Prayer Of Guidance

Welcome to this presentation from the Downey Seventh Day Adventist Church. We are located in the greater Los Angeles area at 9820 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. We would love to have your worship with us any Saturday you are in our area Good morning. We’re so glad you have chosen to join us today. If this is your first time, my name is Bill, welcome We’re glad you’re with us. And whether this is your first time or whether you’re a regular and this is the thousandth time you’ve joined us, I don’t know how many times we’ve done this since COVID started. Take a moment and leave us a comment and say hi to everybody. It’s good to hear from everybody and see who’s watching know who’s out there with us and encourages us all, when we can hear from everybody and know where you’re coming from. And if you’re visiting, and this is your first time with us, we really want to hear from you. And especially if you’ve called in from someplace far away, we’d love to hear where you’re from, you know, maybe you’re in a different state or even a different country. It’d be great to hear from you We have one big announcement today. We were supposed to do our drive thru food drive today, november seventh, from three to 5pm. But the weatherman has predicted a big storm and I quote with significant rainfall and snow in the mountains. Now, I can hear Gustavo saying something somewhere because I know you’re not supposed to believe the weatherman. But I didn’t think it sounded like a lot of fun to collect food out in the rain and put them in the back of my truck where it’s going to be raining even more. So we are moving to next week, November 14, rain or shine We will do it next week. And if it’s raining next week, well we’ll have to do is go in the parking lot. Come around back where we can be under the overhang there kind of in front of this children’s Sabbath School rooms. And we’ll collect the food there or we can at least stay a little bit dry Also this week, remember that Wednesday is Veterans Day. If you know a veteran, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate them. And plus, it’s a good day to put out your flag. Thank you to all those who served. We truly do appreciate it. There’s no way we can pay back what you have done for us. Thank you This morning, Edwin will have our prayer. Ethan has our children story Father, Son team this morning. And then pastor Chris will be speaking about a prayer of guidance. God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good Thank you so much for joining us. God bless Our Heavenly Father glorified be Your holy name. We are here in your presence We worship you and adore you. We remember that only you are that true God, creator of all the things and we live by you grace, power and mercy. And these morning, we can confess our faith in your son Jesus Christ who came to earth and live and die for save us Thank you, Father. Father, you give us the promise of your Holy Spirit. We invite you today to enter in our lives and use us for Your glory Many of us are ill and need help. And you are our doctor bless and protect those who are in need of you. Many of us need a good job. And you can open doors. Many of us need salvation for our families and friends, and You are the Savior. Many of us need peace in our heart and only you can give. Many of us need protection in you can send your holy angels around us. Thank you Father for all your promise that you give to us. Father to continue to Pray for our

church around the world. And we pray for all your ministers, put upon them your Holy Spirit and use them for Your glory and honor. We pray for our country. We pray for those who are in authority, guide and direct those who you put in the government. Thank you, Father, because you are good. In this morning, we asked for this thing and give you thanks. And then name are you Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen Good morning, boys and girls, happy Sabbath. Hope you guys are having a good beginning to your Sabbath. And I hope you guys have a good upcoming week Today’s story is going to take us to Psalms, and more specifically into Psalms 55, verse 22. And it says, cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. So okay. What does that mean? Well, if we look at the verse, it says that if we have God in our lives, we have nothing to fear. In the Bible. It also says that, since God conquered the world, and since we live in the world, we have nothing to fear, since he already conquered the world Now, a good example of that is like, a cup of water, right? If I were to take this cup of water and dump it on my head, I would get wet, I don’t want to get wet. So therefore I’m scared. If I take this piece of cardboard, and put it put on the glass here, and then I put it over my head, I’m still gonna get wet However, if I do this, right, and then I like go, we can see that it stays Now, if I were to put this over my head, I wouldn’t have to worry about it Because I know, whoo [a little water spills] . Because I know that now that I have God, I have nothing to fear. And that’s how life is sometimes boys and girls. When you have God in your life, you have absolutely nothing to fear. Let us pray. