Christianity is a big life with the great God. We are at home in a House built by wisdom. At His altars and in His courts, we praise Him and are safe in Christ, the Anointed One. (Psalm 84)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 2/23/2022
P. Schaller –
We’re going to study Psalm 84 tonight. Thanks for being here tonight. Praise God. What a great place to be. We’re
just thankful for the miracle of God amongst us. Gathering in his name. Where two or three are
gathered, there he is. Do you feel that sometimes God is with your brother and sister and with
you and edifying you? Do you feel that way sometimes? Maybe all the time. Maybe all the time.
I don’t know but we go through different things. Why don’t you turn to your neighbor and say I do
enjoy being here and I don’t mind sitting next to you tonight!
One principle. We’re going to go through Psalm 84 verse by verse. One verse there is they go
“from strength to strength.” I want to draw a graph up on our screen that might help us. Many
believers go this way: strength to weakness. How long are they in the weakness for? P. Liam
stays a couple years! Okay! Then strength, weakness down, strength, and then crash. Many
times this is how people live. They go from strength to doubt to fear to questions to weakness to
fainting. 2 Corinthians 4:1 because we have received a ministry, we faint not. I’m not going to turn
there. I think you know this. When we are chastised, Hebrews 12:15, we do not faint. How about it?
Could you ask your neighbor about it. If you get beat up by God, do you faint? Go ahead. Ask
them. I’ll ask P. Love.
Okay. We are people that do. Our outer man is perishing, but the inner man is renewed. But
there are things that happen in life that are devastating. Absolutely. There’s a prophet – I’m not
sure if it’s Amos – he said this. It caught my attention one day. He said you will weep as
someone who lost their only son. God said that to the Jewish people. You will weep. If you are a
parent, you have one son, and you lost him. How grievious that would be. What a nightmare. I
know you didn’t come to church tonight to hear that. I want you to think about it.
How could I go from strength to strength? How could that happen that we would actually go
from strength to strength? Here’s a good question for you and I. Are you going from strength to
strength? Is that happening in your life? Oh, Valentine is here. In the dorms, in the Bible college,
and the spirit.
By the way, our missions Sunday. I’ll give you a little picture. In July, we’ll have summer alive
here in Baltimore. We’ll do Belair Edison. We will do the city, this area for a month like we’ve
done the past two summers. Then P. Renaldo is praying and has agreed and is planning to
move to a city not far from here, a couple hours a way, two hours away. We don’t know where it
is. I’m inviting you to send an email to us. Pray about it and tell us what city we should go this
summer in July for 30 days of meetings. Thirty days every night a meeting. Thirty days on the
street. Thirty days collecting addresses. Thirty days of ministry. Is it Trenton, New Jersey? Is it
Philadelphia? Is it Richmond? Is it Pittsburgh? Is it Alexandria, Virginia? Where would we go
within a couple hours from here, Baltimore.
Send me an email. Send us an email. We’ll be praying about it. Pray about it. Think about it for a week or so. You can talk about it. Pray. Where should Greater Grace [go] this summer with a team?
We’re going to rent a house. We’re going to have a place or two places. We’re going to have
meetings. We’re going to live there. Pastors will be coming and going. P. Love does three days
of meetings. He goes down and comes back and another group goes down and we’ll do that for
30 days and see what happens at the end. What will God do? What will God do in the month of
Thirdly, Europe. Maybe P. Colban could go somewhere. P. Barry could go with a team. Maybe
P. Jason. Maybe P. Love. Maybe P. Andrulonis with a team. We go to Europe to the Balcans.
We go to Hungary. We go to Germany. We go to the U.K. We go to Finland. Actually, the
songleader tonight, Benscu, is getting married to my granddaughter in Finland this summer.
That would be a cool thing. Let’s go do that and evangelize in Finland. Get the country
straightened out! No, I’m kidding.
Let’s read vs 1. This is a word for God’s house, the tabernacle that Moses’ built. Later, Solomon built a temple. Solomon had courtyards on the outside of the temple. This is a pilgrim psalm.
“Pilgrim” is a beautiful word for us because we are moving. We are moving through the world.
This is not our home. We are pilgrims. We have citizenship in heaven, Philippians 3:20. Our
conversation is in heaven. We are pilgrims. We speak a different language. We have a separate
set of values. We are different from the world. We are pilgrims but we need a home. We need a
tabernacle. We need a place to meet. We need a place to worship.
