Sermon:  Song in My Soul

Summary:  God has been working in the lives of his people and continues to do so 
today so that he can place a song and testimony in our hearts to proclaim among the 

Know:  God continued to be an active God who acts on our prayers and provides what 
we need.

Feel:  Enthusiasm and confidence in our God who acts on our behalf

Do:  Reflect on the ways God works in our life and share it.  Identify metaphors, pictures, 
and descriptive words that describe how God has working in your life and commit to 
sharing your story with others.

Text:  Psalm 18

Scripture Reading:  Romans 15:9

1.  Have you ever thought about being a professional singer?
	a.  My Dad is - He sings his heart out
	b.  He used to say if you can't sing pretty, sing loud
	c.  People in our congregation love to hear his joyful out of tune singing
	d.  This morning's text reminds us that we are all singers
2.  Text:  Psalm 18
	a.  Another royal Psalm
	b.  This one is a prayer of the king directed to God
3.  Heading of this song tells us that this is the song God put in David's heart
	a.  It is general enough to pass on for others to use
	b.  It serves as one of several models for us to use in our prayers
4.  It occurs to me that God puts a song in all of our hearts
	a.  v.1, 49 - Shows that David will sing to God
	b.  Where does this song come from?

I.  From what God is like
	A.  After David sings of his love for God, he describes God
	B.  These pictures are descriptive
		1.  God is my strength - v.1
			a. Rock - Literally "crag"
				- Image of a rocky crag where you can hide
				- These were the badlands of Israel
				- Could run in and hide from the enemy
			b.  Fortress
				- Word is "metsudah," as in "Masada"
				- Impenetrable fortress, a safe haven
			c.  Shield
			d.  Stronghold
		2.  God is my Deliverer
			a.  The horn of my salvation
				- Horn denotes strength
			b.  He delivers the righteous (v.25-28)
		3.  God is my guide (v.28-29, 34-36)
		4.  God is strong and faithful
	C.  ILL:  A picture is worth a thousand words
		1.  David doesn't analyze, he just uses word pictures in poetry
		2.  Rock, Fortress, Shield, Stronghold
		3.  What images might you use from your own experience?
			a.  Tank, Mountain, Rifle, Flapjacket
			b.  Lawyer, Coach, Father, etc.
	D.  But David doesn't stop with that
		1.  He explains why he portrays God in that way
		2.  His mind goes back to his past struggles
		3.  His descriptions shows there was more than meets the eye
			a.  There was a spiritual battle going on behind the scenes
			b.  Brings us to our next point…

II.  From what God has done
	A.  Next, the Psalm recounts what God has done
	B.  David remembers what happened
		1.  Danger, cried out to God (v.4-6)
			a.  Was surrounded, overwhelmed
				- He was outnumbered and helpless
				- Do you ever feel overwhelmed?  What to do?
			b.  He cried out to God
		2.  God's Answer (v.7-15)
			a.  God hears from his temple
				- Doesn't matter where you are
				- God hears your prayers, cries, and groans
			b.  Nature shakes in terror before him
				- If someone messes with God's people, watch out
				- Nature trembles before God
				- The enemies
			c.  God drew me out (v.16-18)
			d.  God makes me equal to the task (v.37, 46-48)
				- God doesn't always just remove the struggle
				- Sometimes God makes us equal to the task
				- (Eph 3:18) - Comprehend can be "overtake"
					God makes us equal to the task
		3.  Why?  
			a.  (v.19)  God "delighted" in me
				-  You are God's creation
				-  You are God's child
				-  You are God's bride
				-  He delights in you
			b.  (20-21) - Integrity and Faithfulness to God
		4.  Consider what this looked like in the life of David
			a.  At his best when struggling
				- He spent years running from Saul
				- He was a man of integrity
			b.  Things seemed to settle down
				- His men out to battle, and he stayed home idle
				- Little struggle in life, began to watch someone bathe
				- Committed adultery, lied and murder to cover it up
	C.  God doesn't always "remove" the struggle, but often makes us equal
		1.  Someone once asked C.S. Lewis why the righteous suffer.
		2.  Parnell Bailey visited orange grove where irrigation pump broke
			a.  Very dry season, many trees drying up and dying
			b.  Owner took bailey on tour of grove, irrigated very little
		3.  Owner said - These trees go another 2 weeks without water
			a.  Explained - When young, purposefully withheld water
			b.  Result of hardship - roots reached deeper into the ground
			c.  Now the deepest roots around
			d.  Other trees scorched, but mine flourish with deeper roots
		4.  It is not always God's will not to struggle and suffer
			a.  God uses those things to perfect his power in us
			b.  In those things, he makes us equal to the task
	D.  God made David better than equal to the task
		1.  David was not spared struggle, some Psalms reflect his struggle
		2.  But David became strong with deep roots
		3.  In this Psalm, David credits it all to God
		4.  That's what God used to do…. but what about now?
			a.  We see that God was active in the Bible
			b.  Is he still active?
			c.  This Psalm is preserved for future generations to remind 
			     us that he is still active.

