The Enemy in Psalms

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Many times, in the reading of the Psalms, there is a distance between our hearts and the heart of the psalmists. We read these words where someone is in anguish over their persecution. They have enemies that are actually pursuing and attacking them. It is rare in our modern lives to have the same kinds of situations occurring around us that drove the words of the Psalms to be penned. I see where this can cause a separation in what the message has the ability to convey to us.

                What if we had an enemy that was pursuing us day and night with the intention to defeat and kill us? Their sole motive was to take all that what was given to us by God. They existed to destroy a relationship with God that leads to sanctification. They found pleasure in our misery, depression, hopelessness, defeat, etc. They were willing to battle us until we turned away from God and too the comforts of the world. That enemy exists! That enemy is the devil and his army of fallen angels. We can read the Psalms and know that every word of desperation would be the crying out of our hearts if the deceiver were to make himself as clear as a physical enemy. Our biggest battle is with the spiritual realm and not the earthly realm that seeks to hold our attention. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) The deceiver is constantly looking for a foot hold in which to attack the hedge of protection God places around those who follow Him. The devil himself acknowledges this hedge when he complains of God’s protection of Job. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. (Job 1:10)

                Don’t wait until the spiritual battle is manifest in the flesh. Read the Psalms and know the power of God against an enemy that attacks you in your mind and in ways you can’t always see immediately. Let your relationship grow with God as well as His hedge of protection from your enemy. Let the Psalms draw you closer to the nature of your Protector, Shelter, Sustainer, Rock, and Fortress against all enemies. Draw close to the hope found in the Psalms. Draw close to hope found in God.

When People Prosper Without Christ

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But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. (Psalm 73:16-17)

                This Psalm describes the trouble many of us have when we see the non-believers walking in “happiness”, “security”, “health”, “wealth”, etc. The Bible describe throughout its pages how worldly prosperity will lead to destruction. The structure of worldly prosperity is built on a foundation that is falling apart. There is no real security in a world that is deteriorating and will ultimately be destroyed. As believers, we are called to store our treasure in the eternity of Heaven. When we build wealth and other earthly attachment they pull us away from a God focus. We drift into self-reliance and self-security, neither of which can be trusted. Trusting in ourselves and the security of this world is trust in fallenness, in sin, and in darkness. When we go into the sanctuary of God, as the psalmist says, we allow God to give us His divine provision which is more than we need or deserve. We also can glorify God for and with His provision which let our focus stay on God and our relationship deepen with the God of eternity. The more secure we become with the provision of God and His work in our lives the more we can see the artificial confidence people have in worldly pleasure. As the psalmist says: we can discern their end. We can see how thin the ice is below their confidence. We can see how easily their security can be shaken and how truly fragile their earthly prosperity is. Obey the call of your Lord to be not of this world and allow His grace to fill you with joy, peace, purpose and love. Don’t be distracted by the “prosperity” of the lost. Their gain apart from God will deteriorate and fall to dust. Your trust and hope in God will earn you a relationship that will prosper you here and last into eternity.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous (Proverbs 13:22)

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay, what he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide his silver… He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more; when he opens his eyes, all is gone. (Job 27:16-17,19)

God Will Not Let You Miss It

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For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. (Job 33:14)
“Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life. (Job 33:29-30)