Moses said to the Egyptians, let us go that we could go out into the wilderness and worship our
God. Pharaoh said you’re not going anywhere. Even Moses in one of his offers said we’ll go out
for three days. Pharaoh said, no. You’re not going anywhere. I shouldn’t even be talking to you.
You’re a slave. You’re a nobody. You’re a Jew. I have no interest in you other than you are to
work for me and I do not know the Lord. Who is the Lord? Exodus 5:2.
We are pilgrims not belonging to this world but actually we’re going to inherit it. We don’t belong
to it. We are not part of it in the spirit of the world. We have the Spirit of God, so we are
different. 1 Corinthians 2 teaches us that. It’s fantastic. It’s an honor to be called God’s name. Called by
God’s name in Jeremiah 15:16. So we need a tent. We need a house. We need a tabernacle even if it
is temporary. We just need to come together and worship God. We are pilgrims that worship
They are amiable. What’s the word mean? Lovely. The reason why we called our daughter
“Amy” because she is lovely, loveable daughter. vs. 2. This is very strong this longing. It’s in Psalm
42, Psalm 43, Psalm 62, Psalm 63. It’s very strong yearning. It’s a very strong desire. It’s a beautiful thing
when the Lord puts that in our hearts. We long for God. We long for truth. We long for holiness.
We are longing and desiring the courts. Why is it plural? Because Solomon when he built the
temple he had two courts on the outside. Then you entered in to the outer court. There was the
outer court. Then you entered into the place of sacrifice where there was an offering for the
burnt offering. Then you go into the holy place where there was another altar for incense. He
says “courts” plural and “altars” plural.
You have the burnt offering altar and then the incense altar. They represent sacrifice and prayer. Incense was a place of prayer. And he wanted to go there. He wanted to be there. vs. 2. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. I read this afternoon this crying out is actually a loud cry and it’s a word that can be used for grief as David cried out, O Absalom! O Absalom! He said his name five times. O my son, Absalom, Absalom. I would have died for you,
O Absalom. The yearning, the cry or the need, the heart really desiring and that’s grief and I
think also the strength of that passion can be seen in our love, our yearning, our desire for God,
the living God. This is what happened to us when the Holy Spirit filled us. In Acts 2 at Pentecost,
they became alive to God. They love God. They wanted God.
vs. 3. Now these two birds, we are all kind of familiar with these small birds that fly in a low level
and they are very active and they move quite a bit. They move around a lot. I would like to think
of it for us that we are nervous. We are moving a lot. We are nervous about our situation. We
are not established. We are moving a lot. We are afraid a lot. We are like sparrows and
swallows that are flying and moving and now they have found a place. They found a home like
us. This home isn’t about us. It’s about God. That’s why we are not moving around a lot
anymore. We found a home. We are not nervous or worried like we used to be. We are kind of
grounded and established and at peace. We found a home. We’re surprisingly going from
strength to strength.
On our graph here, it’s more like this. I might start – when you become a Christian, you might
not know how it goes but you have your periods of instability and so on. When you actually get
established in the house, you go from strength to strength. You yourself are amazed how could I
be so faithful. How come I am at peace? Why am I not worried like others? Why am I kind of just
quietly burning and alive and discerning and caring and loving? Why is this happening to me?
This is beautiful.
Go to vs. 3-4. That’s another little graph I think. This is kind of like how come they are still
praising God? Why? He’s 10 years old, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 years old. Why is he still
praising God? Why hasn’t he, why didn’t he go into the weakness that brought him into the
depression that brought him into fainting that got him stuck in a depression and he’s off the grid.
He’s off of God’s radar. No, he never gets off of God’s radar. God is with him. If he makes his
bed in hell, God is there (Psalm 139). But in a practical way, he stopped praising him or he
stopped. What happened to him? That’s what comes to my mind regarding that verse.
vs. 4. The house of God has a lot to do with your personal life.
It has a lot to do with the filling of the Spirit processing life. I think sometimes people can have such a hard time in life that they could be so hurt, quiet for five years. They maybe change. They’re a little bit different. But they
sit there in the back row. They keep coming. They do. They don’t quit. They still have a quiet
hope and maybe the Holy Spirit is going to do something to help them. He is called the
Comforter. He is our teacher. He won’t fail you. He will not fail you. We go from faith to faith.
Then we go from strength to strength and we will still be praising God. Still, by the Spirit of God,
the nature of God.
