At Wits’ End

Everywhere we turn recently, God is showing us great things about Psalm 107.  We recently read a great sermon by David Wilkerson.  Just this morning, we heard John MacArthur’s daily broadcast and it was on Psalm 107.  So, we thought we would give our take on Psalm 107. 

This is a great Psalm. The key phrase to the whole psalm is Psalm 107:27b, “…they are at their wits’ end.”  When you are at your wits’ end, you need Psalm 107…and more than that…you need God!  What is wits’ end?  It is that place in your life that there is no possible solution…no human way out…nothing…no ray of hope…no natural means of ending your present situation.  It could be health, finances, relationship, marriage, family, job, etc.

The Psalm begins with a summons:  Psalm 107:1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”  The summons is issued by the Holy Spirit as He inspires the writer.  The summons is issued to believers: Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”  The main thrust of the summons is that thanks is to be given to God!

Psalm 107 is divided into four parts: 

 

  • In verses 4-5, we see the wanderers whose souls have fainted in them because they did not know where to go.
  • In verses 10-12, we see the people bound and imprisoned by their own wrong decisions who have no one to help. 
  • In verses 17-18, we see the foolish who have rejected what could of helped…God’s truth…they are afflicted and near the gates of death 
  • In verses 23-27, we see people who are suddenly overcome by a great storm in life and is at their  wits’ end.

 

 

Each of these parts are divided like this:

 

  • the hopeless situationwandering people, prisoners, fools, and storm-tossed people 
  • the cry for help (vs, 6,13,19,28): hurting people cry out to the Lord
  • God’s response

 

 

v. 7-9 – He satisfied the longing soul of the wanderers and led them where they were to be; 
v14 – He broke the chains of the prisoners;
v. 20 – He sent his Word and healed the foolish;
v. 30 – He guides the storm-tossed to their desired haven.

 

  • Man’s Worship vs. 8,15,21,31: thanksgiving for what God has done, telling others of God’s wonderful work.  The crying out is worship (I can’t but You can!)

 

 

There are certain things that you need to know.  Each hopeless situation in this Psalm and in your life is ordained by God…that means that God either caused it or allowed it.  Whether God caused it or allowed it does not matter because the result is the same: you are in quicksand and you are sinking fast!  The Sovereign Lord has brought us to Wits’ End for a purpose.  1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”  God wants to produce something in your heart.

How do you get out of Wits’ End?  Two things must take place everytime you are at Wits’ End:

 

  • Admit that you are at Wits’ End.  Remember this is the place where you realize that you have no human solution. Psalm 107:27 “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.”
  • Cry out to the Lord in the midst of the stormPsalm 107:28, “Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.

 

 

Did you know that you could be prolonging your own storm?  This happens when you continue to murmur, complain, and question the Lord.  This happens when you run to human solutions:  counselors, psychologists, self-help books or tapes.  This happens when you keep looking for the secret, the plan that will deliver you from your pain. 

Stand still. Acknowledge this storm is from God.  Quit trying to figure it out. Cry out from Wits’ End.  Don’t call a friend, a counselor, or a pastor…call God!  Tell Him that you have no ray of hope from any natural prospect.  Admit that God is your only solution.

When the children of Israel were this side of the Red Sea and they saw Pharoah coming, who led them to that spot?  God did it.  They complained and murmur.  They failed the test.  However, God opened up the Red Sea and they were delivered.  On the other side of the Red Sea, they sang a song of thanksgiving.   Where should they have sung that song?  On the side before the deliverance!  God had the same deliverance for them whether they trusted Him or not.  They did not trust and the sea opened.  If they had trusted, the sea would have opened.  But because they didn’t trust Him, an asterisk was placed by their name: 

***Red Sea Test failed – subjects scheduled for repeat test!

So God led them to the bitter waters of Marah.  The waters were too bitter to drink.  Babies crying, old people fainting, and the thirst was awful.  They should have trusted God but, no!…they complained and murmurred which lead to another asterisk by their name and they were scheduled for a repeat test:  

***Bitter waters test failed  – subjects scheduled for repeat test!

Then God took Israel to Rephidim for another water test.  They failed again.  Another asterisk was placed by their name and they were scheduled for another repeat test!  Wow…how dumb are we humans.  The tragedy of Israel is that they never passed.  God led them to wander for 40 years until they just died off and only Joshua and Caleb got to go in because they were the only two that passed the test.

