Second Baptist Lincoln
October 13, 2019
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Last weekend we watched with anxious anticipation as Nebraska drove down the field toward the end zone with a backup quarterback and walk-on kicker.I’m not sure any of us had the confidence and assurance that our offense could pull it off. Sure, we could have gone into overtime and taken the risk of losing the game, but instead, with seconds on the clock, the offense completed passes that got us within an easy field-goal range. Suddenly, an unknown walk-on kicker by the name of Lane McCallum trotted out on the field. Northwestern University defense tried to chill the kicker by calling three consecutive timeouts.Finally, with three seconds on the clock, the ball is snapped and McCallum completes a low chip shot barely missing the hands of the defenders and the ball goes through.
As I was watching it, I thought, “What incredible pressure. The whole game is in your hands – or rather – on your foot. You’re a hero is you make it and a lousy kicker if you miss. He was never intended to be the kicker. He was a defensive backfield and safety. Out of desperation, he was switched to a kicker In the interview after the game it became very clear how he could stand up under the pressure. He left little question of where his confidence came from. When asked about his experiences at Nebraska, he said “It’s definitely been a crazy journey. God throws you in every situation he wants you to, and it’s His plan not yours.”. When asked about the timeouts, he said, “I got more and more confident as the time outs were coming. It relaxed me.” He said, “Whether I miss it or make it, the glory goes up to Him.”
As we read Psalm 27, we get the same sense that David also possesses this same confidence under pressure. Like Lane McCallum, it was not confidence in himself, it was confidence in God. David had been through many situations much more challenging than a Nebraska kicker. Chased by King Saul for year, he hid in caves and dodged the arrows and spears of his oppressors. He had other political foes, stresses of running the government of Judah during the time that was the Golden Age of Israel. He had the stresses of transitioning the place of worship from a tent to a beautiful, elaborate structure on the Temple Mount.
This morning, I’ve asked two people to share how God has given them confidence in order to carry out the ministry in which they are involved. The Horstman family will be receiving the Right Hand of Fellowship. Kristy became our youth leader a year ago. After Kristy is my daughter Stephanie. We offered a prayer of commissioning this morning as she formally begins her education related to her ministry with Child Evangelism Fellowship.
There will always be times when we feel inadequate and weak in our lives. We don’t feel up to the task. As a pastor, if I depend on my own strength and wisdom, I come up extremely short. There is no natural ability, leadership style, philosophy or training that can provide us with the ability and the confidence to succeed at our calling. Think of the failures of those in the Bible. Even David failed at times. So did Paul, Peter, Moses and Abraham.
The kind of confidence we are talking about is when we fail and we recognize that we are prone to failure, we can still pick up and embrace the next task or the next phase of life. We can do that because God is our light and our salvation. He is the stronghold of our life. When others try and bring us down, we will not fear. The light of our salvation is our stronghold. Amen.