Psalm 57:1-3 ESV
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
All day long Monday, pretty much, I was extremely tired, I felt run down, I had little energy, and I kept feeling like I just wanted to go to sleep. My body was aching in various places, and my mind just wasn’t physically alert. And, now that it just turned midnight, and it is now Tuesday, that hasn’t changed. So, I am writing this today totally in the strength of the Lord as he gives me the words he wants me to say, for I have nothing to give in myself.
I have also felt as though I am under attack from the enemy in my body, as I knew the Lord had something for me to write, but my mind just wasn’t able to take it in, and my body wasn’t cooperating, either. So, I just prayed, and I sang songs, and I gave it over to the Lord for him to work in my body and in my mind to accomplish his will and his purposes. And, I just kept saying the name “Jesus.”
So, I am sitting here in front of my computer typing these words totally on faith that God will provide the words.
In The Midst of Liars
Psalm 57:4-5 ESV
My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
The vast majority of the church, at least here in America, invited the world, big business, and the government to come into the gatherings of the church, and to make themselves at home.
They invited the government to be in a position of authority over the church, via the 501c3 incorporation status. And, they started following the business philosophies and marketing schemes of business people who were disguised as men of the gospel.
Thus, they turned the gatherings of the church into businesses of men, and they began marketing them to the world, appealing to the desires of human flesh in order to draw in large crowds of people.
And, so many of them began to put on a show, and to have stage productions in place of worship services, in order to entertain people. Pastors largely were becoming comedians and actors, performing for the crowds to make them laugh, instead of being men of truth preaching conviction of sin and of our need to die to sin and live to righteousness.
Bible studies were being changed into small groups where they studied books written by mere humans, some of them even introducing false religions and their beliefs and their practices into the church. Or, they watched movies and talked about them in order to connect with the culture. Or they were just “feel good” sessions for social purposes.
And, in order to attract the world to the church, they also had to change the message into something that the world would accept, and that the world would be comfortable with. And, so they diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more palatable and inoffensive to the world. They basically shortened it and took out the parts that they didn’t like. And, they twisted the truth to where the church would accept the lies as truth.
They turned evil into something good, and good into something evil. They made the enemy of God the hero while they vilified our Savior and his gospel. For they teach God’s grace as a “free pass” to keep on in willful, premeditated and habitual sin against God, and they teach our salvation from sin as some one-time event in our lives which secures heaven for us, regardless of how we live from that day forward.
They have distorted the promises of God to apply them broadly to anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, while ignoring the criteria for what is required to be the recipient of those promises.
For, eternal life with God is not promised to everyone who professes the name of Jesus. Eternal life is promised to those who are presently believing in Jesus. And, that belief is in who he is, and in what he did for us, and it is in his divine character and will for our lives, too.
And, this belief is a gift from God, and it is divinely persuaded by God. And, since it comes from God, it submits to Jesus as Lord, and it forsakes sin and idols, and it follows Jesus in surrender and in obedience to his commands (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
But, these “lions,” i.e. these liars are teaching a faith in Jesus that doesn’t repent of sin, doesn’t submit to his Lordship, and that doesn’t obey his commands.
So, it leaves the door wide open for them to continue on in their sinful behaviors, hurting themselves and others, while claiming “who they are in Christ” and that God doesn’t see their sin any longer, but he just looks down on them and smiles and he delights in them even in their sin.
My Heart is Steadfast
Psalm 57:6-11 ESV
They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
So, what are the ramifications of all of that was talked about in the section above? This section of this Psalm describes it perfectly!
They set a net for my steps. By teaching the grace of God as free license to continue in habitual sin against God while ignoring God’s requirements for repentance, submission and obedience, it absolutely sets a net for our steps in order to trip us up and to catch us in their net, buying into their lies, and living for the flesh instead of for God.
They dug a pit in my way, hoping I (we) would fall into it. They want us to fall into sin. That is the object of this twisting of truth and this dilution and altering of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, that is because this cheapened and shortened version of the gospel is of Satan, who wants us to fail and to fall, and to not follow our Lord in obedience.
And, the pit they set before us, they have fallen into it, for they are following after their own lies. And, they will also pay the price for their sin because they failed to submit themselves to the Lord Jesus and to die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness (Rom. 2:6-8; Gal. 6:7-8; Gal. 5:16-21).
But, we have to reject the lies and we have to hold fast to the truth. So, we need to know what the lies are, where they come from, and we need to know the truth, too, in contrast to the lies. And, this comes from reading the Bible, in particular the New Testament, cover to cover, word by word, in context, comparing scripture with scripture to find truth, not to try to prove a lie because the lie sounds better and it tickles itching ears.
For, the lie says we can “believe” in Jesus and have heaven guaranteed us when we die, done deal, never to be taken away, regardless of what we do with Jesus and/or how we live our lives from that moment forward.
And, some take it even further than that by saying we don’t have to turn away from our sins, that we don’t have to obey God, and that we don’t have to surrender our lives to the Lord, making him our master, because they say that is “works-based salvation,” and that it is to be avoided.
But, the truth says we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin, be resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, and be transformed of the Spirit of God in our hearts and minds away from living to sin and self to living for God and for his righteousness, in obedience to his commands (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
And, the truth says that if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh, that we are going to die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8).
So, know the truth that will set you free from your bondage to sin, and then live the truth, and you will find salvation from sin and eternal life with God.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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