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for another day of life. I ask that you please be with these children May you nourish and strengthen their minds may continue to guide and protect them. Lord, I say you Please forgive us of all our sins. And may we continue to exemplify your character Lord in everything that we do. We ask all these things, name of Jesus Christ, amen. Bye, boys and girls, thank you so much for listening. You guys have a good rest of the Sabbath Good morning, friends. I hope and pray you are well, let’s begin with the word of prayer. Father in heaven, Lord, we thank you for another awesome opportunity to gather together once again, especially on this Sabbath day Lord, we ask that you please be with us as we continue on our journey on prayer And as we talk about guidance, be with us in Jesus name, amen So for many, many years, or I should say summer, six summers, I had the awesome opportunity to be able to work at Camp Cedar Falls. And even as a child. I also attended a summer camp. That wasn’t too far from Cedar Falls either. But one of the things that we always did every night at least Monday, yeah, Monday, Tuesday was a thursday friday there was always some outdoor programming. And some of the places we would have to walk to would be the outposts. So maybe there would be like a wagon and like a cowboy camp And to get to that place, usually we would leave and it would be dark and some people would have flashlights you know if you were a good camper, you brought your own flashlight I had this huge yellow flashlight with the handle it was a huge I don’t even know the size of the battery but it was like this huge big block battery and probably know what I’m talking about. And anyways, I would I would have this handle on it. And and I could walk and I could see and it was great. But every once in a while, you know, I thought why didn’t need my

flashlight and especially even as a counselor, you know, the road and other people had flashlights. So working at Cedar Falls, we would go to cowboy camp or Indian camp. And to get there, however, you’d have to walk on this road, which was called the access road and there was a drop off if you weren’t careful, in fact, even before I started working there, one of my good friends dad, we went up there for a retreat, he literally was backing up and nearly went over the side of the road. Still remember him, good guy, love him But it brought the starkness. So when I, when I started working there, I was always mindful to make sure all of the kids would stay on the right side of the road when we were going to the outposts And on the way back, when we go back to the firebawl there were always near the left side. So they would not get anywhere near trying to roll off down the canyon and into the water My point being with this story is looking back, it was interesting where you’d have, you know, your counselors, they would have their flashlights, and maybe some of the kids would have a flashlight, but for the most part, they had to rely on us to be able to get to the places we were going. And sometimes especially if we had a large group, we would take a rope and we’d string it across so that kids couldn’t get on the other side. And we would we would Shepherd them, we would lead them we would guide them to cowboy camp or Indian camp. And then on the way back Especially there were a couple times where we I wouldn’t say we didn’t have enough lights, but for sure we had to keep an extra vigilant eye on all the kids because for one thing, of course we don’t want them to get hurt, we want to keep them safe. And we also didn’t want to get in trouble. But I’m reminded of the these experiences and how it can so easily relate to Psalm 23, The Good Shepherd leading the sheep. And as you read Psalm 23 Isles, so see a lot of King David, David’s life in this story And so as we unpack this psalm we’ll kind of reference him a little bit. Now, Swami Vivekananda, I’m sorry if I butchered that name. But he writes true guidance is like a small torch and a dark forest, it doesn’t show everything once, but gives enough light for the next step to be safe You know, especially as a counselor, now the shepherd, the shepherd knows the way it provides a way to get to where they need to be. Light. Guidance. And sometimes, it’s hard to sometimes trust because we want to have that control, we want to know where we’re going. And we want to be able to see clearly. And you know, when you’re out in the wilderness, you only have the stars, maybe the moon, if it’s bright enough to kind of guide you, you still have to watch your step you you’re still not immune to danger, there could be a wild animal, especially if you’re by yourself. But the shepherd is there to be able to protect to lead and to guide you. And, you know, one of the things that we’re not immune to at times is sometimes being afraid or being fearful. Now, I know in our last series or two, we talked about fear, so kind of to have a little bit of a rehash. You know, what is fear? What