The Soldier’s Psalm (Independence Day)

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Soldier’s Psalm (Independence Day). He will be reading out of Psalm 144:1-15.

When you look at your personal challenges and you get your focus on those things in your life, you are going to be overwhelmed. But when you look up to the Lord Jesus Christ and you look to Him for the answer, that’s when Christ is going to reach out and pull you up out of the mess.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from the Open Door Church. And we are delighted that you are listening to Hopeworth having radio program today. This week is a special week in that we are celebrating as a country independence day.

And I’ve called this message the Soldiers’ Psalm. And I want you to go to Psalm 144 today and let’s learn about what it really means to have a great passion for God. And I just think this will be a blessing as you kind of look at this from a patriotic perspective.

And I know it will be encouraging to you in your faith. If you have your Bible this morning, I want you to join me in Psalm 144. Psalm 144, that’s in the Old Testament. And we recognize this morning that God has blessed America throughout her history in a remarkable way.

His blessings are not measured by just material affluence, power, and world dominance. But the greatest blessings that God has graciously given America have been spiritual blessings. We think of these spiritual blessings in terms of knowing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

The freedom for the gospel to be promoted not only throughout our land, but throughout the world. We look at our history and we see the sweeping revivals that have taken place in our country. We see that the church has spiritually prospered in our nation like no other nation before us or even in concurrence with us.

We recognize that our men and women, soldiers, have fought for the values of life, liberty, and freedom and the pursuit of happiness. We understand that these men and women have fought so that we can live in a free country.

Now, when we come to our text this morning in Psalm 144, it is often referred to as the soldiers’ psalm. Many soldiers throughout their service have referenced this psalm to be a point of encouragement for their life.

And I want you to know that as we live in this great country, that each and every one of us that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are in the army of the Lord Jesus, and that we are a soldier for Christ, and that we are on assignment from heaven, and that God has given us a calling, and that we have a responsibility to fulfill that calling.

And in order for us to do that, we must look at this psalm, and we must remember four important truths to help us to be a soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ. The first thing that I want you to see is the basis of life.

The psalmist reveals to us what is the basis of life. Look at verse 1. The Bible says, blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle, my loving kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the one of whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.

In this first paragraph of this great psalm, we are reminded that the basis of life is that Jesus Christ is our rock. He is the foundation of our life. There sometimes in life are experiences that we face that make us feel like we are overwhelmed with the problems of life, and we look out and we say, man, look at all this stuff happening, and we wonder, can things ever turn around?

We begin to lose hope, but I want to remind you that the psalmist said, when I am overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than me. Friends, I want you to know that Jesus Christ is the foundation, the basis for life, all the trouble, all the trials, all the struggles in this world.

All bring us back to putting our faith and our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to be careful that we do not trust in the things of this world, that we don’t depend upon them, but rather we are called to be a people who trust in the foundation of our life, which is Jesus Christ.

When Jesus ended his sermon on the Mount, he was describing that there were two people who had built their lives on different foundations. He reminds us that there is one who built his life on the bedrock, the rock.

He built his life and another one built his life on sand. And then the storms came and all of a sudden the man who built his life on the sand, his house was crushed and the one who built his house on the rock, his house stood firm.

And that is a message to each and every one of us that if you build your life upon Jesus Christ, no matter what happens in this world, no matter what you face in this world, no matter what happens even in our nation, we have the solid rock of the Lord Jesus Christ to sustain us and to support us and to strengthen us through the problems of life.

Jesus said in Matthew 7, verse 26, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Friend, you do not wanna build your house, your life on the shifting sands of this world.

You do not want to build your life upon the fads that flow through our culture. You do not wanna build your life upon the things of this world because it will all crumble in the end. But we wanna be a people who are committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.

And I am convinced that as we build our life upon Jesus Christ, as we build upon that solid rock, we can influence our families for Christ and we can influence our communities for Christ and we can influence our nation for the Lord Jesus Christ and we can see once again a nation that shows honor to faith, family and freedom.

