Rabbi Schneider - How to Have a Joyful, Abundant Life
We're looking at David's words express to Father God, as he wrote Psalm 23. What I want to encourage you to consider as we conclude today beloved friends, is that these weren't simply trite sayings to David. In other words a lot of times when we look at Psalm 23 we say "Oh, that's nice", you know. We kind of look at it as almost like a fairy tale, but this was no fairy tale to David, this was the true reflection of his relationship with God. In other words when David said "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me", this was truly a reflection of David walking through a very dangerous place, and as he was walking through it he was walking in courage and confidence, because he knew that God's love and favor was with him.
And beloved friends if he experienced that, you and I can experience these same realities in our life today through Jesus. In fact, in the Hebrew Bible David was oftentimes a Messianic code word for the Messiah. In other words in the prophets when the Lord said that the Messiah was going to come, he oftentimes used David as a code word for the Messiah. The Lord said "I'm gonna send my shepherd, my servant David, and he will be the great shepherd and it'll have one sheep". Well of course God wasn't talking about sending back king David of Israel, 3,000 years ago, but he was talking about Jesus. Jesus said that he was the offspring of David, that he was the fulfillment of what God was speaking of in the Hebrew Bible when God used David's name as a code word for the Messiah.
And so when we look at David's walk with God, we can understand how close to God we can be, because David really experienced this walk with God that he describes in Psalm 23. And if he experienced this intimacy with God, how much more beloved ones can you and I today in Jesus? God said concerning John the Baptist that there was no one greater than John the Baptist from the time that the Hebrew Bible started until John the Baptist coming. But then God went on to say, "And yet, he that's least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist". In other words, we can even experience a closer walk with God today than even David experienced, because the Holy Spirit beloved has been given to the believer in a special way through Messiah.
And so I want to encourage you today as I go through Psalm 23, as I continue not to look at this as some fanciful poetry, but as a living reality, a realm of eternal life that you can enter into and that I can enter into myself. Now, we're going to go through the scripture today and what I'm calling "A prayer dialogue". In other words we're not just gonna read through it and give some type of intellectual explanation, we're not gonna give you an intellectual exercise, but what we're gonna do is we're gonna use it as a launching pad to reach out to God from, to pray to God from. We're gonna take what David said, and then we're going to turn it into our own prayer language unto the Lord.
And I've been teaching on the previous broadcast in this segment how important and how critical it is for us when we're reading scripture not just to quickly read through it, but to stop at those places in scripture where we feel the Holy Spirit gently, sensitively touching us. And stopping there, and thinking about it, and praying about it, and asking God to bring us into a deeper revelation of it, an application of it in our own life today.
So Father I ask you to release your spirit and speak to us Father God as we're reading David's words as recorded in Psalm 23. Before I launch right back into the fifth verse, I want to give you this last nugget - prayer, because we're turning this into a prayer dialogue. What is prayer? Consider this: prayer at it's most foundational and fundamental level is simply a reaching out to God. Whenever you're reaching out to God, whether with your words out loud, whether it's in your mind or whether it's in your heart, whenever you reach out to God beloved one, you're in a posture of prayer.
In Jesus name I release right now Father God a supernatural freedom and ability to reach out to you. Father God right now I speak to the opening of every heart. I speak to the opening of emotions, and I speak to the opening Father God in the thought realm to these that are under the sound of my voice by the Holy Spirit to be able to better reach out to you through the channel of prayer that you've given us in Jesus name. Amen, and amen, and amen.
Let's pick up now in verse number five. David was saying "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies". We left off there last week, I'm not going to continue there this week, I'm gonna go on to the next segment David said "My cup overflows". "You've anointed my head with oil", I talked about that separation unto God and he said "My cup overflows". What does David mean when he said "My cup overflows"? Well, when you have a cup that's overflowing it means that you have more than enough, right? More than enough, it speaks of abundance. And I love this because if we're gonna walk with God supernaturally, we're gonna have to develop an abundant mentality of who God is.
Think about this now: David said "My cup overflows". Now let me ask you, if David cup if David's cup overflowed, can your cup overflowed? Should you expect anything less from God in your walk with him? Jesus has come, the Bible says concerning the Father, if he gave his only begotten Son for you to die for your sins on the cross, will he not also freely with him give you all things? Think about, that the scripture says: if God loves you individually, uniquely, specifically, if he loves you so much that he sent his Son to die in agony and pain so that he could save you, dying for your sins with the nails in his hands, the nails in his feet, his hair plucked out, his beard ripped out, if God loved you so much that he put his Son through that just so he could save you so that he could be with you and so that you could be with him, doesn't he have a life of abundance for you?
