In It For the Long Haul – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

In It for the Long Haul

Psalms 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Intro: Too many people place way too much emphasis on New Year’s resolutions. As Christians, they look at the calendar and for them, is a year-by-year commitment. We need a group of Christians that will stop looking at the Christian life by the week or the month or the year and start making lifetime commitments.

We need more Christians that are in it for the long haul.

It’s not an experiment.

It’s not a hobby or a fad.

It’s not just a phase that you grow out of.

It’s a life-long commitment.

I’m in it for the long haul!

I want to be here until the end!

I want to finish what I started!

I. David’s Reliance

               A. His Submission – “Teach me… vs. 33

David was a mighty man.

David was a warrior; a man of war; a man of blood.

David was a king; a man of power and prestige and position.

Yet David demonstrated a submission and a humility that is exceptional.

David asked God multiple times just in this one chapter to teach him.

  • Psalms 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
  • Psalms 119:26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
  • Psalms 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
  • Psalms 119:64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
  • Psalms 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
  • Psalms 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
  • Psalms 119:108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

Having the humility to ask God to teach you is a huge first step in living for Him.

Let’s be honest – we don’t have a clue.

How many men can honestly say like David, TEACH ME?

When was the last time you asked God to teach you? To show you something new?

To reveal to you something new about Himself and His Word?

About the Christian life?

About being a godly daddy, a godly mama, a more effective Christian?

I hate to be the one to say it, but if you’re in it for the long haul, you’re gonna need to know more than you do now!

               B. His Source – Teach me. O LORD…

No doubt David was surrounded by men of wisdom and intelligence.

The greatest minds in the kingdom were at his disposal.

He had access to the latest information, technology and knowledge.

Yet he chose to rely upon God to teach him.

Look what happened as a result:

  • Psalms 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

               C. His Standard – …the way of thy statutes…

David was crystal clear in this chapter what he was looking to as his guide, his compass and his standard.

He was relying upon the standard of God’s Word.

This entire chapter of 176 verses is about David’s passion for the Word of God.

Everything else is sinking sand.

Everything else changes.

  • Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

II. David’s Resolve

David wasn’t looking for something to help him through a rough patch.

David wasn’t making commitments to impress his wife, his children, his pastor, his church or God.

David wasn’t making a new year’s resolution.

David was clear in his resolve – he was making a commitment for the rest of his life.

  • Psalms 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
  • Psalms 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
  • Psalms 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
  • Psalms 119:112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

David was in it for the long haul.

David was convinced that God was right and that he would pursue God and God’s statutes unto THE END.

III. David’s Request

I love how David was so dogmatic about keeping the way of God’s statutes.

He said without hesitation:

  • I shall keep it… – vs. 33
  • I shall keep thy law… – vs. 34
  • I shall observe it with my whole heart… – vs. 35

But notice what else he said without hesitation – I can’t do it by myself!!

I need God!!!

  • TEACH ME, and I shall keep it… vs. 33
  • GIVE ME UNDERSTANDING, and I shall keep thy law; I shall observe it with my whole heart… vs. 34
  • MAKE ME to go in the path of thy commandments – vs. 35
  • INCLINE MY HEART unto THY testimonies – vs. 36
  • TURN AWAY MINE EYES from beholding vanities… vs. 37
  • STABLISH THY WORD unto thy servant…vs. 38
  • TURN AWAY MY REPROACH… vs. 39
  • …QUICKEN ME IN THY RIGHTEOUSNESS. vs. 40

After making this statement of resolve and determination, David reiterated over and over how bad he needed God to help him live right and do right.

From verse 33 to 40, David emphasized how bad He needed God’s help, God’s leadership, God’s involvement in his life.

Conclusion: One thing is certain tonight as we congregate for the last time in 2022.

We need to learn what it means to rely upon God more now than we ever have before.

We need a church full of people that will have the resolve to follow God and God’s Word unto the end.

We need to be reminded that our resolve and promises and pledges and resolutions are worthless without God’s help!