I remember reading the words of the famous actor, Matthew Perry. He said and I quote, I have all this money and fancy car. and beautiful girls, but it doesn’t make me happy.” End of quote. Christ alone is the only one who can bring happiness into your life.

He is the basis of your life. He is the rock of ages. He is the sure foundation, and He calls each of us to be a disciple of Christ and to build our lives upon the foundation of Jesus Christ in a Gideon publication.

There was a soldier, and his name was Joe Paduno, and he tells of being shot down during the Vietnam War in 1972, expecting to be captured by the enemy. He decided that he would take his life, and he put his gun to his head, and just then he heard the sounds of an approaching helicopter.

An American shopper had lowered a ladder. And Joe said, when I was pulled in, I threw my arms around the nearest soldier. And I said, man, you just saved my life. The soldier looked at him with compassion and said, I didn’t save you today.

Jesus Christ saved you. Now you should live your life for him. He handed Joe a New Testament. And Joe went back to America and he read that New Testament. And he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. And that decision needs to be made by every person here this morning.

Jesus Christ died to give us eternal life. And he bids us to join his army and to follow him for he alone is the basis of life. And if you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, even in the darkest days of your life, I want you to know that he will not leave you nor forsake you and that we must turn our hearts to him.

And we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Bible teaches us that he will wash away our sins as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more. And we can walk in the freedom that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we read this soldier’s Psalm, we’re learning how we can be a soldier for Christ. We must understand the basis of life is Jesus. But I also want you to see the brevity of life. In verse three and four of our text, the Bible says, Lord, what is man that you take knowledge of him or the Son of man that you are mindful of him?

Man is like a breath. His days are like a passing shadow. Here the psalmist gives us two pictures. of the brevity of life, first a sigh and then a shadow. He is teaching us that life is brief, that it is very short, that we do not even know nor even understand what is the significance of the brevity of life.

James describes life like a vapor. It is here today and it is gone tomorrow. We never know what the future may hold for any of us this morning. We do not know whether we have another moment in this world, for in an instance you and I can be taken out of this world and our life on this earth can cease.

And that’s why it’s imperative that as a soldier for Jesus Christ each and every one of us are prepared to be able to face death and that we are prepared to step into eternity. And the question that is before us this morning, that if we were to die today, are we 100% sure that heaven is our home?

My friends, if you cannot be assured today that heaven is your home, that I invite you to trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior. There’s a story that has to do with an ancient king named King Ertich Xerxes who once reigned over the ancient land of Persia.

At the height of his rule, he staged a review of the army. And for hours, he watched the soldiers march by. His general noticed that there were signs of sadness on the king’s face. And he finally reminded him that these men have conquered the world for him.

The king responded and said, yes, but I’ve just been sitting here thinking that a hundred years from now, not one of these men will be alive. You see, there is no army that can withstand the enemy of time and death.

And every one of us have a date with death. The Bible says it’s appointed unto man, want to die. The question is, are you ready to face eternity? Because there’s only two places that are available to us.

Either we are going to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, or we are going to go to hell and be separated from the Lord Jesus Christ forever. And that’s why we recognize as a soldier the brevity of life and that we need to be ready.

Yes, we celebrate today and we celebrate tomorrow the freedoms that we have in this country. But do not miss out on the freedom from sin that is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes unto the Father, but by me.

Friends, the only way that you can spend eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ is to believe and to trust in Christ. That is to turn away from your sin. That is to repent of your sin and to believe in Jesus Christ.

But I want you to know that not only has the psalmist taught us in relation to the brevity of life that it is like a shadow, but you see back in verse three that there is almost a sigh and an amazement that God would even have knowledge of us.

That this great God, this awesome God, this God who is so holy would be mindful of you and I. Friends, I want you to know that the Bible teaches us that is I. is on the sparrow. And if his eye is on the sparrow, his eye is upon everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, that he is watching over his children, and that even as we are walking through the struggles and the trials of life, we have a Savior who is mindful of us.

