The psalmist knew about war. In Psalm 144:1, he writes, “Blessed be The Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle”.
As we worship in all our technology and comforts, it can be challenging to remember that every day we are in a battle for righteousness, for the souls of men and for His Kingdom. We often ignore the enemy until he attacks. Because of Christ’s victory, we have eternal blessings. Yet, each day we must still fight the fight.
Paul reminded us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
So today, as you serve your King, be reminded that we are on the front lines.
He prepares us by training our hands for battle and our fingers for war. He protects us with His holy and wholly armor. He provides us His strategy to stand against the scheming of our enemy. And, He give us the grace to persevere.
Ready yourselves, you band of brothers. Today, we do battle. The victory is ours.
Although David had an evident passion for God (Ps 143:1-2), he was admittedly aware of his own problems (Ps 143:3-6). David’s own unrighteousness could only be addressed with God’s righteousness. David’s persecutions, from within and without, had brought him to a place of weariness, hopelessness and fatigue.
In all of this, the psalmist made a plea to his God.
“Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” (Ps 143:8)
David desperately needed reminding of God’s devotion and he needed recognition of God’s direction.
Frustrated with the weaknesses and frailty your own heart?
Have you been asking why and wondering what He is doing?
Cry out to Him.
Stretch your arms out to Him.
Trust Him for Who He is.
God loves and God leads.
We are really good at “figuring things out”. Problem solving is a great characteristic of leadership.
There are often times when our solutions just won’t work.
David faced some troubles where he had no solution but God, “As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I’m feeling, Know the danger I’m in, the traps hidden in my path. Look right, look left— there’s not a soul who cares what happens! I’m up against it, with no exit— bereft, left alone. I cry out, God, call out: ‘You’re my last chance, my only Hope for life!’ Oh listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low.” (Psalm 142:3-5)
When we cry out to Him, we know He always has attentive ears listening. We often go to Him as a last resort, when He wants to be our first option. We like to consider all our options, but He wants be our only option.
In the challenge of unsolvable problems, our God waits for us.
Come to Him.
Cry out to Him.
Be confident in Him.
He’s the best solution.
At one point, David faced challenges on every side. Attacks came from enemies, friends and family.
He learned to shift his focus from his dilemma to his Deliverer; from his panic to his Peace; from his concerns to his Comforter.
David asked God to change his perspective in order to see the blessing and protection that comes from above.
“But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!” (Ps 141:8)
In 2006, Bruce Springsteen recorded, “Eyes On The Prize”. The boss sang,
“Now, only thing I did was wrong,
Stayin’ in the wilderness too long.
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.
Hold on, keep your eyes on the prize!. Hold on, hold on”
Brother, in challenging times, let’s keep our eyes toward Him. He is our Prize. And, keep holding on!
We recently spent the day shopping. I can tell you, it was one of the highlights of my life . . . Not!
i came across little gift card that caught my attention. It was a transparent envelope with a bottle shaped card that read, “Look Inside”. I thought it was a cleaver idea.
In our lives of comfort and ease, even in these economic struggles, we often fail to look inside to see what God is doing and how He is working in our hearts.
Paul reminds us that we are to examine ourselves . . . or look inside . . . on a regular basis.
“Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out.” 2 Cor 13:5, and
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.” Gal 6:4
As we look inside, we are reminded that as God has touched us, we can touch others. As we look in, we begin to live out.
Here are some thoughts on looking inside and living outside . . .
1. We bless others because we have been blessed. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). When we look inside at all the ways God has blessed us, we need to be about the work of being a blessing to others.
2. We love others because we have been loved. Jesus is the source of love . . . He is love. We are told that we love, only because we have been first loved by God. (I John 4:19) As we walk in this life, we are to be aware of the opportunities that come before us each and every day to show love and to represent the love of God.
3. We give because we have been given. John reminds us (I John 3:18) that since we do have this worlds goods, that we ought to concerned on how to share those goods with others . . . with those who are in need. We give . . . following the example of God seen in John 3:16 . . . He loved . . . He gave!
4. We serve because we have been served. The heart of a believer, of a Christ-follower is seen in one who serves. NT teaching is reflective in Mark 10:45, Matt. 20:28, and John 12:26. Jesus did not come to be served . . . but to serve . . . and He has given us that example to follow.
Take a look on the inside . . . Do you like what you see?
Blessings . . . Love . . . Giving . . . Serving.
The psalmist faced relentless attacks from his enemies. To David, it seemed like his enemies were stealing, killing and destroying at will. Our enemy does the same (John 10:10). David asked God to 1) deliver him (Ps 140:1) , and 2) guard him (Ps 140:4).
David’s conviction in God was a result of his communion with God.
“I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will bring about justice for the needy. The righteous will give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.” (Ps 140:12-13)
In these days of great sorrow and confusion, remember that we can say to Our Father, “You are my God, hear my pleas for mercy” (Ps 140:6). He hears and promises a purposeful and abundant life.