Doreen Olstad - Didsbury II Convention - Thursday Morning, July 19, 2007

Hymn 190, "Teach Us How to Pray"


Psalm 121:5, “The Lord is thy keeper...”  (Verse 7) “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul.”  (Verse 8) “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”  Deuteronomy 28:1, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth.”  (Verse 6) “Blessed shall thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” 


In the new year, Karen McCrae and I studied the Psalms together and then at preps, we also studied them.  I have especially enjoyed the thought of the Lord’s preserving power.  In the Psalms, the prayer was that the Lord would preserve his soul.  The Psalmist wasn’t concerned about his life being preserved but he was concerned that his soul would be preserved.  Some in the world are concerned about preserving human rights, preserving roads, preserving Heritage buildings, and preserving the earth, etc., and they forget about influences that wreck their lives.  They emphasize the wrong problem!  We need to put the emphasis on preserving souls, not just preservation from harm.  Preserving fruit preserves from outside influences. 

Humanly, we’re prone to bitterness, self-preservation, hardness, unforgiveness, etc.   All these attitudes have a harmful effect on our soul and we need to focus on preserving our soul.  The Lord wants to preserve us from all evil.  That 7th verse in Psalm 121 tells us the Lord shall preserve our soul.  But God doesn’t do it all; there’s our part, too.  Our focus should be on what preserves our soul.  I’m thankful for God’s part and for the part of Jesus. 

Psalm 40:11, “Withhold not Thou Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve me.”  Where would we be without God’s lovingkindness and the advantage of the blood of Jesus?  These are such a preserving power in our lives. 

Psalm 26:1, “Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity.  I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.”  David walked in integrity, or as Dan Hilton would say, “rock bottom honesty.”  Acts 5 speaks of Ananias with his wife, selling a possession.  There wasn’t that rock bottom honesty, that integrity; they were holding back part of the price. 

Psalm 145:20, “The Lord preserveth all them that love Him; but all the wicked will He destroy.”  The love for God preserves. 

Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they which love Thy Law.”  Psalm 32:6-7, “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found.  Surely in the floods of great waters, they shall not come nigh unto Him. Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble…”  Psalm 144:11, “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.”  The hiding place, the resting place is the pla6ce of prayer.  Seek His help and rest daily and make Him our hiding place.  

Psalm 121:8 “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” There is a coming in to the presence of God, to the warmth of His love.  It was nice to hear last evening of coming to the Sun of righteousness.  There is a going out from the presence of God. 

I Samuel 22:1-2, “David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him and every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them, and there were with him about 400 men.”  David fled from Saul to the cave Adullam.  A group of 400 men came to him.  David could have shaken his head and said, “What a bunch!”  He was in despair, defeat, and distress himself, but he didn’t send anyone away.  He won their hearts and was an encouragement to them.  God understands our needs, our purpose; He sees that and is so able to help us. 

Our response to the voice of God when He speaks to us will help us greatly.  “Just as I am Thou wilt receive.”  We’re glad for hearts that are eager to hear.  I took a little girl to see swans.  She ran to them and didn’t respond to my call to come back to my side.  That little girl could have been in deep distress had those swans turn on her!  God wants us to respond to His voice and to be eager to hear and profit from our days here. 

In Joshua 7, Achan was going out to battle.  He was hindered in his desire.  He coveted the Babylonish garment, took it and hid it.  It was a wrong in his heart.  He lacked honesty.  Lack of integrity brought defeat and destroyed his life.  Joseph so easily could have had a hard heart against his brothers, but he proved God as his hiding place and was fruitful in the land of his affliction. 

Genesis 41:51-52, “Joseph called the name of the first born Manasseh.  "For God," said he, "hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.Verse 52, And the name of the second called he Ephraim, for God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”  God preserved him in all his experiences.  There was no hardness or unforgiveness in him, even when he was forgotten in the prison.  God made him forget all his toil.  He had open communication with God.  He had liberty of spirit; he had prayer as a hiding place.  God made him fruitful.  His soul was preserved in those experiences.  Verse 38, “A man in whom the spirit of God is.”  He knew the preservation of the God of heaven. 

I’m thankful we’ve had the desire to come and I hope we haven’t brought any influence of the world here so God can preserve us.  We’re thankful for praying parents who pray for their children and read the Bible to them and sing hymns with them to help preserve their children from the influences of the world.  Even in the school life, children see the influence of the world. Attest to God’s preservation, a hiding place; His spirit helps to direct us against certain activities.  It’s good to go to the secret place in the morning before going to work, allowing God to warn us and helping to preserve us from strong, deadly influences in the world.  May God help us.