is it not. well fears, it’s sad emotion, sometimes just overtakes you. It can be, it can be exciting, perhaps at some point, but it can also, fear can also cause a visceral, negative reaction where it causes us to be scared. Or we’re fearful of somebody harming us, we are fearful of the unknown. And it can cause anxiety, and ultimately fears goal is not to cause us good but to harm us. But there’s a difference between fear and also being afraid. Being afraid is natural, because look, you know, sometimes, you know, you’re Yeah, you can be afraid. It’s a defense mechanism that God thankfully puts in us to be able to not continue to harm us or to you know, continue on a path that could be harmful. But fears also unnatural Fear is a long term season of fear and it can be harmful to us, and we need to be able to Make sure we’re cognizant of that. In fear has somewhat what we call

a somebody says a progression. Fear begins with a thought sometimes it can be abrupt, sometimes it slowly creeps in. And then sometimes fear will also transfer or transition to dreadfulness And you think about the long term potential effects. And as we learn a lot of times, our fears are things that are near even real, but things that we make up in our mind. And we sometimes when the fear transitions from fear and dreadful to terror, it overtakes, it takes you in at times, it can numb you and, it’s hard for you to move forward Now here in this Psalm, Psalm 23, and it’s a psalm that most of us probably know. And we can probably even recite, especially the King James Version, I’m going to read it for you here. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. I love the imagery that the psalmist is writing, he refreshes my soul, he guides me along the right paths for his namesake. And even though I walk through the darkest Valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, and You anoint my head with oil, my cup over flows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever You know, Psalm 23, it’s it’s got so many beautiful things associated with it. But ultimately, the overarching theme of Psalm 23 is that of trust Psalm 23, is based on trust. And you know, I can’t remember the first time I read Psalm 23. And memorized it. But I know I memorized it as a child. And it’s something that’s always stuck with me whenever I’ve been feeling fearful or scared, I’m reminded, and I go back to this Psalm, in fact, most likely, David probably wrote Psalm 23, we see so much of his life in this psalm, we know that before he was even king, he was himself a shepherd. And, the, you know, the beautiful thing is, God was already teaching you how to lead people before he knew he would even be a king. He would have to care for the sheep, he would have to make sure that they’re watered, they’re fed and ultimately protected. As we know, he protected the sheep from various animals And so as we as we go through this psalm, The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. And the beautiful thing is in this, psalm, God is telling us look, I’m going to provide the means I’m going to be able to provide the way. And in verse two, I love this imagery where it says he makes me to lie down in green pastures. I love this imagery. And actually, you know what, sorry, getting a little bit ahead of myself, but the shepherd as well. Psalm 23, is about bait based on trust, and the shepherd leads the sheep, the shepherd is active In leading the sheep, the shepherd takes an active role in the life of the sheep, he knows every sheep, he knows their characteristics, their quirks, the ones who are more likely to be passive and follow well, and those who can tend to be probably the more mischievous troublemakers. So the shepherd is involved in leading in the journey. And with the with the rod and the staff in his hand. He’s not the shepherd is not somebody who’s just going to watch from a distance but literally walking with the sheep calling, moving calling. The shepherd is actively involved in our life. The shepherd is in the thick of it. And as we move so going back to now, the psalmist in verse two begins to articulate a visual experience or as you read, and as you perhaps if you’re listening to this psalm, you can think and imagine now it says he makes me to lie down in green pastures. And obviously, as a shepherd, you lead sheep to the pastures to what? To eat And for the shepherd, or to be told, hey, lie down in green pastures means that you’ve probably already had enough to eat And now you can just peacefully

