Psalm 121 – Moving Forwards – 1

2020 is just around the corner, and at this time of year people often pause, reflect, look back on the year gone and look ahead to the new year with a renewed sense of optimism, sense of purpose, sense of determination that this is going to be the year; the year I read the entire Bible, the year I run a marathon, the year I (insert motivational activity personalised to you).

Kind of strange, really, isn’t it, as 31 December 2019 is no different to 1 January 2020, but, it’s a good opportunity to look back and draw hope for the future, and, as we tick over into 2020, it’s a good opportunity to look ahead and push on, as we’ll talk about in Psalm 121.

Often here at Saar Fellowship we talk about us all being on a journey, being in Bahrain is an important stop on the journey, isn’t it, whether you chose to come here, you were put here, or whether you felt called to be here, Bahrain is an important stop on the journey…and we are all on a journey, aren’t we…life…family…discipleship…faith…

I want us to think about the journey we are on, bigger picture; life, faith, faith life, and I want to ask you;

What part of the journey are you on?

The answer will be different for all of us, and that is good, there is unity in our diversity, we have people here who are the right people to turn to in every situation, and every situation they will turn you to Jesus, but they have been there before. We are all at different points; some maybe window shopping Christianity, deciding if this is for you or not, (spoiler, it is), maybe you’re a new believer, adolescent believer, mature believer, adolescent believer who behaves like a mature believer…mature believer who behaves like you’re window shopping, and everywhere in between.

So, wherever we are at on our own journey, our own individual discipleship walk, we all need to keep moving forward, don’t we, a walk implies forward motion, you can’t walk and stand still, you look ridiculous, and it’s not really walking, is it, but, you can walk backwards…

As we work through Psalm 121, we will talk about moving forwards, and where we find help to do so.

Baby steps are confident steps

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1.6 

When our two little boys were learning to walk, like all children, they stumbled, fell, tripped, miraculously reappeared on their feet, and tried again. As their Dad, I knew that they would eventually get the hang of taking a few steps, then walking in a (fairly) straight line, then eventually they would build up the coordination to be regular walking humans. 

Throughout the process I tried to help (when not laughing) by removing obstacles from their path, holding their hand when they needed it, or sometimes even picking them up and reorienting them when they hit a dead-end. They knew I was there, and this gave them the confidence to walk on.

The same is true of our loving Father in heaven, perhaps without the laughing (although God does have a sense of humour, my choice in sports team can confirm that). He removes obstacles from our path, helps us past them, walks with us, and can even totally change the course of our lives when we headed down the wrong path. This is all with one goal in mind; our salvation and sanctification. 

I love what Charles Spurgeon said about this verse,

Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe east off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness. Direct me, I pray you, to a star, a sun, a satellite–nay, I will challenge you on lower ground: point me out a plant, an emmet, a grain of dust that hath about it any semblance of incompleteness…

But all God’s works are finished with wondrous care; He as accurately fashions the dust of a butterfly’s wing, as those mighty orbs that gladden the silent night.

God always finishes His work, so walk with confidence that our Father in heaven is there;

there directing those steps,

there clearing obstacles,

there holding your hand,

and will step in and change the path if He needs to.