“I love you, GOD—you make me strong.”
(Psalm 18:1 MSG)
Psalm 18 is one of my favorite chapters found in scripture. I absolutely adore the imagery it presents of a loving and protective Father defending and securing His vulnerable child. I write from that chapter this week due to a series of occurrences in which the sites and sounds of the never-ending advances of life’s troubles have confronted me. I have spoken with friends who are facing the fierceness of their foe. I have met brothers and sisters in Christ who are desperately searching for the slightest glimmer of hope and understanding. I have even found myself confronted by the enemy’s familiar schemes. Reminders abound, that complacency in our walk, distraction in our faith, weakness in our flesh, our tendency to follow fallen humanity, and our propensity to attempt the digestion of poisonous secular influences, can lead us unto the dark murky swamps of a false and lifeless world.
Conversely, during this same time period, I have engaged the victory on the other side of our enemies menacing threats. I have been privileged to listen to the voice of hope spoken in the midst of what once felt like despair. I have been given the opportunity to learn of God’s victorious march in the lives of those who once felt overwhelmed, hidden, and lost. It has been a great reminder of the blessed truth that God never stops pursuing those He loves, and that once we allow Him to, He will overwhelm and suffocate the presence of evil in a relentless and all-consuming assault that is akin to the swiftness of light expelling the darkness of a room at the flip of a switch. It is instant, and it is final.
My point in all this is to simple say, the fight is on! This week we conclude the Groups trimester, and as I shared in last weeks article, we will enter a time of rest, a springtime anointing, of which I highly encourage everyone to take advantage. However, in this time we must remember that though a season of ministry is concluding, the work of the church and our need to resist the enemy never cease. The realities of this world, and of our lives, remain. And thus, each of us must persist in our pursuit of the living God, calling out to Him in the faith filled likeness of a young one calling out to their parents in the uncertainty of a lightless mid-night bedroom. And we must live in such spiritual practicality, so as to weed the garden of our lives, removing the intimidation, accusation, condemnation, and shame that our enemy uses to choke out within us the healthy vegetation of Christ’s likeness.
In my own small group this week, we studied Ephesians 5 and dabbled in chapter 6 as well. I won’t attempt to unpack these in this article, but if you study them, you will see some very practical and spiritual ways in which we, as followers of Christ, can and should live our lives. Our practical actions can become spiritual elements of warfare. If we live our lives as Ephesians 5 teaches we will open the door for God to work in and through us. Then, couple our healthy practical living with the spiritual elements found in Ephesians 6, we mix together all the ingredients required for a victorious lifestyle. We may still encounter trouble, but we will remain armed with the confidence of a hope that reigns supreme.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “’I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” Let there be no mistake about it. Victory is not ours. Victory is God’s. He is the One who heals, and provides, and overcomes. He is the One who wins. He-is-the-One! Just as in Psalm 18, when we call on Him, as King David did, and allow Him to, through our practical action and spiritual obedience, He will defend us and He will win our battles. He will part the heavens and come down (v. 9) and He will reach down from on high and take hold of us (v.16), placing us in a wide-open field; where we will stand there saved—surprised to be loved (v. 19 MSG).
God is a fulfiller of promises. He does what He says He will do. He has overcome this world and all its trouble. He will rend the Heavens to rescue His children. If we draw near to Him, as James 4:8 teaches us, He will draw near to us.
And our response will be, “I love you GOD—you make me strong.”
Go Deeper – Grow Stronger!