rest I think of green pastures, especially for a well known movie that well probably most of us who are a little older knows the Sound of Music The opening scene is that of Maria frolicking in the green pastures of Austria. And it says huge, huge valley below. But you see, in the backdrop these beautiful mountains, she starts singing. And I like in a pasture meadow to just like this But there’s also a second part to this, not only green pastures, but He leads me beside quiet waters. And one of the things about waters well, especially quiet waters, calm waters, you know, especially when you have a big body of water, it’s moving with strength that may not be loud, but it’s moving and it’s heading in the direction it needs to go. But water has, at least for me, in my experience, water has been very calming, minus when here in the ocean, waves are trying to, you know, dump themselves over your head. But when you sit next to a river, there’s this calming sensation that I think many of us experience and especially with water,.Water is necessary for life. But to be to be beside quiet waters, there’s a strength but also a calmness to this image. And so there’s this beautiful imagery, green pastures a place to lie down to find rest for your weary soul And as well a calm water to not only be able to quench your thirst, plenty of time to be at peace But in the next verse, he also says he refreshes my soul, he guides me along the right paths for his namesake. Even though I walk through the valley, darkest Valley, I should say, I will fear no evil for you’re with me, your rod and your staff. they comfort me. And so we can move forward with the confidence that the shepherd is guiding us. And you know, as Christians, we sometimes though we don’t want to go through hardship. We don’t want to be fearful. We don’t want to feel pain. We don’t want to know the unknown. Maybe there’s a potential situation in your life where you know, you need to take that next step. But you’re fearful of what’s going to happen. Maybe if I take this job, there’s no guaranteed secured income. There’s there’s uncertainty if I’ll even have a job. Some of us are facing this question right now Especially what’s what’s going to happen in the next week, in the next month, in the next year? How long can we keep going on like this? But the shepherd is there to lead and to guide. And though the sheep are are not immune from the hardship or the darkness in the valley, the shepherd is leading them through the valley and also up the peaks. And the peaks and the valleys, while they sometimes can be painful They are also building blocks in our faith. We sometimes that we want to avoid that valley because we don’t want to be uncomfortable. And these valleys can be very difficult and painful points in our life perhaps. But yet as we are continuing in this sermon, what are some painful or difficult points in your life that you were able to overcome, with God’s help? Think about that. What are some of the points in your life where life you were on high and then you kind of got down to that plateau, but all of a sudden, it went spiraling down. And perhaps maybe it was a short time. Or perhaps it was a long time, maybe even years before you could climb out of that valley. Know that the shepherd is there with you to lead into guide. In fact, there’s this beautiful imagery and throughout all of Scripture especially in in Luke where the shepherd literally went out to go and find the lost sheep and carried the sheep. throughout Scripture. There’s imagery of of shepherds going out and carrying and holding and calling the sheep. The shepherd is present We also find that even though I walk through the valley of the dark the darkest valley. I will fear no evil for you’re with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. A rod? what’s the purpose of the rod? Well, the rod is there to be able to help defend and protect the sheep from other predatory

animals. And as well to guide and sometimes however, you know, maybe you get that ram who’s very hard headed and doesn’t want to follow along, sometimes you’ll have to poke and prod that rod, or literally with the hook, grab it and pull it away from danger. And I see that in sometimes in our life, you know, we as as sheep, perhaps we have this certain path that we want to go on. And yet we don’t realize that it’s full of danger and the shepherd, he comes in, he says, Hey, man, I’m gonna project Hey, come on, let’s go this way. Sometimes God literally just has to pull us out of that situation. And sometimes it can be painful. God is looking out for us. And sometimes we go on a path that can be painful and destructive. And sometimes get out of that, God really has to reach out to us and bring us back So the rod and the staff, it’s there to be able to protect us, and also move us in the path, the right direction. And the beautiful thing as well as that. The shepherd, or I should say, this psalm, you know, when we talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, a lot of people equate this, this psalm with death. And you hear it a lot of funerals. But this Psalm is not about death. It’s actually the opposite. It’s really about living, it’s not about dying. The shepherd is there to help preserve our life, not only to have a life, but a great life, to live well, to be led and to be guided. And the beautiful thing about this is the psalm closes with a beautiful imagery of where it says You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup over flows, the joy and even though we are facing these challenges, God has already provided a table he’s already provided the way and in fact, our joy that our calmness is able to overflow and close with Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever