Our Refuge and Strength
Psalms 46:1-3 ESV
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah”
Mimicking the Gospel
We live in very troubled times. Fearmongering is a daily thing we are being fed. One can’t read or watch the news or get on social media or on other internet sites where public discussions are taking place without reading or hearing something that is trying to instill fear in us.
But let me make something clear lest my statement here be taken out of context and used in a way to discredit the gospel. For, I am quite aware that the gospel speaks both words of encouragement and words of warning which caution people against wrong choices and their consequences.
And some of these “fearmongering” messages I spoke of do tend to mimic the gospel to some extent, which could be totally deliberate in order to discredit the gospel. I read a couple of memes on social media just in the last few days which I felt could be used to discredit the gospel.
For, what they are presenting is the idea of life and death situations, and of what they feel we need to do to prevent death or illness and to insure life and health. And they tell us of the consequences of making the wrong choices should we not choose to choose their solutions.
Well, the gospel does that, too, only the gospel is guaranteed truth because it comes from God and from Scripture whereas the other could be true and it could be a lie, or it could be a mixture of truth and lies, which is a lie. And the gospel is for our good, whereas the other is questionable.
For, the gospel does present to us our sin problem, and Jesus’ solution to that problem, and it tells us that if we take his solution that we won’t have a sin problem anymore, not that we could never sin again, but that we would no longer be under the control of sin, but now under Holy Spirit control.
If we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and we choose to take his solution for our sin problem, and so we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life in him, and now we live free from our slavery to sin, we are promised eternal life with God. But if we refuse his solution to our sin problem, then we will die in our sins unless we repent.
Can You See It?
Can you see how what is going on in the world right now is somewhat mimicking the gospel? It is presenting us with a problem that needs a solution, and a solution which they say will solve our problem if we take it as prescribed, but it is also warning us that if we choose not to take their remedy that bad things are going to happen to us.
So, why are they doing this? What does it talk about in the book of Revelation and in other prophetic passages of Scripture with regard to these last days? Won’t there be a false christ? And won’t he deceive the masses? And won’t he raise himself up to be God? So, wouldn’t he also mimic the gospel with a fake plan of “salvation”?
And so, he will try to get us to fear him instead of us fearing God, and he will try to get us to believe that he is our savior instead of Jesus being our only Savior, and that his solution to our “problem” will bring us life, not death, and thus he will warn us against rejecting his solution, too.
But we shall have no other gods before our God. We are not to walk in the fear of men but in the fear of God. The warnings we are to heed are the warnings of God as taught us in Scripture, not the warnings of men, and we are to follow God’s solutions not man’s solutions for our problems.
So, just know that Satan works in very subtle ways in order to deceive us to follow him instead of following Jesus. He wants us to fear him instead of us fearing God, and he wants us trusting him and his followers for our solutions instead of trusting God. But we must not fear man, but God.
Be Still and Know
Psalms 46:10-11 ESV
“’Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”
So, don’t let all the fearmongering coming from the world make you afraid to the point to where you feel you have to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing.
Yes, we have to obey the authorities as long as they don’t ask us to do something in disobedience to our Lord. But we should not do things because we are pressured into them or because we are afraid of what may happen if we don’t do them.
Even when believing in Jesus, if our hearts are not in the right place, is that really faith? If we “believe” in him out of fear of going to hell, or out of feeling pressured that we must or die, is that really faith?
For, you see, faith in Jesus Christ is divine persuasion, but if persuaded of God, and drawn to Jesus by God the Father, we believe because we want to, because we believe in what we are accepting into our lives, because we want to be delivered from our slavery to sin, and we desire to follow Jesus with our lives in obedience to his commands.
If we are resisting Jesus in our spirits but we are “believing” in him merely out of fear of going to hell, that is not genuine faith. For the faith to believe in Jesus comes from God, and Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, so the faith to believe in Jesus is going to agree with God, with the desire in our hearts to surrender all to him.
Yes, we are warned in Scripture against false faith, and against believing in a false Jesus and in a false gospel which does not put sin to death, but which placates sin, instead. And we are warned that we must walk (in practice) not according to the flesh, or we will die in our sins, but that we must walk according to the Spirit, and then we will live.
But if we resist that, and we fight against it, and we think we can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God while we continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against God, then we don’t have genuine faith in Jesus, but a false faith based on a lie which is giving people a short cut into heaven which does not exist in reality.
So, this is the thing here. Let God be God and don’t put any other gods before him. Don’t fear those who can kill the body but walk in the fear of the Lord in surrender of your life to him because you love him, and your heart’s desire is for him to do his will. And then trust the Lord with the circumstances of your life and let him guide you in what is right for you.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Stand by Me
By Ben E. King
The former work, a spiritual, “Stand by Me, Father,” off of which this song is partially based, was partially based off Psalms 46:2-3
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
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