Psalms 18:1-2 NIV
“I love you, Lord, my strength.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-persuaded faith, we die with Christ to sin, we are raised with Christ to new lives in him, and we now live to him and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit now living within us (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Now Jesus, in the person of his Holy Spirit, is living within us in intimate relationship with us. He is now our Lord (master) and Savior, but he is also our husband and we are his bride. He loves us as a husband ought to love his bride, and we are to love him as a bride ought to love her husband.
We aren’t just saved from the punishment of sin so that we can go to heaven when we die, but our lives have now been transformed of the Spirit of God. We no longer live like we did when we were single (apart from God), but now we walk with him according to his righteousness.
Yes, we are not perfect overnight. I agree! Yes, we still live in flesh bodies and so we still have a propensity to sin and we are still tempted to sin. And yes, the Christian life is a process of growing in our relationship with the Lord, daily dying to sin and self, and daily following our Lord in obedience.
But Jesus Christ is not just a ticket to heaven and he doesn’t just rescue us from the punishment of hell. Believing in Jesus Christ is entering into an intimate relationship with him, by God’s grace, through God-persuaded faith in Christ, and now he is our husband and we are his bride.
So, we all ought to be able to write what the Psalmist wrote here. We all ought to be able to wake up in the morning and say to our Lord, “I love you, Lord, my strength,” much like we would say “I love you” to anyone with whom we have a close intimate relationship, only much better.
But love for the Lord is not just sentiment, and it isn’t just words that we speak, but love for the Lord is to obey him in living the lives he has called us to live and in doing the things he has called us to do. For, our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, for we were bought with a price.
Psalms 18:3-5 NIV
“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.”
I know what it is like to experience what the Psalmist has expressed here, both from the aspect of being trapped in sin’s deceitfulness and from the aspect of being wrongfully accused and attacked by the enemy who came against me when I was walking with my Lord in obedience to him.
For, our enemy Satan will try to get to us in any way that he can. If he can convince us to sin against God, by convincing us to engage in wickedness, sexual immorality, lying, cheating, and the like, he is pleased. But if he can’t get us to sin in that way, he will try to bring us down in other ways.
If Satan can’t get us to live in sin again, he will try to destroy our reputations in other ways. He will use other humans to falsely accuse us, to try to trip us up, to persecute us, to ignore us, to reject us, to call us names, to ostracize us, and to otherwise mistreat us hoping we will give up.
So, this is where especially that we need to draw on the strength of the Lord, when our enemy Satan is on the all out attack against us. But we have to listen to our Lord and do what he says or we won’t be helped. He can only rescue us if we want to be rescued. So, we have to cooperate with him.
Psalms 18:6, 16-19 NIV
“In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
I have cried out to my Lord so many times in my life during times when the enemy was fiercely coming against me, many times with tears streaming down my face because the attacks were so fearsome (strong, powerful). For, the enemy may flee for a time, but he comes back and tries again.
When we are in situations like these, though, we must remember that our enemy Satan has no power over us. Yes, his attacks can be very fearsome, and yes, he is able to cause much havoc to our lives and render much hurt to us in our relationships with others, but he can’t destroy us.
We must remember that God is still all powerful, he is still on the throne, he is still completely sovereign over all that he has made, and he is still in control. Nothing can touch us but what God has allowed it and he has allowed it for his purposes, and he will see us through it if we trust him.
If we will place our hands in the hands of the Lord and let him lead us, and if we will follow his lead, no matter how bad things get, he will carry us through it all. He will keep us from giving in to the enemy’s tricks. And he will give us the strength we need to endure and to keep pressing forward.
We just have to believe him. We have to believe that he is who he says he is and that he is fully sovereign over all that he has made, and that his will is going to be accomplished. Even when things look dark and grim, we must trust that he is in control, and we just need to rest in him and follow him.
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”