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Rabbi Schneider - What Are God's Ways?


Rabbi Schneider - What Are God's Ways?


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Rabbi Schneider - What Are God's Ways?

If you will truly take the Word of God to heart as it's revealed in Psalm 23, God is gonna add something to your spiritual walk with him. It's important for you to know that when I share these words with you, this is more than a sermon to me. These words are spirit in our life. I don't often say this about one of my teachings, but I want to say this. This is a really important study and if you've missed any of the episodes, I really want to encourage you to get it, the complete teaching on this, because I cover many different applications and I even talk about how you can begin a devotional life every morning. This series is available online or through our 800 number at the end of the broadcast. It's called He Is All, beloved, We Need.

Now as I pick up today in verse number 4, I want to pick up with these words. David said, I will fear no evil, he said, for you are with me. I want to talk about this concept today of God being with us. On last week's broadcast I talked a lot about fearing no evil. That's why you need to listen to that teaching. But I don't want to go back today. I want to go forward, and so I'm concentrating today on not having victory over darkness in terms of exercising courage over fear. But I want to talk to you now, beloved one, about presence and favor. Listen what David said. I'm gonna read all of verse 4 here: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he said, I fear no evil, get it now, here we go, for you are with me.

I want to focus today beginning with for you are with me. I want to talk about presence and favor. David knew that God's presence was with him and he also knew that God's favor was on him. David knew that God loved him. David knew that God was with him and that God's favor was on him. And because David knew that God was with him, that God loved him, and that God's favor was on him, David knew he didn't have to be afraid. I want to ask you today, realistically, as we put into practice what I shared with you last week about reading Scripture and then praying about it, not just reading it through, going through one verse to the next without thinking about it. Because thinking about it and praying about it is just as important as reading it. So we don't want to just read through the Bible, one verse, to the next verse, to the next verse without stopping to ponder what it says, what it means, how it applies to us, praying about it. So let's just do that for a second.

Father, you said to David that you were with him. David said, for you are with me. So I want to ask you, Father God, will you help me know in a greater way that you're with me? Jesus, you said that you would never leave me or never forsake me. Jesus, you said, I am with you always. But I have to admit, King Jesus, that there's times in my life that I feel alone, that there's times that I kinda know you're with me, but I don't really feel it, and I don't really sense it, and it feels to me like you're far away. And I believe in you but my belief in you is as a God that's somewhere out there and I don't really have a consciousness of the fact that you're with me.

So King Jesus, Father God, Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me be more aware that you're with me, that I can be like David, that I can know Jesus, that you're with me; Father, that I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but I fear no evil for I know that you're with me and that your rod and your staff, Abba God, they comfort me. So Father God, once again today, I want to thank you that you're with me even as you're with David, you're with me. Father God, thank you for your presence on my life. Thank you for your favor on me. And Father, let's, beloved ones, let's just begin to praise him now.

Father, thank you that you're with me; thank you that your presence goes with me wherever I go; Father, thank you that I'm enveloped in your spirit; Father, thank you that you live inside me; thank you, Jesus, that where I go you go; thank you, Jesus, that you said you'd never leave me or forsake me; thank you, Jesus, that you're with me; thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit; and Father, thank you for your favor on me; thank you, Father God, that I know that I'm one of your precious beloved one. Even as your favor was with David, Father God, thank you that in Christ Jesus I know that your favor is on me, that you love me, that you're calling, causing all things to work together for good in my life. Thank you, Father, for your presence and your favor.


Doesn't that feel good to do that? You see, it's important, beloved ones, listen to me, that we agree with truth. In other words, we might sometimes not feel like God's with us, but as I was sharing with you on last week's broadcast, I want you to get that teaching, we're not dictated by our feelings. Beloved, we're dictated by the Word. And we bring our will into agreement with the Word. And so when Jesus says, I am with you always, even as David said here, you are with me, we don't say, well God, I don't know if you're with me. Father God, I don't, I don't, I don't know if you're with me. I don't feel like you're, that's not what we do. We come into agreement with the Word and then we begin to thank him and praise him for it. And we say, thank you, Jesus, that you're with me.

You see, beloved, our faith and our experience will not rise above our confession, so we have to confess the Word of God and come into agreement with the Word of God so that our faith can rise and our experience will be lifted up in the spirit. So when we read the Scriptures, beloved ones, we agree with what God's Word says. We don't say, oh, but I don't know if that applies to me. Oh, I see it's there, but it doesn't seem like it's for me. No, what we do, beloved, is we agree. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. We agree that it's true for us, whether you feel it or not.