III.  From what God continues to do
	A.  Is this a one time event?  No
	B.  Our God is not God of the past, but of the present and future.
		1.  God continues to act
			a.  He tore down Assyria and Babylon
			b.  He empowered the Apostles and early Christians
			c.  In a short amount of time, word spread to world
		2.  God has demonstrated that he has been and is active
			a.  In Old Testament
			b.  In New Testament
		3.  How about now?  Yes!  We pray, he answers
			a.  Abraham Lincoln:  My concern in not whether God is on 
			     our side, but whether we are on God's side, for God is 
			     always right.
			b.  Don't pray like functional atheist
				- Living as if God doesn't exist
			c.  Don't pray like a Deist
				- ILL: God wound up world like a clock and let it run 
				    on its own without any intervention
				- This Psalm reminds us that God is not like that
			d.  What is the point of prayer if God is not listening?
		4.  James 5:14-16 - Effective prayer of a righteous man
			a.  David was a righteous man, and look at how God 
			      answered his prayer in the Psalm
			b.  Jas 1:6 - Ask in faith without doubting
			c.  God answers and God acts
			d.  Many of you can attest to this
	C.  ILL:  Man prayed, God answered, man said, "never mind God"
		1.  He didn't believe that God actually answered
		2.  He thought it worked itself out on its own
		3.  He was praying like a functional atheist
		4.  What is the point of praying if you don't believe God is listening?
	D.  Many of you have a story to tell, and I have heard many of them
		1.  Our personal example is Jeremy
		2.  I have heard several of your stories - Joe, Ray, Tommy, Tom
		3.  Some churches actually encourage a time of "testimony" when 
		     the church is gathered
			a.  Can be a powerful means of encouragement
			b.  Encourages celebration of what God is currently doing
			c.  Demonstrates the belief that God is still active
		4.  Look for ways God has been active in your life and share them
			a.  You don't need a personal testimony time to do so
			b.  Share your Love for God
			c.  Describe what he is like and why

1.  The Bible reminds us that God is merciful to those who obey the Gospel (Invitation)
2.  If you have obeyed the Gospel, God has placed a song in your heart too
3.  Listen to the song, sing in and share it with others.


Small Group Questions:  Song in My Soul
Summary:  God has been working in the lives of his people and continues to do so today so that 
he can place a song and testimony in  our hearts to proclaim among the lost.

-  Picture God as you did when you were a child.  What was he like to you?

Explore (Psalm 18)

1.  How would you describe the attitudes that David demonstrates in this Psalm?

2.  What does God's reaction to David's prayer in this Psalm say about God?

3.  What are the reasons God answers the prayers of David according to this Psalm?  What does 
this say about God?

4.  If you had to express the emotions of this Psalm in music, what kind of music would you choose 
and why?


5.  Reflect on the ways God has worked or continues to work in our life and share it with the group.

6.  To sum up, what metaphors, descriptive words, etc. describe what has God been like for you?

7.  David committed to sharing his testimony "among the nations" of how God has worked in his life.  
In what way does this tie into sharing the Gospel with your lost friends?  What effect might sharing 
this in addition to what Jesus did in scripture have on your lost friends?

8.  What and with whom are some ways you can share your personal experience with God?