날짜: 2018년 11월 11일
제목: 하나님께서 준비한 방이 있습니까?
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20181111 Sunday Worship Sermon
Do you have the room that God prepares?
You may not believe that I ever served as a guest speaker for a revival rally, but I did.
It was five years ago.
One church in California invited me as a guest speaker for their New Year’s Revival Service for three days.
It was my first experience to lead that kind of a revival rally.
I felt very nervous on the first day of the revival service.
On the night after the first rally, my mind was complicated and full of regrets.
It was because I felt that I didn’t deliver enough grace to the audience.
So, I was not able to sleep at all.
The next day in the afternoon as I was preparing the words for the evening service, I heard the voice of the Lord.
"It is not you that leads this revival service, but Me...”
I heard His voice very clearly…
At that moment I realized that the grace is not coming from me.
Yes, becoming nervous, raising my voice, or trying hard didn’t guarantee grace toward the audience.
It was the work of the Holy Spirit.
I only needed to humbly try my best.
I realized that fact.
And on that night after the second revival service I slept well.
The reason I started today’s sermon with a matter of sleeping is that David mentioned the same topic in Psalm 4 that we read today.
David talked about it two times in this short chapter.
“Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent…” (verse4).
“You” means here “this faithful servant” mentioned in verse 3.
David was one of them.
It seems as though David was talking to someone, but actually David was talking to himself.
David was in a state of anger.
What makes David angry was his personal issue.
It seems that David must have been hurt or victimized innocently or assaulted by those who ignored God with arrogance and who loved ‘delusions and seek false gods.’
He must have felt he reached the end because it was too severe.
David was angry at his innocent hardship.
If we handle this kind of anger in the wrong way, we could commit sin.
We fall for the temptation of paying back evil by evil.
So, David persuaded himself,
“Alright. Who can’t be angry at this? It is alright. This emotion itself is not sin; but I have to be careful, so that it doesn’t turn to be sin.”
Martin Luther once said
“I can’t avoid birds flying over my head, but I can avoid they are making a nest on my head.”
As such David was persuading himself, so that his anger might not grow into sin.
Anger is the strongest medicine keeping people from sleeping.
‘Angered’ is often translated as ‘disturbed’ in the Bible.
A peace of mind is the most important in falling asleep, but anger disturbs our mind.
So, we can’t fall asleep.
David must have had so many nights of insomnia in his life.
He may have learned how to handle his anger through those experiences.
Instead of turning to anger he rather left his enemies to God and focused on reflecting hand being repent.
David talked about sleeping once again in verse 8 as follows:
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (verse 8).
David learned what the real safety zone is.
He fled to a deep cave escaping from King Saul’s chase.
Lived as a general under the guard of soldiers, fled to a castle hard to be occupied, and lived in a fancy palace.
After experiencing all the safety zones, he confessed that the real safety zone is staying under God’s protection.
So, he could fall asleep when he called God’s name and relied on God.
Some of you may regard David’s confession as empty talks.
It could be a case for those who accept that God created the whole Universe and governs it, but feel God so distant from themselves.
They believe the resurrected Jesus may work within them, but also feel that they may be engaged in a fight they can’t win in their daily life.
They may seek something clear and powerful in their life circumstances.
Such things seem to resolve our issues and secure a safe living, but they ruin our life in an irrecoverable state.
We often realize that too late and then regret.
Only after experiencing the troubles, we often acknowledge that the real safety zone is God.
Yes, the real rest starts from the rest of mind and soul, and the rest of mind and soul is only possible when we escape to God’s shade.
As such, when we truly believe that God is alive, almighty, and knows all my worries and makes everything beautiful, we can leave all our burdens to God and finally rest.
There is one more verse referring to sleeping in Psalm 4.
It is verse 1.
“Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer…”
“Giving me a room when I was in distress" is sometimes translated as “Giving a room I can escape to” or “Making a breathing room.”
While meditating on this verse, I was reminded of one experience.
There was an upper room in the house I lived in when I was young.
It was used as a storage but it was small and cozy.
This upper room was a place for me to spend my own time.
Sometimes when I had a hard time, when I did not want to show my difficulty to other family members, when I felt alone, I would go up in the upper room.
I made it a place to relax in my own way.
Listening to music, reading books, and resting without interruption, I used to able to sleep comfortably there.
The upper room was a room that could be a void for a while from the difficult and frustrating reality.
Brothers and sisters, the reality that we are facing in our living sometimes suppresses us or is frustrating for us.
How about you?
Is there anyone who thinks their reality is just like despair?
Or, there might be some people who feel as if the reality is just like a desert or battle field.
Or there might be someone who is passing through the night and cannot sleep day by day.
To live in such a reality, we must have a room to avoid it.
There must be someplace to relieve our stress freely.
By experiencing such reality that was just like a desert or a battle field, tossing and turning all night, David looked for a room to breathe and rest for himself.
Sometimes he would have looked toward drinking, and sometimes with women.