We know that we have had to repeat tests in our lives.  Recorded next to the names of Billy and Sheilah Daws:  

***Faith and Dependence test failed – subjects scheduled for repeat test! 

Noooooo! Not again! Not ever again.  We are at Wits’ End…we have no natural  solution, no human way out, no human answer!  We cry out to God who is our only hope!  No more asterisks.  We trust you. We quit trying to figure it out.  We will not read another self help book. We will not call another friend or pastor with the secret, the plan, the way out!  We trust only God!

David Wilkerson made this comment, “I believe the greatest sign or wonder to the world in these last days isn’t a person who’ been raised from the dead. No, what truly makes an impact on the mind and spirit of the ungodly is the Christian who endures all trials, storms, pain, and suffering with a confident faith. Such a believer emerges from his troubles stronger in character, stronger in faith, stronger in  Christ.”

When the subject or subjects of Psalm 107 came to this place, God delivered them from their distresses and the darkness.  They then went into a worship service of thanksgiving.  Maybe you are at your Wits’ End. Admit it. And stand still and watch God work:

Psalm 107:33-38 “God turns rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.  He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into watersprings.  There He makes     the hungry dwell, that they may establish a city for a dwelling place,  And sow fields and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest.  He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; and He does not let their cattle decrease.”

Read Psalm 107:8,15,21,31 and hear how God so wants us to give Him thanks! For the next few days try refraining from asking God for things and only thank Him.   Keep a list on the refrigerator of things you are thankful for and have everyone add to the list each time the fridge is opened this week. Have a happy, thankful Thanksgiving!!

Giving thanks for yall,

Billy and Sheilah Daws

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Septic Tank Living

In I Samuel 15, Saul had been rejected by God as king because of sin in his life.  In I Samuel 16, Samuel was told by God to go and anoint a new king.  Man’s method of choosing leaders is to look at qualifications, training and degrees.  That makes sense and I don’t negate that that is important.  But God will mystify us many times.  God will take the unknown, obscure, most unlikely candidate and elevate them to a prominent place of influence.  Does it make sense to make a Jewish man prime minister of Eqypt or a Jewish man prime minister of Babylon?  No…but God made Joseph the PM of Eqypt and Daniel the PM of Babylon.  Does it make sense to ask an inexperienced speaker who is prone to failure to give the keynote address on the Day of Pentecost?   No…but God asked Peter the failure, the ‘foot in mouth’ disciple, the ‘I can walk on water’ braggert!  God uses the most unlikely candidates.  Why?  So that when the great results come, no one points at the unlikely candidate, we point at the God behind them!

Back to I Samuel.  God had Samuel choose David, a mere shepherd boy, to be the next king.  If David had been anointed king after killing the giant, Goliath, with only a sling slot and a stone, we would have understood.  But he wasn’t. He was chosen and anointed king prior to Goliath when he was unknown and a very unlikely choice. 

However, David did not become king for 13 years.  Do you realize how long 13 years is?  13 summers, 13 winters, 13 springs, 13 falls …a few illnesses, a job change, a couple of wrecks, family problems, several battles with a next door neighbor who thinks your dog barks too much.  It is exactly 4,745 days plus 4 days for leap years during the time period.  Can  you remember a conversation exactly that someone had with you 13 years ago? If someone promised you something 13 years ago and it has not come true, would you hold onto the promise or would you have dismissed it by now?

Let’s say it is 12 years, 37 weeks, and 5 days into this promise.  King Saul has tried to kill you at least 3 times and sent his assassin after you. You have been waiting on the big event.  This anointing promise has cast a shadow on your whole life.  But God says, “Wait!” Maybe David wanted to be a classical harpist! When his friends ask him when he is going away to Music School, he just responds, “Well, I am suppose to be king…”  What strange looks he must have gotten!

