The Difference

Don’t give up on life and don’t give up on your self and don’t give up on God.

Scripture: Psalm 107:1-5


Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing okay? Oh, I trust so. Bless your heart. Hope everything’s alright at your house. I want to go on with you in looking at the 107th Psalm. We’d be in this Psalm for a day or two as we seize some of the reasons for and results from genuine praying. Some of the reasons that lead to prayer are ticked off there in verse 4 and 5. We got at it the last time we got together. In Psalm 107, 4 and 5 says “They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way. They found no city to dwell in, hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them. Then they cried onto the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses and He led them forth by the right way that they might go to a city of habitation.”

Alright. “All give thanks unto the Lord for His good, His mercy endureth forever.” What kind of mercy then does he pour at upon us? How do we engage his mercy? Well first of all we allow Him to put purpose into the life instead of wandering. They wandered. Second we allow Him by His marvelous grace to inject his own person, His presence in our lives instead of the lonesomeness that the average heart feels without God. Solitary is the key word there in verse 4. And then it says “They found no city to dwell in,” and that of course speaks of a togetherness with other people doesn’t it? And it’s true that you’re out of joint with the whole world until God makes your life right. Everything seems to go wrong until God makes your life right and then you have fellowship with other people.

John the apostle said “These things write I unto you that ye may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ.” And so the basis of real fellowship is that three-cornered relationship that you and I sustain. It’s You and God and I. It goes by way of the throne of grace, our relationship you and I, our relationship goes by way of the throne of grace. Where you have two computers and you want them to talk to each other you use an article that’s called a multiplexor and that allows incoming data to be fed either to one or to the other computer or from one computer to another and if I may use a very humble and Earthly illustration of an eternal and heavenly relationship, I may say that you and I need a multiplexor between the two computers of our brains and our spirits and that function is served by the blessed Holy Spirit of God and our fellowship is with the Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

It’s a beautiful picture.  Instead of you and I engaging each other’s personality head on so to speak with the inevitable conflict and the inevitable wearing and abrasion and ultimate weariness with each other that comes about when humans are placed in close proximity, instead of that are the impact and the influence and the relationship all is subject to the blessed Holy Spirit of God who brings then the presence of God into the relationship. It’s beautiful isn’t it? That’s why Christians don’t get tired of each other. If you want to know how quick people can get tired of each other just put twelve of them in an elevator for 18 hours. Get the elevator stuck at the 45th floor or something like that of a skyscraper and have those people there without being able to get out. You’ll be surprised at how glad they are to get rid of each other at the end of that time. Human beings wear on each other but when the Spirit of the living God comes to dwell on your life when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your Savior the Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart doesn’t He?

Paul says “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which ye have of God in you and ye are not your own for ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” So the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in your life when you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and he then makes the presence of God real and as a result you share with other human beings not your own personality only but you share with other people the blessing and the presence and the power of God, our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ.

Now that all came out of that word, city, because you don’t have that kind of fellowship. You don’t have that blessed satisfying relationship with other people who also know your Lord. “They found no city to dwell in.” God gives you His fellowship. Not only that but it says “hungry and thirsty.” There is that constant hunger of heart that’s seeking for satisfaction and not finding it until you find it in your Lord.

I think one of the saddest things that one observes is the constant effort of human beings to satisfy their longings with something that simply will not suffice and whether then it be alcohol or drugs or sex or a frantic seeking after fun and happiness or the chronic joiner who’s always coming from one club to another or the doer, the person who has a dozen projects and is working hard at them or the traveler who is intent on seeing the world or whatever it may be. The effort of human nature to satisfy its heart hunger apart from God is the great tragedy of the human race.

Bob Pierce gave an illustration of this that I’ve always remembered. My brother Bob Pierce’s is now with the Lord. Leukemia took him after a distinguished career as a missionary statesman and a great heart for God. He told in my hearing one day the story of refugees who came down to South Korea from the North during the Korean War and these dear people had nothing to eat. They made a refugee camp right next to a lumber mill where the product was wood veneer.

Now then the way that this was made was that the logs that were brought in from the forest would be put into a huge jig and the blades would be so adjusted that as the log was turned the bark would be stripped away leaving the raw slippery cambium layer of soft wood cells just underneath. If you’re brought up on the farm you know what slippery elm is. You remember what we used to do in lieu of chewing gum. We were too poor to have chewing gum and so we’d chew slippery elm. You remember that?

Well now that’s the soft layer of wood cells just under the bark. It’s the growing layer, the cambium layer of cells. Now what these dear, poor people who had nothing else to eat, what they would do said Bob Pierce would be to go next door to the lumber mill and when one of those logs had just gone through the stripping machine and the inner surface of the tree was then exposed they would scrape from that log those soft growing wood cells and they would put that mixture into their cooking pots and they would boil it up into kind of a bitter soup that would thicken as they boiled it and they would feed to that to themselves and to their children.

But he said he got there to the refugee camp in time to see dozens of them dying of starvation with full stomachs. Their stomachs were full but they were starving to death simply for the fact that the human digestive system cannot absorb cellulose, wood fiber. It cannot digest wood fiber and these people were cooking up wooden fibers into the soup, the mush, whatever it was that they fed it to themselves and to their babies and they were dying of starvation even though their stomachs were filled.

Beloved, I may be talking to somebody today who has had a life full so far of activity. You’re trying first one thing and then another and you say “Oh I’m having a great time. I’m busy. I’m happy. I’m seeking satisfaction and I’m getting it.” And I have to tell that you’re a lot like those dear Korean refugees. The stomach of your soul so to speak may be filled but you’re starving because of God’s absence in your life. Oh how you need His presence to satisfy that heart hunger which never, let’s face it, never will be satisfied apart from God hungry and thirsty. Then it said their soul fainted in them. People don’t die. Often times I think this is true. You can’t say that it’s always true but oftentimes it’s true that people don’t die because of the outside pressures but because they give up.

I have in my library a book written by a journalist who followed the story of people who went through brainwashing camps in wars that have gone by. In this instance it had to do with brainwashing camps that were operated by the North Koreans and this was the story of one or two of them. He said he noticed that those who came in strong and healthy but with what is called no special commitment. They had what is known as an open mind. Some of them had been highly educated on the university level and they have been taught according to the humanist tradition that nothing is really certain and that you don’t need God and you don’t need any absolutes and you don’t need the Bible.

And they came into a camp like that and they proceeded to wither and die without any seeming reason because of the incredible pressures placed upon them and there was nothing inside of them so to speak to give them a will to live but he said there was a little thin, scrawny, frail-looking soldier who also came into that camp and who survived. The reason was that he had some convictions. He knew what he believed and he knew whom he believed and he said “My God is as real to me as the back of my hand and is near.”

This is the difference, beloved. This is the difference. Let God give you the courage to live. Don’t give up on life and don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on God. It says “Their soul fainted in them then they cried onto the Lord.”

Dear Father, today, satisfy our heart hunger with Thee. In Jesus name, Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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