Thursday, October 13, 2016, 5:25 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “You Raise Me Up.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 44:1-8 (ESV).
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.
O God, we have heard with our ears,
our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land,
nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
and the light of your face,
for you delighted in them.
You are my King, O God;
ordain salvation for Jacob!
Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
When we are going through difficult times, and our faith is being tested, we should not fret or worry, and we should definitely not take matters into our own hands. It does not mean we sit back and do nothing, but that we inquire of the Lord as to what steps he would have us take, and then we follow where he leads us. If we don’t do this, we will just be spinning our wheels but going nowhere, and we may even be fighting against God, for if he wants us to go through something, for his purposes, our efforts will be in vain if we try to go against him.
If we are to be set free from our troubles, it will be God who does it, and not ourselves. So many times throughout the Old Testament God’s people did not wait on him, but took matters into their own hands, and every time it blew up in their faces. We cannot outwit God! We cannot thwart his purposes, no matter how hard we may try. Our best solution always is to submit to his will for our lives, to call on him to save us, and to seek his counsel as to what steps he would have us to take next.
We also have to remember that we are in a spiritual battle, not a physical one, although it has its physical aspects to it (See: Eph. 6:10-20). Ultimately our enemy is Satan and he is still out to destroy Jesus, and his gospel of salvation, and his followers and messengers. The weapons we use to fight our enemy are also not physical weapons of warfare, but the armor of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace; the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And, we need to pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Through our Lord we fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. Now Satan does use human beings and the things of this world, and its creatures, to fight against us to try to discourage and to dishearten us, or to try to get us to give up hope. But, the answer is not to fight them with the weapons of this world, but with the armor of God. When we are using the Lord’s armor, his way, and according to his will, we will gain the victory, but victory comes in many different forms.
For instance, if a follower of Christ loses his job, or is cast out by his friends and family, or is shunned by his co-workers, or if he faces enormous persecution or is even killed for his faith and testimony for Jesus Christ, this does not mean he hasn’t won the battle, or that he is not victorious. True victory has more to do with standing strong in the battle, trusting God, and letting him lead, than it has to do with whether or not we are ever delivered, in this life, from our troubles and difficulties. Sometimes God delivers us from our circumstances, but often he delivers us through them.
The main thing here is that we need to find our strength and solutions in the Lord and NOT in ourselves. We need to put our trust FULLY in God, and NOT in humans, who are bound to fail us. If our trust is in the Lord, and we are resting in him, and believing him to see us through to victory, then we will be at peace, and he will fill us with his joy. And, he will lead us and guide us in the way he would have us go.
One day soon our Lord is going to return for us, and he is going to take us to be with him forever. Our foe will never again be allowed to touch us, for sin, crying, pain and sorrow will be no more, and we will forever be with our Lord. On this we can rest our hope.
YOU RAISE ME UP / Brendan Graham / Rolf Loveland
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.