Maybe it stops because we stop looking at God. It says that in the psalm actually. Maybe we
stop relating to truth. We stop being quiet and humble before God and God open my ears. Open
my heart. Help me. Heal me. Strengthen me. I am devastated. I am hurt but lift me up. You are
the glory and lifter of my head in Psalm 3. You will restore my soul, Psalm 23. “the Lord is my
shepherd, I shall not lack” (Psalm 23:1). O, God, how long? How long? (Psalm 42). He is a faithful
God, the living God. I like it in our church that we don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to always
be saying – I was in a church one time earlier and I’m very thankful for it, but it was like if I came
to the church kind of dragging myself, I would meet somebody who would just challenge me.
Praise the Lord, brother! Praise the Lord! I would think I really want to but I don’t have it right
now. I would like to. I would like to but you know. I don’t want to fake it. We do. There is
something about that too that is okay, but I just want to say I like it when we come into the
house of God and it’s not about – it’s about the Lord. The Lord is here. This is a provision for us.
Go to the next verse. vs. 5-6. I understand this “Baca” is where balsam trees live. Also it is arid
but then when the rain comes, the rain can sit on the top of the hardened sand and there’s a
pool there. It has the meaning of tears. A place of tears. We go through the valley of the shadow
of death. That’s another valley. A valley of trouble which is what we talked about here. The
valley of pain. The valley of a disappointment.
The valley of disappointment with myself. Maybe I failed God. Maybe my deep sin, maybe my bad habits. All of this is part of life. God knows it all. God is the God of all grace and teaches us grace and leads us. He makes it a good place.
An arid place is turned into a place of water. A trial is a place to learn who God is. Troubles in
life is a good time for us to be responsible and say to God, I am here showing up. I’m not a
victim. I’m responsible. I like that little phrase. I’m not a victim. I’m responsible. “My father
brought me up in a bad way. That’s why I am the way I am.” Yes. Okay. Let’s change that. Your
father brought you up and you had a very difficult time. Now you have to be responsible to God.
God will help you. God will heal you. He will use you. He will make you a servant. He will raise
you up in the tabernacle of God, in the place of accountability, in the place of saying Lord here I
am. I like it. A simple “here I am.” Remember? Adam and Eve, where are you? Then they start
The woman you gave me and we were hiding. We were naked. And God said, Noah,
here I am. Abraham, here I am. Remember? Samuel said, here I am. That’s simple. Here I am.
My father when I was brought up or my job or my education or my training or as we hear a lot
about racism today and so on. Can we move on? Could we move on and live our lives and not
be a victim and not accuse people and not be a culture of hatred and division? Could we move
on in love? Could we forgive in love? Could we love people? Could we learn God for who is
There’s three sentences Chesterton said. I like this phrase. I’m going to be done in a few
minutes here. Paganism. Paganism was the biggest thing going in the time of the Apostle Paul.
Christianity was bigger. It was bigger than paganism. Ever since, everything else is
comparatively small. Ever since everything else is comparatively small. Everything else is comparatively small. Can you follow that? Let me repeat it. Christianity came into the world.
Paganism was the greatest thing going in the first century. Christianity was bigger. It was
greater. Christianity is amazing. It makes you bigger. You’re not a victim. You find God. God
anoints you. God raises you up. God uses you. God heals you.
Ever since Christianity came into the world, everything else whatever it is – age of reason, age
of romance, age of communism, Nazism, anything else. Shintoism, Confucianism. Any other
thing that has been in the world is comparatively small. This is the greatest thing. Why? Cause
God does not allow us to live as a victim. He does not allow us to live by sight. He does not
allow us to live in our sin. He does not allow us to live in our idolatry. He does not allow us to
live in our flesh. This is the greatest life you could ever live. It’s abundant life. Why? Because
our God is a living God. Our God answers our
prayer. Our God fills us with his Spirit. Our God makes us like himself.
Why do I want to go to the house of God? Because it is there my mind will be enlightened. It’s
there where I will learn to be a student and not stop. I will be a student. I will be a student. I’ll be
a disciple or be taught grace and faith and love.
I’m finishing up here. vs. 7. What? You mean you’re still doing that? Remember P. Scibelli had a
relative. Are you still doing that God thing? Are you still doing that? Yeah. And you are, too.
Some have turned aside, Psalm 101. “Those that turn aside will not cleave unto me.” They will not
cleave unto me. If they turn aside, that’s their life and God bless you. Catch you later. I’m not
going that way. I have found another way. I have found a way to live from strength to strength.
