Psalm 143:1-4 ESV
“Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
“For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.”
We all have enemies. Even some of the most beloved people on this earth have enemies, for there are people who are jealous of them, or who are offended by them, or who just don’t like them for whatever reason. No matter who we are, not everyone is going to love us.
Nonetheless, when we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, doing what he has called us to do, and saying whatever it is he gives us to say, we are going to have people fighting against us, disagreeing strongly with us, perhaps even accusing us falsely of what we did not do.
And, some or much of our opposition may come from other Christians (or professing Christians) and even from church leadership. And, the reasons for that may vary, but since so much of the church has gone the way of the world and has diluted the gospel, they are opposed to the true gospel.
And, since they have rejected the truth of the gospel as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles, and they have adopted a cheapened version of God’s grace, instead, they are going to oppose those who are still teaching the whole counsel of God, because they want the lie, instead.
They want the lie because it allows them to continue living in their sin without guilt, yet with the guarantee of eternal life with God regardless of how they live their lives on this earth. So, it consoles them in their sin rather than calls them out of their sin.
So, our true enemy, which is Satan, is pursuing human souls, and he is pursuing Christians, too, to lead them back into sin. And, he is doing this by convincing the vast majority of people who claim faith in Jesus that they can keep on in their sin and that they will not face judgment.
Psalm 143:5-6 ESV
“I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah”
When the enemy comes against us, either to try to lead us back into sin, via the lies he tells, or to try to stop us from spreading the truth of the gospel, we must remember what Jesus taught us, and what his NT apostles taught us about sin, holiness, and righteousness.
We must dig into the Word of God and read it in context and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, rather than just trying to find Scriptures to support what we want to do. And, we must be open to hearing from the Lord whatever he wants to teach us.
Psalm 143:7-12 ESV
“Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
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.”
“Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
“For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.”
Sometimes the oppression from the enemy can be powerful and overwhelming, and our emotions may fail us. And, we may even feel as though God has abandoned us, or we may break down in tears, asking the Lord for understanding.
But our trust in the Lord must not waver during these times. We must reach out to our Lord, and call on him, and trust him with our circumstances, and pray for guidance and direction. And, we must ask the Lord to keep us from evil, and to lead us on level ground.
And, we must seek to know the Lord’s will and for him to teach us to do his will, too, but we must then be willing and ready to do his will. For, it isn’t like we can opt out of doing his will if we choose another path, and that God will be okay with that.
If we want the Lord to deliver us from our enemies, and if we truly want to know his will, and to know the way that we should go, then we can’t resist him when he answers us with the truth, just because we may not like the answer we get from him.
The Lord will help us if we are sincere about wanting help. Many cry to God for help, though, and when they don’t like the help he offers, they keep on in the way they were going, only to keep getting the same results. It is like they keep hoping he will give them a different answer.
But we need to be those who seek the Lord in truth, and who will do what he says when he answers our prayers, and when he shows us the way that we should go. We must not resist him, but we must surrender to him and follow his lead. We should say, “I am your servant, let it be to me according to your word.” Amen!
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
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