And as you begin to agree with it, and begin to confess it, and begin to praise God for it, Jesus said, my Word is truth, as you begin to thank him and praise him for it and receive it, then all of a sudden we start to feel different. You see, the way that we change our feelings, get this now, listen to me, you wake up in the morning. You start your devotional. Get last week's broadcast. I talk all about this. You wake up in the morning. You start your devotional. But you don't feel anything. You feel separated from God. You feel empty. You don't feel like you have any faith. You're not feeling any sense of expectancy.

What do you do? You do your devotional anywhere, any ways, despite what you feel. You begin to feast on God's Word, and then you begin to confess it out loud and say that it is true. This is true about me. You do love me. You are with me. You are working in my life. You're all around me. You've done so many good... You begin to confess it, and when you begin to confess it, suddenly there's a shift that goes on in the spirit world and you begin to feel different.

Listen to what I'm gonna say. The way to change your, get it now, your emotions is through motion. Listen to what I'm saying. The way to change your emotion is by motion. In other words, when you take action, when you put yourself in motion, it's gonna change your emotion. The way you change your emotions from being sad, and feeling empty, and feeling faithless, and feeling depressed is you put yourself in motion and you start agreeing with and confessing God's Word. And you begin to start saying, thank you, Father God, that greater is he that's in me than he that is in the world.

Thank you, God, that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus that loves me. Thank you, Father God, that neither height, or death, breadth, width, things past, things present or things to come can separate me from the love of God. Thank you, Father God, that I am more than a conqueror. Thank you, Father God, that you're causing all things to work together for good in my life. Thank you, Father, that even this that I'm going through right now, this difficult season, this difficult time, this hard time, thank you, Father God, that even this is causing something great to happen in my life 'cause your Word says that the temporary trials that I'm going through in this present time are not worthy to be compared with the eternal glory that they're working in me.


And you begin to speak God's truth. You agree with God's truth. And beloved, as you do that, things begin to change. You begin to get a new perspective. Your feelings begin to shift. The atmosphere becomes different. We read, beloved, God's Word and we do it in such a way that we prayer dialogue with God through it. And so David continues on here in Psalm 23, and he says this: Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. What does he mean when he says your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Well a rod, beloved, was the instrument that the shepherd used to discipline the sheep. You know, sheep need discipline. We know that they easily go astray, most of us have learned this. And so one of the ways that the shepherd kept the sheep on the right path, was through the rod, through the rod, beloved, of discipline.

You know the Bible tells us that the Father disciplines every child that he receives to himself. Paul talks a lot about this. The author of Hebrews talks a lot about this. They said this. They said you had earthly fathers that disciplined you for your own good. They said, how much more your heavenly Father. And even though the Scripture tells us that discipline is hard when we're going through it, the end result, the Scripture said, is, get it now, the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The Scripture goes on to say that every one that the Lord received, he disciplines, and that he that's without discipline is not a child of his. And so when David says here, your rod and your staff, they comfort me, David is saying I'm comforted knowing that I'm kept on the right path through your discipline. I pray for the Father's discipline.

I ask Jesus for discipline 'cause I'd rather be disciplined and stay on the right path than to not be disciplined and end up on the wrong path. So I crave the Father's discipline because I want his best. So if my heart or actions begin to drift astray to the left or to the right, backward or forward, I want him to discipline me immediately because I want to be right where he is. Because where he is, beloved, there's tremendous fruit, and tremendous blessing. That's why the Scripture says that the end result of discipline is the peaceful fruit of righteousness. So let's ask this question. David said, once again let's read all of verse 4, put it in context: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

So David is saying, I don't have to be afraid of anything and I can go through everything in this world with confidence because I know that you're with me, that your love, your presence, your favor is on me, that I don't have to be afraid of making a mistake because you're disciplining me in my life. Now this isn't an excuse, beloved, when I say that we don't have to be afraid of making a mistake. This isn't an excuse to not be responsible to God, to not be accountable to him. This is not an excuse to say if we sin, so what, it doesn't matter or God will forgive me. No, what I'm saying here is that as we're thirsting after God, we don't have to be afraid that we're gonna make a mistake, because if we do get off to the left or the right, as long as our heart is right with him, he's gonna just keep gently disciplining us so that we keep going forward.

Pastor Joshua, many of you see Pastor Joshua here on the credits of my broadcast here. He's our worship leader where I pastor, and he has an illustration and he says that you know, walking with the Lord is like bumper ball. Some of you know bumper ball. It's when you take a little child to the bowling alley. And when you take a little child to the bowling alley, the child doesn't have the ability to roll the ball straight down the alley. They can just kind of give it a push. So what the bowling alley does is they put bumpers in the aisle ways where the ball would go for an adult.