How can you go from strength to strength to strength to strength and still be praising God? How
can that happen? Cause I found the house that wisdom built, Proverbs 9:1. I found the house that
Jesus talked about in Matthew. 7:24. “If a man hears my saying and does them, he’s like a man that
builds his house upon a rock.” And the storm comes and it will not be destroyed.
This is what we love, the tabernacles. They are so amiable. Lovely. They are attractive to us.
We are drawn to them. We just have a precious place in our heart.
One little point: when you and I have common experience, when you and I we connect with
each other with a common experience that’s from God, then that binds us together. When you
have the same thing I have and I know you got it and you know I got it and you know the people
in the room have it. When we have it, it binds us together. You know what I know? Yeah, I know
what you know. I like it. You like it? I know you like it. I can see it in your face. I see it in your
heart. I hear it in your words. You got Jesus Christ in your life. So do I. We have Christ in our
life. This is our food. It’s our new life. It’s our way of living.
vs. 8-9. Who is God’s anointed? God looks upon the face of his anointed. Who are they? Christ.
God looks at Christ. What are we doing? Looking at Christ. What happens in the house? We
look at the face of God’s anointed. But I also believe we are anointed. God looks on our faces,
too. You can actually feel it in your heart that God is looking at you deeply. That you have
fellowship in the Spirit. It’s kind of like I have a face on the outside but I have a face on the
inside. It’s kind of like Jesus at Mt. Transfiguration praying and he turns white so we can see
what’s on the inside of his humanity was that glory of God. He turned white like snow. And in the
same way, when you pray and I pray, we are in fellowship with God and the glory of God is our
fellowship. Look on the face of thine anointed. We will not fear evil. Look on the face of your
anointed and we will be edified.
vs. 10. A thousand days is getting up there to be about three years, isn’t it? Three years or so. A
little less maybe. Three years versus one day in God’s courts. Imagine. One day with God, one
day with God in God’s courts versus three years at the local university, at the local movie
theater. Three years at the local park. Three years out on the water at the Chesapeake. Three
years. I mean that’s pretty close to heaven actually.
vs. 10. Sometimes you might have gone somewhere with unbelievers. You’ve been with
unbelievers for a weekend. You’ve been with unbelievers on a vacation. You’ve been with unbelievers at a wedding. Been with unbelievers at a business meeting or something. You’re
with unbelievers and they don’t ever talk about God or love or these things. No, they do not.
Maybe you’ve had that experience. It’s exhausting. It’s the tents of the wicked. David is saying it.
Actually, maybe the psalm came from David to a writer.
Any way, the point is that it’s pretty dead out there. It’s real. Doorkeepers are the first ones there
at the building, and the doorkeepers are the last ones to lock up. He’s the first one in and the
last one. He’s saying I love it so much. That’s how I think of it cause of what it’s done in my
heart. I love it when our hearts get stirred. There’s some Holy Spirit fire. I love it when we get
some answers. I love it the whole idea of going from strength to strength.
I have to confess to you one reason I’m preaching this is because I could feel myself going from
strength to weakness. I can see myself going from weakness to faint, to being alone and to
fainting. I can see myself being in a totally different place, but I also see this other thing that has
been happening all my life and that is going from strength – surprisingly it’s okay. I guess I’m
strong. I’m not perfect but I’m encouraged. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I got all this good
stuff going on in our lives. I don’t mean about myself. I mean about us as believers. This is what
God has ordained for us. The psalmist is saying it is rich.
vs. 11. I want you to think about that. Has that happened to you that God’s given us good
things? He will not withhold from them that walk uprightly. He’s given us good things, good
thoughts, good purposes, good friends. I like to say sometimes step out of yourself and live in
faith and find God in your walk of faith. Sometimes, walk on water and find God. You come back
to the boat wet but you say did anyone get that on their phone? Did anyone video that? That
was amazing! Put it on Facebook. I walked on water! My name is Peter. I walked on water the
guy could say. You get the idea. The blessings are real.
vs. 12. Let’s finish with that one. Oh, Lord. There’s no question. If we can with all our hearts, if
you move somewhere out on the mission field, if you go somewhere, if you start a new
adventure, if you have a new phase in your life, it’s a time of faith and trust in the Lord with all
your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Trust in him and he will be taking care of
you. No good thing will he withhold from us that walk uprightly. Okay.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.