I had a concept put on my spirit and could not find the verse until a friend opened his bible randomly and felt compelled to share with me that verse. It happened to be the one I needed to confirm God’s word to my spirit with His written Word. The two-edged sword that cuts through the snares that seek to keep believers from walking in peace and joy with the Savior. Praise God for His Word and its confirmation in my spirit which brings an overflowing joy to my heart.
As we walk in the guidance of God through His Spirit we have to remain open to, not only His Will at all times, but His correction during the process of sanctification. Our human nature attempts to draw us away from God’s path and convince us that we can walk alone at times. We tend to try and walk in our own understanding or at our pace. God has to correct His children as they run ahead of His leading. The passages above speak to a God that provides correction, not once, but multiple times in different ways so that we might receive it. This shows the love of a God who seeks for us to understand His plan. He seeks after those who seek Him. The second piece of scripture shows a God that loves His children so much that He is willing to take the time to repeat a lesson multiple time as He seeks to grow His Spirit in their hearts. I see times where God has given me a lesson to learn and then as I continue to move forward my fallen nature pulls me out of alignment with Him. He then stops me and repeats the lesson because He cares enough to take the time to make sure I walk rightly as I grow to fulfill the purpose He created for me. I found a journal that had notes of a time God had given me a lesson, I see that He has brought me back to repeat that lesson. I was floored at His patience, steadfastness, and faithfulness in correction of my sin of independence.
How grateful I am to have the chance to serve a God with such love and patience. How grateful I am to have the opportunity to return to a lesson God finds important enough to repeat for me in order for me to live complete in Him. How humble I am to my Heavenly Father as He puts His word in my heart and then uses a friend to hand me a piece of His written Word, bringing fullness and confidence that my faith is placed in a God worthy of all glory and praise for all eternity. Praise the God of Heaven!

Image of The Lord’s Servant (Conclusion)

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(2 Timothy 2:24-26)  And the Lord’s servant must (1)not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, (2)able to teach, (3)patiently enduring evil, (4)correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

When the Lord’s servant is able to become active in the right way as described in 2 Timothy, God is able to grant them what they desire. That may be a changed heart that leads to repentance, but they may serve a bigger purpose than we can see. It is our job to lay God’s groundwork so that He can glorify Himself, through His will being accomplished, through His chosen. Adopt the qualities the Lord offers you just as He has adopted you so that these qualities could be yours. Don’t look past your purpose but serve God’s kingdom and let His bigger and better plan come to fruition. (Matthew 5:14-16) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Image of The Lord’s Servant (4)

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(2 Timothy 2:24-26)  And the Lord’s servant must (1)not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, (2)able to teach, (3)patiently enduring evil, (4)correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Correcting his opponents with gentleness

Gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. As the spirit matures in the Lord’s servant there is an outward manifestation of kindness in their heart, referred to as gentleness. It’s rare for people to enjoy correction. Only true Godly wisdom allows such a quality to exist. (Proverbs 9:8b-9a) reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Most correction isn’t truly accepted or appreciated until much later than when the words of reproof are spoken. A servant must realize this and be gentle as to insure that the seed of correction that has been planted has a place to grow that isn’t damaged by emotions. They must also realize that gentleness draws people in as they sense the softness of the correcting heart. This also leads to trust and mutual growth as later correction is better received and more easily given. These are the relationships where God’s spirit is allowed to move and stir maturity in His children.

 

Image of The Lord’s Servant (3)

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(2 Timothy 2:24-26)  And the Lord’s servant must (1)not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, (2)able to teach, (3)patiently enduring evil, (4)correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Patiently enduring evil

There is patience in love. Love is patient and love is kind when its source is the Lord. Evil returned for evil only magnifies the darkness of the world. It requires a selfless spirit fueled by Jesus to show patience when evil tries to cover up the love to which we are called. It is almost certain that resistance of one evil moment will not change a heart, but patience as the evil is drown out by God’s love creates real change. The light of God drives out darkness just as the deceiver will flee in the name of our Savior.

Image of The Lord’s Servant (2)

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(2 Timothy 2:24-26)  And the Lord’s servant must (1)not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, (2)able to teach, (3)patiently enduring evil, (4)correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Able to teach

Not only should a servant study the word, they should be able to lead others to the truths revealed to them by God. The Lord places truths in the hearts of servants who seek Him in order to serve His specific purpose. (Isaiah 55:11) so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Those truths can be told and shown to others through the action of His servant in order to spread His love to the people He has put into their lives. The word of God is not something we are meant to keep to ourselves, but to share with a lost world.