Sunday, April 15, 2012

Relationship Advice - Psalm 37:1-7

LBBC 4/15/12

Relationship Advice - Psalm 37:1-7

After 64 years of marriage Bernard and Gertrude had celebrated anniversaries in all kinds of ways.  Today they just stayed at home.  Bernard looked over at his wife who was reading the newspaper and he thought of all the good times they had had.  He leaned forward so she could hear him and said, "Honey, after all these years I have found you tried and true."

She looked up from her paper and said, "Well, I'm tired of you, too!"

So many of you have asked for this from me and so, by popular demand, I am going to give you all some relationship advice.  You know, since I'm so good at it.  So, that's good news.  Actually, the really good news is that this advice does not come from me, it comes from the Bible.  Also, while this advice is very applicable to you and your sweetie, it actually is advice on how to improve your relationship with God.

Many times in the Bible the church is referred to as the bride of Christ and in Isaiah 62:5 it says, "as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."  We talked this morning about how the peace we have with God affect the other relationships we have.  So too does the other aspects of our relationship with God affect and are applicable to our other important relationships. 

What does your spouse need from you the most?  Is it comfort, security, trust, commitment, something less than the truth when you see them first thing in the morning?  God is not so self-conscious that he needs less than the truth but He still wants you to look at your relationship with Him as...a relationship.

Psalm 37:1-7 is our text for tonight.  Turn there and let's look at 4 ways to make sure we have a right relationship with God.

After reading a passage like that you would have to try pretty hard to be worried about much at all.  It's a beautiful passage that is comforting and yet brings great wisdom.  That David guy is gonna be a good writer some day.  Actually, if we could read it in the original Hebrew we would see that it is a poem where every other line starts with the next letter of the alphabet.  Beautiful.

But, like I said I want us to see 4 ways we can make sure we have a right relationship with God.

The first way David tells us is to trust God (verse 3).  Somebody tell me how you know you can trust your spouse.  Maybe it is the first time you knew you could trust that person.

Now tell me how you know you can trust God.  Give me one example.

Some people don't have any trouble trusting a car mechanic or a fast-food worker but they just can't quite trust God.  I was talking to somebody this week who was having some problems and I told them I have found that it is ok to ask God "Why?" if it is done with the right attitude and followed quickly by, "...but I trust you."  God's ok with that.  He may not answer right away but it's part of the relationship.  It's part of trusting God as David recommends.

The next way to have a right relationship with God is to delight yourself in Him (verse 4).  I love to watch Bro. and Mrs. Davenport together.  When he is around her he just glows, still, after 150 years of being married.  He calls her sweetheart; tells people she is his girlfriend.  He brags on her like they are going steady in high school.  Rarely is he not smiling when he speaks of her.  And do you know what?  He wants what she wants.

If he thinks she wants or needs something, he loads up the walker in the car and goes to get it.  He might forget what he wants from the store but he gets what she wants.  If God was talking to Gabriel and Michael the angels about you, do you think He could say something similar about you?

"That Carol.  She rarely asks me for anything for herself.  She always asks me what I want and when she knows, she does it with a smile.  She is highly esteemed!  Watch me bless her."

Thirdly, we are to be committed (verse 5).  How long would your relationship last without commitment?  I heard the news this past week that Brad and Angelina are finally engaged to be married after 7 years of living together.  Alot of folks are disappointed because they are officailly off the market now.  There's alot of good looks right there.  And that Angelina ain't bad either!

I think they have like 6 adopted kids and that is very noble but what does it teach those kids about commitment when it took them 7 years to decide this?  Just as we hate to see people live together outside of marriage, so does God hate to see us wishy-washy in our relationship with Him.

When church is an option, that's not commitment.

When the tithe check usually gets turned in, that's not commitment.

When you act one way with friends and another at church, that's not commitment.

When you let an opportunity go by to witness, no matter what your excuse is, that's not commitment.

If you wouldn't want your spouse to do it, then God probably feels the same way when you do it.

The last thing we can do to make sure that we have a right relationship with God is probably the hardest.  In verse 7, David tells us to "Be still and wait."

Now David is one to talk about waiting on God, right?  Don't you remember one of my favorite stories in the Bible where David killed Goliath (who was wearing brass greaves on his legs by the way)?  David didn't wait.  He saw the problem and it says that he actually ran toward Goliath.  How do we know when to run toward as he did and when to wait as he said?

I have 2 thought on this.  First, I would say don't do anything until God tells you to do something, as He obviously led David.  But also, when you are in a right relationship with God, you will know what to do and when to do it.  That's part of the relationship.  That's why He says here, "Do not fret" and in Ephesians 6 we are told to stand strong in the Lord with the gospel of peace.

It's ok to be still.  Don't try to show God how well you can solve a problem.  You don't try to impress a girl by showing her how well you can mow the lawn and change the oil and clean the house.  Sit down, be still and have a relationship with God.  He promises blessings when we do.

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