Tired of waiting, David made a decision in I Samuel 27:1 – And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”  God said, “You will be king.”  David said, “I am going to die by the hand of Saul.” Notice the phrase ‘David said in his heart’.  He is talking to himself and saying…”I don’t believe God anymore…I am going to take back my life in my hands and I am going to make something happen!” 

What a great plan David had:  I will go live with the Philistines. These were the people of Goliath whom David slew.  They gave David the city of Ziglag in which to live.  This had always been known as the septic tank of the world.  Get this image:  King-elect David having lunch in your septic tank, hob-knobbing with Philistines.  This is right where Satan wanted him.  When we step out of waiting, we always end up in the septic tanks of this world.  It will always get us in trouble.  Wait…stand still until you get further instructions from the Lord!

So what do you do when you are called to wait for 13 years?  2 Samuel 2:1 – It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” Notice the phrase in the verse, ‘David inquired of the Lord’.  You spend each day inquiring of the Lord.  Ask Him what you are to do today and then follow those directions.  If God says nothing or is silent, then stand praying and reading the Word until you get further instructions.  Please don’t create another Ishamael…we have enough Arab-Israeli conflicts going on…which was caused when Abraham did not wait on God and made his own solution.

Because David inquired of the Lord, notice what God gave him.  You say, “Kingship?”  No…something better: Fellowship!  David asked, “Where shall I go?”  And God said, “To Hebron.”  He leaves the septic tank of Ziglag and journeys to Hebron.  Hebron means ‘fellowship’, ‘communion’, and ‘intimacy’…with God!  Wow!

We are going into our 7th month without a position that pays a salary.  We have several times been tempted to just take the bull by the horns and make something happen…but I don’t enjoy living in a septic tank.  I have done that before…no fun…stinky…smelly…stays with you for a long time.  We have opted to wait on the Lord.  To His praise and glory, we are current on our bills and we have money in the checking account.  We tell only God what we need and who He shares that with, is His business.  For now, we will stand still and wait for further instructions.  It has only been 7 months which is a whole lot better than 13 years!

Keep waiting on the Lord!

We love you,

Billy and Sheilah Daws

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Random Thoughts

God has been speaking a lot in the last few days.  He has also been testing our faith.  We were very disappointed that we had to cancel our trip to Kenya.  There are times that God uses circumstances to reroute His children.  This was one of those times for us.  We are interceding for the group that went on to Kenya. We know that God is going to bless Steve Fields and the team.

Today, we simply want to share some random thoughts that God has been sharing with us.

1. God used Psalm 105:19 to say this, “Until the time that his word (his promise) came to pass (is fulfilled), the word of the Lord tested us.”

2. God’s schedule takes precedent over His promises…He will delay fulfillment of a promise until you are on His schedule. 

3.  There is a big difference between seeing the acts of God and the ways of God.  In Exodus 6:3, God inspires the writer to say, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.”  God Almighty is El Shaddai who performs miraculous acts.  Lord is a name for the Sovereign God of the universe…who is pulling the strings and ordering the steps, the stops, the trials, the blessings, the closed doors, and the open doors.  In Psalm 103:7, we find these words, “God made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” 

4.  The book of Ezekiel is tough.  But there is one phrase that appears 19 times.  In Ezekiel 39:28 we find the phrase, “…then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.”  God wants us to know Him as the Lord God which means the ‘sovereign God of the Universe’.  He is pulling the strings and ordering the steps…it may not look like it sometimes but He is!

5. It has been almost six months since we left our last ministry position.  At times, you wander what is God doing!?  Is He asleep…has He forgotten your address?  And then He will point out a refreshing passage such as Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

6.  We proclaim that our God is a loving, caring Father as Matthew 7:11 indicates:  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  He is our Father and He cares for us…we trust Him that He knows what He is doing.

We worshipped Sunday at FBC of Atlanta.  Steve Green sang and Dr. Stanley preached.  What a combination!  FBC has a beautiful sanctuary. You could tell God was in that place. The In-Touch program is being translated in 103 languages.  Dr. Stanley is literally teaching the Scriptures to the entire world. Wow!   (There is a link to In-Touch on our website.)

God bless you this week.

Billy and Sheilah Daws

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