The scripture said: will he not delivered his only Son up for us with him also freely give us all things? God has an abundant life for you. Jesus said "I have come to give life, and to give it", get it now, "More abundantly". If we're gonna walk with God supernaturally, if we're gonna experience the abundant life that Jesus promised... He said "I have come to give life and give it more abundantly", kid you're gonna have to start thinking about God as a God of abundance. He's got more than enough. He is not a God of lack, he's a God of plenty, he's a God that has more than you and I could ever contain. And we need to start relating to God with the scarcity mentality.
Remember in the Book of Kings, Elijah came to the woman there and she just had a little bit, she said all I have is is a little morsel, and a little bit of oil, enough to make one little morsel of bread for my son, and I and after that we're gonna have nothing, and we're gonna run out. She had a scarcity mentality. But Elijah the man of God that didn't have a scarcity mentality, but abundant mentality, a sufficiency mentality, said "Woman, you go cook that piece of bread, that morsel, with that last little oil that you've got left, and you give it to me first, and Elijah said "And you're never gonna run out". And you know what the Bible said? She never ran out, because God is a God of abundance.
And if you and I are going to truly live an abundant life, we're gonna have to start believing that our cup can runneth over. But you know what? In order to experience an abundant life, we need to start taking the steps in our life that will bring us into this experience. In other words, if you and I want to experience life more abundantly, because God is an abundant God, then there are some things that we need to do, there are some action steps that you and I need to take to bring us in to this reality. Jesus said "Give and it will be given back to you", get it now, "Press down, running over into your lap". Give, there's something that we need to do, we need to step out in faith and be givers, and Jesus said, "When you step out in faith and believe in my abundance, rather than focusing on your lack, rather than focusing on your scarcity, you focus on me, I'm a God of abundance, you step out in faith and you give", and Jesus said, "It's going to come back to you", how? Supernaturally, "Pressed down, good measure, running over into your lap".
Paul said "He that sews sparingly shall reap sparingly, but he that sews bountifully shall reap bountifully". So, if we want to live an abundant life, if we want to have an experience like David said that our cup overflows, we're gonna have to become greater givers. Giving of our hearts to people, giving of our words to people, encouraging people, blessing people, doing that thing beloved that takes effort to reach out to other people to bless them spiritually, emotionally, picking up the phone, going out of our way to help somebody, giving up our finances of a kingdom. To enter into the abundant overflowing life that God has we need to open our hearts, we need to come into agreement with him, we need to say yes to him. God, you're a God of an abundance, and if I will act in faith on that and start practicing abundance of my own life, it's gonna come back to me abundantly.
You know even when we go out into restaurants, I always encourage people that I have influence with, whenever you go into a restaurant always look for an opportunity to share your faith with the waitress, or waiter. Ask them the question at some point: what do you think of Jesus? You know, first try to develop a relationship, first reach out, ask them their name, be a blessing, encourage them, try to make their day a better day. And then at some point before you leave ask the waiter or waitress the question: what do you think of Jesus? And they'll answer the question almost always, and based on how they'll answer the question you'll be able to share with them something that will point them to Jesus, even bring them to God.
I've even had waiters and waitresses pray right there in the restaurant and receive Jesus. But I'll tell you in addition to sharing your faith with them beloved ones, give them a good tip. You know, when I was growing up, I'm 57 years old now, when I was growing up 10% in a restaurant was considered a good tip - today 20% is kind of what their expected, 15-20 percent. I always try to leave a little bit more than that, you know. To leave more than 20%, I'm just talking about myself personally, you do what you want, but I do know that today an average tip is 15 or 20 percent. So what I do is I leave just a little bit more than 20%. Why? Because it speaks of abundance. Why do I do it? For myself. Because I say "You know what, Lord I want to be a person that lives big, I want to give big, and I believe if I'll be a big giver then you're gonna be a big giver back to me, and then I'm gonna enter into a life of abundance".
You know, if the if the meal is $20, the difference between living leaving a 20% tip, and a more than 20% tip it's only like a dollar or $2. So why not spend an extra couple dollars to say "God, I believe that you're an abundant God, and then if I want to experience an abundant life I need to give, because you said 'give and it will be given back to me press down, good measure, running over into my lap', so I want to get myself in harmony with the principles of the kingdom, I want to get myself in harmony with the way that your spirit operates so that I can participate in the supernatural dynamics of the kingdom, which are not according to the course of this world". And so David was living in abundant life, but you know what? He was an abundant giver. And you and I will live an abundant life also beloved ones when we become abundant givers in our walk with Jesus.
