[SW101] 07/21/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Just Passing Through”
As a watchman on the wall today, I sing the song of one who is a sojourner, a stranger here, one who is “just passing through,” and compare it with the heart-set of many in today’s church:
Psalms 146:1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 I will praise the LORD while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
I’m just passing through, I am a stranger here, a sojourner, unattached to the world but living in it. It’s because I am born from above — I had a second birth. I received Christ and was saved from the wrath of God.
So I give my testimony to the world. I testify of His goodness and mercy to me, because He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet on a strong Foundation, even Jesus Christ! I testify that He is the same yesterday and today and forever!
(Many in the church have no stories of how God regularly works in their lives, except to say something general like, “He guides me every day.” They do not yet have specifics because they do not yet have a 24/7 connection to Him, though He has touched them now and then, to draw them to Himself. They are not yet rightly related to God. Not yet, but He is ready and waiting for them to come to Him if they will let Him rule and reign in their hearts, instead of themselves ruling and reigning. Repent! Turn to Him! You will sing songs of praise!)
3 Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
I’m just passing through, so I do not place my trust in that which cannot save me from God’s wrath. I do not trust in leaders, though I submit to their authority. But if they pass laws to keep me from speaking truth and worshiping the Lord, I will stand firm and bear whatever I must bear rather than deny Christ.
(Many in the church trust in men, in man’s wisdom, in man’s philosophies and psychiatry and psychology and sociology. But in those things, there is no salvation. Many in the church intently listen to and heed the advice of those who do not know God at all. I would go so far as to say they worship the advice of those, rather than seeking the wisdom of God. It is a form of idolatry. In doing so, they become what they worship, and it and they will perish.)
5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
I’m just passing through. And so, I am blessed! I no longer walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers as I did for 45 years. I do not seek their help, and I do not place my hope in them.
I’m a stranger, a sojourner, just passing through, so the Lord is my help, my Protector, my Supporter, the One who liberates and gives assistance . . . in Him is my hope. Not a “someday” hope, but a here-and-now hope that is immovable.
Who is this One in who I hope, who supports me? The One who created everything. He is the guardian and protector of my faith, and He is entirely and always trustworthy and faithful.
(Many in the church are deeply entwined in sin and even scoff at His Word, denying that it is truth. Thus, they do not hope in Him, and He cannot be their Help. They do not trust in Him, but in the things of the world with which they surround themselves and with which they are deeply entwined.)
Psalms 146:7 Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free.
8a The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
I’m just passing through. And so I can count on the Lord’s justice toward me when Satan tries to oppress me. He rescues me and delivers me. My food is to do His will, but he also provides me with natural food and spiritual food — His Word.
And He has most certainly set this prisoner free from disease and from the power of sin. I was blind but now I see! I was bowed down under MS and under the weight of my sin. He lifted my burdens, I took upon me His yoke, and He is teaching me to walk humbly and meekly! And I have found rest for my soul,
for His yoke is pleasant and light!
(Many in the church are wrapped up and entangled with the things of this world. And so they remain oppressed, distressed and depressed, spiritually anorexic, depriving themselves of both the milk and the meat of the Word of God and its power to transform them. They are starving to death while they think they are fat, as in the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:17). But He is here today to warn them to disentangle themselves, and to invite them to humble themselves, agree with Him about their spiritual condition, and cry out to Him to save and purify them.)
Psalms 146:8b The LORD loves the righteous;
9 The LORD protects the strangers [sojourners, those just passing through];
He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
I’m just passing through, I know and have and personally experience the love of the Lord, His very agape which He has poured out in my heart. I am connected and protected!
Who does He love?
He loves the righteous. He has made me righteous, I have become the righteousness of God by believing and receiving Christ’s salvation from God’s wrath (2 Corinthians 5:21). I am in right standing with God, and He protects me, a sojourner, one who is just passing through. I was “capital F” Father-less, and He adopted me (Romans 8:15) and supports me. He cares for all who have been brought low, who are humble.
But He thwarts, He subverts, He undermines the power and authority, He bends and makes crooked and difficult, the way, the journey of the wicked.
Those who refuse God the Father’s open invitation to receive His love gift of Jesus Christ may have success as the world knows it, but He is over them and above them, and ultimately, they will face hell unless they turn from their wickedness as I did.
(Many in the church hold grudges, or actively sin in other ways, particularly in the area of sexual immorality. They are obsessed with sex and all things sensual and wrap their lives around it. It is a temporal thing, it will pass away, but their eyes are on it and not the heavenly country. Therefore, they are unconnected and unprotected, they are not right with God, but still wicked, even though they attend church and sing the songs of God.)
10 The LORD will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
The Lord God omnipotent, above all other powers, shall reign forever and ever. All the world’s leaders will pass away, but God is forever eternal. And so I praise Him!
The writer of Hebrews also reveals the hearts of those who are just passing through:
Hebrews 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
As those who were just passing through, all of the Old Testament saints died without seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises. But they had a hint, a partial view, a distant view of them. Knowing God’s faithfulness, they welcomed, they greeted and paid respects to His promises.
As those who were just passing through, they confessed they were strangers and exiles on the earth. When we believe, we become the children of God, the Spirit witnesses with our spirits and we cry, “Abba! Father!”
We understand that we are just on the earth as strangers, as sojourners. We are just here for a season so God may use them to reveal Himself to the world. He is our Protector while we are here; He keeps us, puts a protective hedge around us, by His miracle-working power!
As those who are just passing through, we no longer mindful or focused on this country in which we are sojourning. We are seeking the country that now belongs to us, as the children of God. This world is no longer our home.
We do not desire this country. We desire the better country, God’s heavenly country, the city He is preparing for us. Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
(Many in the church live just like the rest of the world. They are intently concentrated on and love what the world loves. They worship youth, beauty and fashion, sports and success, and love money. Their actions reveal that for them, this world is their home. Their focus reveals that they have not yet had the Holy Spirit witness with their spirits that they are children of God. They love the earth and the things of the earth. And so they do not worship the Lord, but the earth. They remain unprotected and unconnected to the Lord.)
Beloved, those who treasure this world, the Lord offers you an open invitation to seek Him while He may be found. This is a limited time offer. But the Door is open now.
Confess your love of this world. And then enter life as God has it. Then the Lord alone will be your Help and your Hope, and you will join the rest of us who are singing His praises as we just pass through this world on our way to Him, connected and protected as we go.