When I look back on David’s life, there were certainly plenty of times where he was on the run for a good portion of his life, from Saul and from other enemies who were trying to literally kill him So he’s walked this path where he’s walked through that valley of uncertainty and dare I say he probably at some point had some depression. When you live and you’re on the run, and people are after you, you’re not sure who to trust, it can be very lonely experience. But David, as he’s writing from his own testimony, and from his own experience, he also knows that the Lord has been good and is helping to overcome. He helped overcome Goliath And he faced many, many hardships, but God was there with him. And even in the midst of him being surrounded, God was able to provide a way to help overcome his enemies. And with that he chose to trust and to dwell in the little house of the Lord forever Mind you, of course, as well. David was not a perfect man. If we, you know, if you’ve gone through his story quite a bit, you just kind of scratch your head, how could a man who could be so faithful as well make so many horrible bad decisions. We’re human. But thanks be to God. God is also gracious, God is loving God is kind. And God desires to lead and guide and to ultimately Shepherd us through this life. I don’t know where you’re at right now in your journey. But I want to give you an opportunity. If you’ve never had the opportunity to turn your life over and to trust and want to just give you an opportunity to say God, please come into my life lead and guide me, Shepherd me and the good times and also the challenging times. I know that you have overcome the battle. I can trust in you Philip Keller, who’s a former Shepherd wrote in his book A Shepherd Look at Psalm 23, he writes often we sing or pray the hymns requesting Gods make us an inspiration to someone else. We want instinctively to be a channel of

blessing to other lives. The simple fact is that just as water can only flow in a ditch or channel or a valley, so is the Christians career, the life of God can only flow in blessing through the valleys that had been carved and cut into our own lives by excruciating experiences. For example, the one best able to comfort one another in bereavement is the one who himself has lost a loved one. The one who can best minister to a broken heart is one who has known a broken heart. Most of us don’t want valleys in our lives, we shrink from them from a sense of fear of foreboding. Yet, in spite of our worst misgivings, God can bring great benefits and lasting benediction to others through those valleys, so my exhortation, encouragement. Don’t fear the valley. Yes, it is hard, and sometimes it can feel uncertain. But I want to encourage you and exhort you trust that the shepherd is with you and to pray, to be faithful. Ask for faithfulness, to ask for wisdom, to ask for guidance, to ask for how do we move forward on the path that you are calling us to God And God is, Jesus in fact, himself says several times, and John says all of this, I’ve spoken while still with you This is john 14:25, to 27. But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give you, I do not give this to you, as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled. And do not be afraid So Downey church and our digital friends joining us today, I want to encourage and exhort you, though the world can perhaps in times seem bleak, and it can be also painful at times know that God has not left you, the shepherd does not abandon us, but is actually with us walking through us. And if you’re on the mountain top peak experience, give God praise, give God joy, give God thanks, the fact that you’re there. And may we as an as a community, as well come together to be able to encourage one another. There’s a member that you haven’t talked to for a while, reach out to them, text them, call them or send them an email, let them know that you care, and to catch up. We love you. And as well, we’re praying for you. So may God be with you may be guided by the shepherd. And let’s pray Father in heaven, Lord, at times, life can seem like it’s peaks and valleys, but Lord, you know, the path, you know the way you provide the light, you provide the guidance, and just Lord, as it says early on, may you provide the grass the pasture, to not only be able to eat and to be fed, but as well to find rest and that calm water that provides strength but also the provides the the ability to quench our thirst, Lord, may we trust in you. And Lord, I know that as we face our challenges and our our issues, or we know that you’ve already prepared a table, even in the things that are trying to harm us, Lord, you’re still there with us. And Lord is our great desire to be able to worship and ultimately to be with you. Until that day that you come Lord watch over us guide us, help us in all that we do And as well be with our church. May we be faithful representatives to you, not only in our home, but at the grocery store in our community and everywhere we go. In Jesus name, amen May grace and peace be with you. Have a great week