The Lord was My Support

Psalms 18:1-3 ESV

“I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.”

If the Lord Jesus is truly our strength, our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer, in whom we take refuge, and if he is our shield, and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold, then our lives are surrendered to him to live holy lives pleasing to him. We have died and we are dying with him to sin and to self, and we are walking in obedience to his commands, by his grace.

For, to love the Lord is to obey him. We are not to be those who obey sin, which leads to death, but we are to be those who are slaves of God and of his righteousness. For Jesus became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. And we have been chosen of God for obedience to Christ. And by this we know that we have come to know him if we keep (obey) his commandments.

For, if we claim to know Jesus but we do not keep his commandments then we are liars who do not live by the truth. For it is those who obey the Lord who live in him and him in them. For this is love that we walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to our Lord according to our Lord’s commands. For we are called to be doers of the word and not hearers only, so we are to put aside all that is sinful and we are to walk in obedience to our Lord.

So, the enemies we need to be saved from the most are Satan and sin. So, Jesus died on that cross so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would honor God with our lives.

[Rom 6:1-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:17-24; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:23-24; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10, 24; 1 Jn 5:3; 2 Jn 1:6; 1 Pet 1:2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21]

Psalms 18:4-6 ESV

“The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.

“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.”

The picture that the Lord Jesus is giving me of this today is that of those who are following after man-made religion and who are following after the traditions of man, and who are committed to a false worship of Christ, based on human traditions and on guarding and protecting the flesh of humans rather than guarding and protecting the truth of the gospel of Christ.

For they are compromising the truth of the gospel in order to not offend the people of the world and the flesh of mankind. So, they are blending worldliness and idolatry in with their Christian practices and beliefs, which don’t mix. And all of this is to appease the flesh and has nothing to do with honoring our Lord or worshiping him or celebrating him.

For, it isn’t about what God wants, but what human flesh wants. The flesh decides what it will or will not do, and it makes up its own religion and its own practices to suit its own chosen lifestyle. And so it also compromises the truth of the gospel for the gospel offends people, and it makes them uncomfortable, and they feel judged, and they want none of that.

And so they will not have it that there are those of us who are still holding to the truth of the gospel and who are still proclaiming the truth and who are exposing the lies and the fruitless deeds of darkness. And so they try to silence us with instructions like, “Stay in your own lane,” and “Don’t offend anyone,” and “Don’t confront anyone with sin,” and “Don’t judge!”

But the gospel that they are teaching portends truth and righteousness while it pacifies and does not put to death the flesh and sin. It does not teach surrender of our lives to Christ or honoring him as Lord of our lives, and it balks at the idea of having to walk in obedience to the Lord. And so they are cutting off the possibility of life for those who follow their lies.

So, we need to be those who are crying out to the Lord for help, not just for ourselves, and not just for our own safety, but for the lies to be exposed and the truth to be revealed and for blinded eyes to be opened to both the lies and the truth so that they can reject the lies and embrace the truth and thus find true salvation and eternal life with God.

Psalms 18:16-19 ESV

“He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

Again, the enemies we need to be saved from the most are Satan and sin. But we also need to be rescued from liars and deceivers and manipulators who are lying to people in order to appease the flesh. For some of them serve Satan and they don’t want people to find true freedom from bondage to sin but they want them to continue in sin and end up in hell.

And we who are teaching the truth of the gospel and who are exposing the lies of Satan need to be delivered from evil people who would come against us to try to silence us. They may still try to persecute us, but we can overcome them by not yielding to their intimidation tactics, and by keeping on in sharing the truth of the gospel no matter what they hurl at us.

Personally, when I think about this in relation to this passage of Scripture I see how God delivered me from many oppressors who would silence me. He did this by pulling me out of the institutional church (not the true church, not the body of Christ) and by bringing me out into a broad place, which for me has been the internet where I have so far had the freedom to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to expose the lies of our enemy Satan.

I can see where the world is headed, though, and I know the prophecies of Scripture regarding these last days before the return of Christ, so I know there is going to come a time, perhaps soon, when that opportunity will be cut off, as well. But it will be because prophecy is being fulfilled and we are in these last days and the beast is conquering the saints of God.

But God still reigns supreme. All this will take place for a purpose. God is still sovereign over all that he has made, and he will accomplish his purpose through it. And I believe many more people will believe in Jesus with genuine faith and that many who have wandered from the Lord will return to him as the days become even more evil, for the Lord will be getting his bride ready for when he returns to take us to be with him for eternity.

Paradise Valley

Lyrics by Noah White, Music by Virgil Stamps (1935).

As I travel thru life, with its trouble and strife,
I’ve a glorious hope to give cheer on the way;
Soon my toils will be o’er and I’ll rest on that shore,
Where the night has been turned into day.

Up in paradise valley By the side of the river of life,
Up in paradise valley, We’ll be free from all pain and all strife;
There we’ll live in the garden, ‘Neath the shade of the evergreen tree,
How I long for the paradise valley, Where the beauty of heaven I’ll see.

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