Let's continue on verse number 6, David said this "Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life". You know what this speaks of? Hope and confidence. David said "Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days my life". This speaks of hope and confidence, doesn't it? David looked into the future with confidence, with security and with hope. He knew and believed that good things are gonna happen to him in the future. But how many of us have to struggle because when we look into the future, when we imagine what the future will be like, rather than looking in the future with hope and confidence, beloved ones, instead we get a spirit of dread. "Oh, what's gonna happen to me? I'm gonna get old. I'm gonna run out of money. I'm gonna get sick. I'm gonna be in a nursing home. This is gonna happen to me, that's gonna happen to me, I'm gonna get into car accident".
And when you look into the future, and rather than having hope and confidence - a spirit of dread comes on us. Why? Because we're in a war. We live in a world that's surrounded by the evil one, and we need to stand against these lies of the devil. We need a stand against fear and the tactics of the enemy. Jesus has conquered death. Jesus said this to us "I am with you always", he said "Do not be afraid". Through the words of David "Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life". And you know what? In the original Hebrew the word "Follow" is stronger than just lagging behind. What David is actually meaning here is that, get this now, "Goodness and loving kindness", get this now, "Are actually going to overtake him, they're gonna pursue him and overtake him". In other words God's goodness, and God's loving-kindness, God's mercy, and God's favor are just gonna continue to come over him, wash over him, go before that he had a splendid future in God, and he knew it.
And so, I want to encourage you today, especially those that have been struggling, those of you that have just been hurting inside, I even feel you're hurting my heart right now - I speak life into you right now, I speak hoping to you right now, I speak confidence and security in you right now. I want you know Jesus is coming back, he's coming back quickly, and in the meantime he's gonna take care of you, his loving-kindness and his mercy we'll be with you all the days of your life. Jesus said "Be of good courage", "Do not be afraid". His loving-kindness is always going to be with you.
When you imagine something in the future that makes you afraid, that's never gonna happen to you, because regardless of what you have to go through Jesus is gonna be with you. And when you imagine some dread in the future, when you imagine that thing, you know what? In your imagination Jesus is not with you. When you have some thought of dread or fear about the future, in that thought of dread and fear think about it: Jesus isn't with you in that place. You see yourself alone going through that thing, but you know what? You're never gonna be alone. And regardless of what you go through Jesus is gonna bless you, he's gonna keep you safe, he's gonna carry you home. I want you to believe like David that your future is not a future to dread, but rather it's a future of goodness, of light of God, of joy, goodness and loving kindness are gonna follow you all the days of your life.
And I want you to consider this: Jesus's first miracle in the Gospel of John, once he turned the water into wine, for those of you that are baptist he turned the water into grape juice. Think about that: wine is a symbol of joy. Why was Jesus first miracle turning the water into wine? Wine is a symbol of earthly celebration. They drink wine at weddings, it's a time of celebration. Why? Because that's who Jesus is. Jesus doesn't have a gloomy future for you, he's got a future for you of joy and of celebration, and he wants you to stamp on the devil's head. He wants you to begin to declare that. He wants you to believe that. He wants you to wake up in the morning and say "Thank you God that it's gonna be a good day".
Jesus said this, he said "Believe and you're gonna see the glory of God". We believe Jesus that we're going to see your goodness in the land of the living, that you will never disappoint us. Jesus that hope will not be disappointed, that Lord just the years of aging will cause us to just grow deeper and deeper in our love for you, and in our experience of eternal life.
God's got something good prepared for you, and it's going to be forever. Look at David's final words, and he said "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever". You're gonna be with God forever. Jesus said "I go and prepare a place for you". I want you to know beloved, when you believe in Jesus, when you make him your Lord - you are saved from hell, you're not going to hell, you're going to a place called heaven. And what's heaven going to be like? It's gonna be a place where you're to experience the glory, and richness, and beauty of God - get it now - forever and ever, and ever.
Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "Today you'll be with me in paradise". The Bible says, "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and never has it even entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those that love him". God has got something so special for you, saint. Hang on to your faith, hang on to Jesus. Jesus said "I've gone to prepare a place for you. If it wasn't so", he said, "I would not have told you it was so".
There is a crown of life awaiting for you saints, so let's finish this life well, let's keep praising him, let's keep thanking him, let's keep standing in faith, let's keep rejoicing. The Bible says "Rejoice! Again I say rejoice"! Let's come into harmony with God's word, let's thank him for what we have, let's not look at the glass as half-empty, but let's praise God that it's half-full. And you know what? When you can become satisfied with what you have right now, you'll be a complete and full person. Father we thank you for all that you've done for us. We thank you for what you're doing right now. And we want to thank you like David, Father, that it's gonna just keep getting better. God bless you beloved, I love you.