He is mindful of what we encounter and what we experience and what we face each day, and that even as we walk through life, we have a hope that lives within us. We have a strength and a promise that we can stand firm upon.

It is this promise that Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life and he who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. Friends, the hope of heaven helps you and I make it through the problems and the struggles of life.

You as a soldier may face a lot of pushback and you may feel overwhelmed sometimes about your circumstances, but be encouraged that you, as you are fighting the good fight for the Lord Jesus Christ, as you are standing for right and you may be the only one in your family standing for right, you may be the only person at your job standing for right, you may be the only person in your community standing for the Lord Jesus Christ, but I assure you that God is watching over you and taking care of you.

When our soldiers are serving our country, not a day passes that they don’t think about coming home. They are willing to be there on assignment from their government, but they are eager for their deployment to end.

They look forward to the end of their mission and that’s the way it is for Christians. God has given us an assignment. He has placed us here on this earth for for a brief deployment. We’re here to serve in His army and to spread His gospel.

We are here in a brief time, but we long for the day when God will call us all out of this world. We long for that day when there’ll be a better kingdom, a greater kingdom, and a more perfect kingdom than the kingdom of the nation of America, where we will live in a world where there is no sin, and there is no sorrow, and there is no sadness, and there is no suffering, where we live in a world where we will not only be in constant worship and in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but we will reconnect with our loved ones who have gone on before us, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We long for that day when God will call us out of this world. And that’s why we stand in amazement as the psalmist did. that God, who is so great and so good and so merciful would be mindful of us, is quite an amazement.

But I want you to see the third thing in this passage of Scripture referred to as the soldier Psalm, and that is the battles of life. Look with me in verse five and notice what it says, Bow down your heavens, O Lord, and come down.

Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Flash forth lightning and scatter them. Shoot out your arrows and destroy them. Stretch out your hand from above. Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks lying words, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Here what we see is that the psalmist is dealing with the battles of life as a soldier. He is dealing with the problems of life. He recognizes that life, just in general, because of humanity and because of our flaws and because of the sinfulness of mankind, life is hard.

And friends, I want to tell you, sometimes it gets harder. But listen to me, friends, because we live in a depraved world. There are things that happen in this world that have ripple effects and make life so hard.

Our bodies are not designed to live forever, and we face challenges and struggles in life. These are the battles of life that we encounter when we try to stand up for right and speak up for right. The world pushes back and wants to try to cancel us or shut us down, only reminding us what the apostle Paul taught us in Ephesians 6 -12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Friends, we’re in a battle every day. You got to wake up knowing that. You got to get up every morning knowing that the devil’s doing everything he can to not only take UL, but to take your family out, to take your children out, to take your grandchildren out.

You got to understand that this is a spiritual battle that is going on between what is right and what is wrong, that we are living in times that have been described in the Scriptures as perilous times, as referred to as the last days.

My friends, we can read the Scriptures, and we already see the tea leaves of the signs of the times. We know that His coming is imminent because we already start to see these signs that Jesus described in Mark chapter 13 and Matthew chapter 24 already unfolding before us and emerging amongst our own culture.

But God is calling us no matter how dark it gets, no matter how difficult it gets personally or collectively in our culture and our nation. He is calling us to be soldiers and to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

We can never be a success for God. We can never advance the cause of Christ unless we learn to depend upon Christ. Can we be honest this morning? We can’t make it without Jesus Christ. Jesus said, you can do nothing without me.

If you’re trying to fight the battle for your family, if you’re trying to fight the battle for your community, by yourself, you are going to miserably fail. If you’re trying to fight the battles of life personally in the struggles and the problems that you encounter and face each day, by yourself, you are going to miserably fail.

You remember when Peter was invited to walk on water? You remember when he desired to come where Jesus was? When Jesus was walking on water? Jesus bid him to come. And so Peter, no matter how much we criticize him, he was a man of faith who stepped out of the boat and he started to walk on that water.

But when he started looking at the waves and the storms, all of a sudden he began to sink and Jesus reached out and grabbed him and pulled him out. Because Peter looked up to heaven and he said, Lord, help me.

