Thursday, October 6, 2016, 12:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “For Our Nation.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 31 (Select vv. NASB).
Into Your Hand (vv. 1-5)
In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.
We all have enemies – some of us more than others. We all have people who just don’t like us, no matter what we do. Some of them may act as our enemies because of jealousy and/or resentment towards us, as was the case with Jesus’ persecutors. And, they may do to us what Jesus’ opponents did to him, i.e. they may set a trap for us, hoping that we will fall, because they want us to fall so that we will be just like them.
So, we need to call on our Lord, pray for his spiritual protection over us, and pray for wisdom and discernment so that we don’t fall into their traps. We must take refuge in the Lord at all times, but especially when our enemy is fiercely coming against us. And, we must never give way to fear, but daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, because he is the one who is behind all this persecution and setting of traps, is he not?
They Schemed (vv. 11-13)
Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
Who does Satan hate the most? God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Who or what does he hate second most? Jesus’ followers, i.e. his saints, and the gospel of our salvation, as was taught by Jesus and his NT apostles.
Satan rebelled against God in heaven because he wanted to be God, so he was banished, along with many of the angels in heaven who followed after him. Then, he went after God’s people, and then Jesus, who was the promised seed of Abraham, the Messiah of the people, the Son of God, and God, in order to try to take them out, or to try to trip them up and/or to convince them to follow him, instead. Satan’s followers are his servants to do his bidding in scheming to take us out or to try to persuade us to go his way. So, he will “pull out all the stops,” i.e. he will do everything he can to achieve his goal of destroying Jesus, his gospel, and his messengers.
One of Satan’s biggest weapons against us is his lies and deceptions, and his manipulations of truth. He loves gossip, because gossip destroys people’s reputations. He loves slander, as well, which is false accusations against people with willful intent to harm them. We live in a society here in America of very gullible people who are easily persuaded by lies and deceptions, and thus many Americans buy into lies without question as to whether or not what they just heard or read, or thought they saw, is actually true. People who indulge in much television, as well, are very susceptible to Satan’s lies, and they can be very easily persuaded to accept them as truth just because someone they trusted said it was so, or because an image on TV made it look like it was real. TV can be very hypnotic, and deceptive, too.
Presently there is a global campaign against the Lord’s true servants and witnesses, and against the gospel as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles. World powers are scheming against us. They are making a case against us that we are bigoted, hatemongers, and intolerant, and that we are religious extremists (in the same category as terrorists) who must be reprogrammed or destroyed, either through slander or through death, etc. Their basis for these accusations is, in reality, that we teach what Jesus and his NT apostles taught about sin, hell, damnation, forgiveness, repentance and obedience to Christ and submission to his cross. Their goal is to bring the people of the world together as one under one global government and under a one-world religion which is accepting of all religions and all walks of life.
As for Me (vv. 14-18)
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.
So, when our adversary comes against us to attempt to undo us, we must put our hope and trust in God to deliver us from his attacks against us. God may deliver us by removing the attacks, and by vindicating us and our reputations, which will certainly happen one day, or he may deliver us through our trials by giving us his peace and assurance, his wisdom, and his power and strength to keep going and to keep doing his will despite all opposing forces against us.
When going through all of life’s challenges, we must believe in God’s sovereignty over our lives. Suffice it to say, it is imperative that we understand that our God is all powerful, and that he is completely in control of all things, and that he has power over every authority on the earth and in the spiritual realms. We need to see our lives from the perspective that our times here on this earth are in his hands, and we must trust him in all things, and follow his lead. We must not give way to fear of circumstances or enemies, because they are not more powerful than God! He reigns supreme!
Satan wants to make us afraid and to convince us that he is greater than our God, and that he is to be feared above all. He wants us to feel powerless against his evil attacks, and for us to buckle under the weight of it all. And, he has gotten many, many people there, even those who know Jesus, or who profess to trust in Jesus Christ.
I can still recall the day in the year 1982 when I felt the weight of Satan’s attacks against me via people telling me lies. So, I withdrew and I just escaped into a fantasy world. Then, one day, I was reading the story of Jonah to my children and God spoke so clearly to my heart that I was being like Jonah, in a way, in that I was running away from God. So, he told me to get back in there and to “fight this through.” And, I replied, “But God, you don’t understand!” I was convinced that these people had power over me over which God could not rescue me. Oh, how wrong I was! So, I obeyed God, and I did “fight it through,” via putting on the spiritual armor of God, and God delivered me out of the lion’s mouth and set me free.
Love the Lord (vv. 23-24)
O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.
I believe that scripture teaches that God allows or that he causes certain trials to come into our lives to test us, to mature us in our walks of faith, to make us holy, and to teach us to rely on him and not on ourselves, etc. I believe he also exercises divine discipline on his children, at times, via trials, in order to get our attention, because we have forgotten our first love and have gone off to chase after idols of human making. And, so he gently disciplines us in order to bring us back into pure fellowship with him.
I believe, as well, that through the tribulations God brings or allows on this earth, that he is calling out, not only to his wayward children, but to the people of this world who are lost in their sins, who need to believe in him for salvation. He is calling them to repent of their sins and to turn to follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will for their lives. For, when we believe in Jesus Christ, we are to be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Jesus died, not just so we could be forgiven of our sins, escape hell, and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
To love God, thus, is not some mushy gushy feeling we have for him. It is also not to “do” for God out of our own choosing as to what we will “do,” hoping he will be pleased. In other words, even the lost of this world know how to do good deeds. And, even the demons believe, and they shudder. Our salvation means death to our old lives of living according to our sinful flesh, and it means new birth to a living hope, and living to Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). Loving God means obeying him and keeping his word and no longer walking according to our sinful ways, but walking according to (in agreement with) the Spirit.
So, stop believing Satan’s lies, daily put on the armor of God, follow your Lord in obedience and surrender to his will, and trust him fully with your life.
For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.