But the answer he finally found was God.
It was escaping into the shadow of the Almighty God.
David confesses in Psalm 91, .
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1)
Almighty God set a room for us who believe and trust Him to avoid and rest for a while from the reality that suppresses our mind and soul.
While taking rest in the room, we would get strength back to face the desperate reality like battle field, or sleepless nights.
What God wants for us is to not stay forever in the room He set for us.
What God wants is that we get back strength from the room and return to and face the reality that makes us tired and sometimes worn out.
Though God provides the room, we have to take care of the room.
If the room is neglected, then, all dust cumulates, so that we cannot stay in the room, not even a moment.
We have to take good care of the room.
In today’s Psalm, David lets us know about the secret in taking care of the room.
He asked us do two things.
“Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.” (Verse 5)
The right sacrifices indicate our worship to God, and the trusting means the life relying on God in everyday life.
To have the trust in the Lord, we have to worship with the right sacrifices.
People who rely on the Lord in life can worship God truthfully.
The two phrases “believing God” and “relying on God” seem to be the same, but there is a subtle difference between the two.
David not only believed God, but he also relied on God.
He explained the reason in verse 3.
“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; The Lord will hear when I call to him…” (verse 3)
When David wrote this Psalm, he was in a difficult situation in all aspects.
Still, he believed in God’s ‘special care.’ Why?
Verse 7 shows why.
“Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound…” (Verse 7).
At the time, for the Israelites, the happiest was when they harvested new grain and new wine.
However, David is confessing that the joy given by the Lord is incomparable joy.
Only with this kind of belief, we can truly rely on God.
As soon as we think there are better things than God, we begin to neglect God.
Then the room God prepared for us begins to collect dust.
Only if we recognize and believe that a true safe place is with God and what God gives us is the true blessing, when we can rely on God in our daily life.
Then, whenever we get tired and overwhelmed by daily troubles, we go into the room, regain courage, and then face the outside realities again.
This is exactly the spiritual truth David experienced in his relying on God in the midst of his life.
When he was a shepherd boy, when he was a soldier, or when he became the King of Israel, David’s daily life was full of worries, concerns, and anxiety.
The reality he was facing choked him.
In that situation, he sought a breathing room from God.
Whenever he called God’s name and asked for help, God called David into the room and made him rest and sleep.
Brothers and sisters, do you have this room that allows you to withdraw from this tough world for a moment and lets you look back on yourself before the presence of God and refreshes your heart and soul?
Do you have this place that lets you to cry for a moment, free from other people’s eyes?
Do you have this space that lets you take a break from a tough reality and allows you to take a deep breath?
Do you have this room like the upper room?
Yes, I would like to call that room an upper room.
Do you have this room?
The fact that you are here at the place of worship shows that you all have this room.
Everyone who believe and rely on God have this upper room.
The issue is the condition of this room and how often you use the room.
How is your upper room?
Is it neglected to the point that it is filled with dust so no one cannot have a sit even for a moment?
Does it make you use the room less often?
Do you just lock the door of the room even though you have one?
Then it is no different than having no room.
If your upper room is neglected as such, you can do nothing but worry yourself on your bed during the sleepless nights.
You cannot gain the strength to face and transform the reality like a battle-field or a desert.
How about if your upper room is managed well?
Then you will go to the room often, not just for the times when you have a hard time that makes you feel difficult to take a breath, or when you want to cry.
Every time when you take a break in the room, your clouded vision will be cleared, your weakened faith will be strengthened, and your lost hope will be restored.
If we want to take care of our upper rooms as such, we need to listen to David’s advice,
“Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.”
Coming to the place of worship once a week is not enough.
We have to seek the name of the Lord and rely onto the Lord every day.
We should set apart time to meet the Lord alone every day.
We should often take a pause and go to the upper room in our everyday lives.
We should meet the Lord there.
Brothers and sisters, today’s world and our reality continuously push us and shake us.
It tells us to run harder so that we do not fall behind of other people, grab more and strive harder to get higher, and that it will change things and gives you rest and happiness.
Many people are deceived by this, especially among the young people.
As a result, an illness hurts one’s body and heart, relationships with the loved ones are broken, and the reality becomes more painful as time goes by.
In an attempt to avoid this reality, some people try to find hope in alcohol, in worldly pleasures, or in hobbies.
However, they realize that all of these will make the symptoms worse.
Some of you may already be in such a situation.
Some of you may be in pain in the midst of the reality with sleepless nights.
But more people may think that they are okay for now.
In whichever situation you are in, I hope that you find hope in the room prepared by God.
Through the sacrifices of the righteous and through the life of relying onto the Lord, strive to make your upper room clean and comfortable.
Make it the most important habit of your life.
Otherwise, we cannot find the strength to face and transform the reality that sometimes looks like a battle-field or a desert.
I pray that all of us may stay and live in the grace of God who prepares the room for us and meets us there. Amen.