In other words, they're like a puffy thing so if the ball starts heading off and is gonna go into the gutter, what happens is there is like a cushion in the gutter so it doesn't go into the gutter. But it hits the cushion and the cushion puts it back to the center. And then if the ball starts heading off to the other, to the other gutter, there's a cushion over there too. The ball hits the cushion and it again puts it back toward the center. This is what the discipline of the Lord is like. If we begin to go to the left or the right, when we're seeking him, and we're in love with him, and we want to do what's right, and we try to do what's right, we don't have to be afraid of making a mistake and getting way off track because David said his rod guides me. His rod, David said, and his staff, they comfort me.

So don't be afraid of the discipline of God. Thank him for his discipline. It's a sign of his favor on your life. And you know what? When you pray for God's discipline in your life, you're gonna become a lot more effective. You're gonna become a lot stronger because God is gonna deal with you in areas that are for your benefit for you to be dealt with you about. And the result of it's gonna be blessing. It's gonna be the peaceful fruit of righteousness. So let's do what I've been training us to do. Let's not just speak about the Scripture, but let's engage with God through the Scripture by praying to him about it.

You see, the words on the page are a reflection of the person of Jesus. Jesus said, listen, the Scripture says about Jesus, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, John, 1:1, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, get it now, and the Word was God. And then it continues on and it says, and the Word became flesh. So Jesus, who is the Word, became flesh. And so the Word of God that we read in written form is actually an extension of the person of Jesus himself who is the Word. And so, what we do is we take the Words on the page that are a reflection of the substance of Jesus, himself, and we then begin to dialogue with them through prayer about the Word. And so let's just do that right now as it relates to discipline.

Jesus, we thank you that you discipline us. Like David, we thank you that you keep us on the right path through your rod. We want to be disciplined. Let's pray together. We want to be disciplined, Father God, because we know that the end result of discipline is the peaceful fruit of righteousness. So Father God, we trust you and we submit ourselves to your discipline. Father, please discipline me because I want to be a child that's walking as one that's well pleasing to you and I know that discipline trains me to walk with you in righteousness. And that when I'm walking with you in righteousness, I'm walking in a place where I'm being fully blessed by you, so thank you for your discipline in my life. Amen. Are we in agreement with that, church? Amen and Amen. Amen.


Discipline, beloved, is a great thing. David continues on and he's not only feeling safe. He's not only feeling safe because of the fact that he knows that God's discipline is active in his life protecting him, but he also feels confident and secure because he knows that God is his comforter. And so he says once again in verse number 4: your rod and your staff, get this now, they comfort me. He's comforted to know that he's protected by the discipline of God. It's just like children. Children feel secure when parents have boundaries that have been placed in their life and those boundaries are consistently enforced. That's discipline.

David felt secure because he knew that God treated him like a son and that God had boundaries in his life, and if David went outside the boundaries the Father would discipline him. And that gave David comfort. So David said, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. If you're a parent right now, when you have children, you're not doing your children any favor if you don't put boundaries in their life, and then discipline them and be consistent in enforcing the boundaries. So David says, your rod, get it now, and your staff, get this now, your staff, they comfort me. The staff, beloved, is a symbol of comfort. The shepherd would hold up the staff to show the sheep where to go. It would give the sheep comfort.

And aren't you so thankful that Jesus said, I will not leave you alone, he said. I love what Jesus said in John, 14. He said, get it now, I'm gonna send you, get it now, the helper. I love the fact that Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the helper and he called him, get it now, the comforter. So David was taking comfort in the comforter. David was being comforted by the Holy Spirit that was leading in his life. God was ministering to David through the Holy Spirit. David said, take not thy Spirit from me. Now in the present age, just for clarification, the Spirit is available to everybody that put their faith in Jesus.

In the dispensation when the Hebrew Bible was written, the Holy Spirit was only given in full measure like he is today to kings, and priests, and prophets; certain selected individuals that God's purposes on earth could be fulfilled and so he could prepare the way for the kingdom. But David was one of those select individuals that had such a unique calling that the Spirit of God was, he had a marking on his life by the Spirit of God. And I want to encourage you as we think about this concept of having a comforter in our life, having a helper in our life. Jesus said, I'm with you always. And, any my rod and my staff, they comfort you.

I want to encourage you to thank God for his comfort. Thank the Holy Spirit for being your helper. Thank the Holy Spirit for being your comforter. Doesn't it give you great comfort to know that God has given you a helper, that you don't have to do it alone? Jesus said, I will not leave you alone. Jesus said, I'm gonna send you another. I'm gonna send you the helper, the comforter, the Holy Spirit. I'm so thankful to know that if I feel weak, I've got one that comforts me and helps me. If I need faith, I can reach out to the Holy Spirit to help me. I can reach out to the Holy Spirit to bring me into a deeper relationship with God. I can reach out to the Holy Spirit to increase my faith. This brings me great comfort, beloved, that I know I have a helper. You know what? You also have a helper, and all you and I need to do is to reach out to God for help.
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