In You, O Lord
Psalm 31:1-2 ESV
“In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are not promised that life will be easy or without problems. We are not promised that things in this life will always go as we had hoped or as we had planned. In fact, we were promised a life of suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel.
So, it should not surprise us when this world of ours comes unraveled before our eyes, and there is more confusion and unrest than there is anything that makes sense, from a worldly standpoint. Thus, none of what is going on in our world or in our nations should take us back.
We were also warned of a time of great deception when many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets and teachers will arise during this time and will lead many astray. Lawlessness will increase, and the love of many will grow cold (See Matt 24).
I believe we are already in this time. And it is a time when true believers in Jesus Christ are being persecuted and when the gospel is under siege, and many are being led astray by a false gospel which has created lawlessness, for it requires no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to God.
When we are being taught in the “churches” that salvation from sin and eternal life with God, which come from God, give us free license to continue living in sin, and that we do not have to submit to God or obey him or leave our sins behind us, then lawlessness definitely increases!
So, what do we do when we see these things taking place? We call on God in prayer, first of all, and we take refuge in Him, and not in humans. And we pray for his grace and his strength in our lives to not succumb to the pressures of this godless world upon our lives.
And, then we speak out against all the lies, and all the deception, and all the godlessness that is taking place in the “churches” and in our governments so that we are not deceived by all the fakery and by all the smokes and mirrors, and by all the clever enchanters who want to take us captive to do their will instead of God’s will.
And, then we tell people the truth of what the Scriptures teach (in context) regarding our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God. For they teach we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness if we want to be saved from our sin and have eternal life with God.
[See: Luke 9:23-26; John 8:31-32, 51; John 10:27-30; John 14:23-24; Romans 2:6-8; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-17; Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 19-20; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 15, 21; Galatians 5:16-24; Galatians 6:7-8; Ephesians 4:17-24; Ephesians 5:3-6; Colossians 1:21-23; Colossians 3:5-11; Hebrews 3:6, 14-15; Hebrews 10:26-31; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 1:5-9; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 2:24-25; 1 John 5:3]
You are My Rock
Psalm 31:3-5 ESV
“For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
Yes, yes! Amen! The Lord is our Rock and our fortress. In him alone we find our strength and our support and the guidance and direction for our lives. For, when we sincerely believe in him with God-given faith, we do truly look to him to lead us and guide us into truth and into the path of righteousness.
He is not our Rock and our fortress if all we do is pray a prayer to “receive Christ” and then we go on living like we did before we “believed,” or perhaps even worse, because we now feel at liberty to sin as much as we want without guilt since we are “under grace.”
A net is a trap, so to be taken out of the net hidden for us can be many things. But I look at it here as the Lord rescuing us from all the lies and the false gospels which would lead us to rebellion and lawlessness instead of to Christ’s righteousness and holiness.
For, when Jesus delivers us from the bondage of sin and Satan, he opens our blinded eyes, so we see the traps for what they are so that we don’t fall into them. He rescues us from those traps via God-given faith in Jesus Christ whereby he turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so we can be forgiven our sins and be sanctified by faith in him.
Belief in Jesus Christ is not just about having our sins forgiven so we can go to heaven when we die, so we escape hell. It is a life commitment to Jesus Christ and to his service. It is turning away from the lives we lived before, and it is now surrendering our lives to Jesus and to his will for our lives.
And it is now seeking out his guidance and direction for our lives and walking in obedience to his commands, daily dying to sin and to self by the power of God’s Spirit within us. It is total reliance on him in and for all things in this life, and it is making him Lord and master of our lives in place of self.
Hating Worthless Idols
Psalm 31:6-8 ESV
“I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.”
Part of our commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives is taking on his character, becoming like him in his death, and it is having his mind within us so that we end up hating what he hates and loving what he loves.
Well, he hates worthless idols, which for us can be entertainment, possessions, politicians, preachers, institutional religion, wealth, prestige, laziness, self-pleasure, self-gratification, and/or control over our own lives. Basically, anything which has our hearts more than God is an idol.
He didn’t call us to blend in with the world or to immerse ourselves in our culture. He didn’t call us to be like the world around us so as not to offend the people of the world with the truth of the gospel, either. He called us to come out from the world and to be different and to be like him.
When we step out in obedience to him, and we choose to walk in his ways and no longer in the ways of this world, we are delivered from our enemy Satan so that we can now serve God with our lives. So, our trust needs to be in the Lord and not in the people or the things of this world.
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.