Friends, when you look at the problems of this world, when you look at the problems You look at the people who frustrate you. When you look at your personal challenges and you get your focus on those things in your life, you are going to sink in discouragement.

You are gonna sink into depression. You are gonna be overwhelmed with the circumstances of life. But when you look up to the Lord Jesus Christ and you look to Him for the answer and the hope and the strength and the refuge that you need, that’s when Christ is gonna reach out and pull you up out of the mess and help you to get through the mess that you might be able to live victoriously for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy chapter 20 verse three and four, and he shall say to them, Hero Israel, today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint. Do not be afraid and do not tremble or be terrified because of them.

For the Lord your God is He. who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you. Here Moses was giving the people the word of the Lord and God was preparing the people for the battle.

He was reminding them that even after you have experienced salvation and even after you have conquered many enemies of the Lord that there still will be more battles in this world. Sometimes people have this imaginative dream that somehow in the Bible the promised land refers to heaven but it does not because in heaven there are no more battles.

In heaven there are no more struggles but here Moses is describing to them that even as they move forward for the Lord there will be enemies, there will be problems. Joshua reminded the people that they would have to go city to city to conquer the enemies of God.

And that is a picture of the victorious Christian life. And friends what I wanna tell you today just knowing and understand that every day is a battle and that every day the enemies of God and the kingdom of Christ are gonna do everything they can to destroy you is the beginning of helping you to be victorious and that if you will rely upon Christ you will not be faint of heart, you will not be weary in well doing but if you know Christ as your Lord you can claim his promises during those hard times those battles that you face.

Remember what John taught us in 1st John 4 .4. You are of God little children and you have overcome them because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. Who is in the world? The antichrist, the devil.

Who is in the world? This worldly philosophy that wants to crush the works and the wisdom of the world. of God upon this earth who is in the world. The things that do not desire the glory and the grace of Christ.

But the Bible says greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. You have a greater power and that power is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the spirit of God that resides in all who believe in Christ and every day you do not get up as a victim.

Every day you do not hang your head low because of your problems and your situation and your circumstances. But rather head up. You are a child of the king. You are blessed of God and you have been called by God and you are a victor, not a victim of the circumstances of this world and God is calling you to walk in that victory, to walk in that victory.

mindset to where you are more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ. And he is calling you to remember that as you are fighting the battles, that it is Jesus Christ alone who gives the victory. Jesus gives the victory.

Parents, teach your children not to be pessimistic. Teach your children to not be pouting and to have pity parties. But teach your children to walk in the confidence of the Lord. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What was the apostle talking about? He was talking about that it didn’t matter what his circumstances were in life. He had learned to be content. And if he had much, he was content. If he had little, he was content.

He’d learned to adjust to life because the focus of his life was not what he had or what he did not have. But the focus of his life was his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Friends, at that cross, Jesus won the victory.

And all who believe in Christ get to inherit and experience that victory that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. So let us church move forward. Let us let this day of freedom and this moment in time of celebrating the freedoms in America also be a powerful tool to inspire each and every one of us to be motivated for the Lord Jesus Christ.

That in the battles of life, we walk in victory. My final point that I want to note to you is the blessings of life. We come to Psalm 144. And now we look at verse nine through 15. Listen to what the psalmist says.

I will sing a new song to you, oh God, on a harp of ten strings, I will sing praises to you, the one who gives salvation to kings, who delivers David his servant from the deadly sword, who rescues me and delivers me from the hand of foreigners whose mouths speak lying words and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood, that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, that our daughters may be as pillars sculptured in palace style, that our barns may be full supplying all kinds of produce, that our sheep may bring four thousands and ten thousands in our fields, that our oxen may be well laden, that there be no breaking in our going out, that there be no outcry in our streets.

Happy are the people who are in such a state. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Just remember that our hope is not in a nation, it’s not in politics or a country, but rather our hope is in Jesus Christ.

And that’s where we focus our attention and winning people to Christ and helping God to be glorified in every day of our life. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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