What Is In The Valley?

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"What is in the Valley" is a textual sermon by Mark Hollingsworth.

Psalm 23 Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Introduction: There is always a valley between two mountains. Before each mountain top experience comes a walk down below. Some can live on the mountain top with the Lord for extended periods of time but some cannot for some reason or another.

We reach the mountain top, live there a while but then comes a wind of defeat or a wind of discouragement and the wind blows us right down to the bottom of the mountain again.

Some valleys are wide, some are narrow. Some are on rough ground and some on smooth ground. Most suicides occur there and most marriages break up while one or both mates are there.

I know I am talking to several today who are there and some people live there most of the time. It may be because of physical reasons, emotional reasons, or spiritual reasons. Whatever the reason, too many of us have an address in the valley.

If your are going to be successful in climbing the mountain, then you must recognize what’s in the valley.

I. God is There.

(v.4) “…for thou art with me.”

  • The only way God can speak to some of us is in the valley.Some Christians get high up the mountain and their ears get stopped up and they can’t hear God speak. Some get so high in the mountains that they get in the fog and can’t see spiritually.
  • There is a different living standard there.The same vegetation doesn’t grow there as it does in the mountain top.Sometimes the only way to get the right spiritual diet is to go to the valley. God may have to take us down there in order to take us up to the mountain top.
II. Ground Zero is There.

(v.4) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

In the early days of the automobile, the driver had to get a long run at the next hill in order to get up and over the mountain top. I had a Volkswagen that was like that. We’ve had a church bus or two that was like that, haven’t we?

  • The valley is the ground floor for success.
  • It is the only access to the mountain.
  • It is where the elevator is.If you enter the elevator at the top, the only direction is down.Maybe you know a high school student, a college student, a mom, a dad, a teacher, a married couple or someone else who is in the valley and can’t seem to get out. Maybe you know someone who is considering throwing in the towel. Maybe you know someone who can’t seem to get a handle on their relationships.If it is you, get on the elevator. If it is someone you know, help them get on the elevator because it is about ready to leave the launching pad and the mountain top is the first stop.
III. Grappling is There.

(v.4) “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Jer 2:23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;

Jer 49:4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?

Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

This place is always a place of decision. Am I going to stay here or am I going to climb the mountain? We must grapple with our decisions and trust the Lord so we can make the right choice. There is a battle between the flesh and the spirit. Will I make the decision to stay in the world or climb the mountain to spiritual attainment. Will I trust myself or the Lord? Will I depend on my strength or the rod and staff of the Lord?

  • The only reason for staying in the valley is that you don’t make a decision to get out.
  • Most successful people made life changing decisions while in the valley.Sam Jones was a drunkard in the pits of the saloon and accepted Christ and made the decision to climb the mountain and he became a great preacher.The prodigal son said, “I will arise and climb the mountain back home!”One preacher was offered a lot of money if he would get rid of his bus ministry and the snotty nosed kids and the preacher chose the kids over the millionaire.
IV. Grace is There.

(v.5-6) Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

  • Luke 3:5, “Every valley shall be filled, every mountain and hill shall be brought low.”That means that the mountain is accessible to all who trust the Lord and start climbing.
  • Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them who love God.”
Conclusion:

 What about it? Are you going to stay in the valley the rest of your life? You don’t need to. Why don’t you get out today? Why don’t you decide to start climbing the mountain today?

Song: “I Heard Footsteps”

Talkin’ bout the mountains;
I’ve climbed them,
Felt the sunshine on my shoulders.
Felt the warm winds blow.

Talkin’ bout the valleys,
I’ve been there.
Had my world to crumble down.
Felt the tear drops flow.

And I heard footsteps,
Walkin' in the shadows.
And a hand reaching out
To tell me He was there.


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