “psalm” (i.e. song) - expecting that the First-Fruits will surely come! Yes and amen!
So, say it with me:
“The Lord is my Shepherd… I shall not want… He makes me to lie down in green pastures… He leads me beside the still waters… He restores my soul… He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake… Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… For you are with me… Your rod and your staff, they comfort me… You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… You anoint my head with oil… My cup runs over… Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life… And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
“Therefore, You crown the year with Your goodness… And Your paths drip with abundance… They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. Our pastures are clothed with flocks; our valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.”
“I believe in the Lord my God and I shall be established; I believe His prophets and I shall prosper!”