“He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many against me.” Psalms 55:18 NKJV. One of the most important things to know, in the midst of our spiritual battle is, that someone is with me. There are so many things against us that we need to know we are not alone. We must believe that someone is there to help me, to watch my back. We need someone to encourage us and lift us when we’re struggling or we’ve fallen. And so, one of our enemy’s greatest tactics against us is, to make us feel alone. He tries to convince us that no one is with us. We begin to think no one is standing by our side. The thought comes, “Now it is up to me to face this battle alone.” But may we open our eyes of faith, to see and believe what God’s Word says to us. We are surrounded by a great host of witnesses! (Heb. 12:1) We do have a real spiritual family in this world. There are angels encamped about us. And best of all, our God is always with us! We have the promise that Father, Son and Holy Ghost will be with us all the way through this world, and all through eternity! Hallelujah! We should thank God today, that we are not alone! Let us rejoice in the words of the old song, “He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone”.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV. A part of this wonderful promise is, ‘God will make a way of escape’ when we are facing temptation. But what is this WAY of escape that God provides for us? We should understand that every temptation brings us to a choice, like a fork in the road. One way leads to safety and the other way leads to danger and failure. And thank the Lord He has told us in His Word what choice we are to make. We recall Isaiah 30:21 “…we will hear a voice saying, this is the way, walk in it”. And we know that voice is from God’s Holy Spirit. That is the still, small voice we must listen to if we would recognize the way out of temptation. Also, in Psalm 119:105, we are reminded, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” So the truth of God’s Word illuminates the way in which we are to walk, which is the way of escape from temptation. Thank God, we don’t have to walk in darkness. But most of all, we know that Jesus is the WAY! So we must follow Him Who is our way of escape. Following Jesus means doing what He would do, acting as He would act, talking as He would talk. May God help us to clearly see this WAY that God has given us to escape from temptation.
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” 1 Peter 1:6 KJV. Here in these words we find what appears to be a very strange combination. It is written to someone ‘in heaviness because of many trials’ and yet they are also ‘greatly rejoicing’. To the unbelieving world this seems like foolishness. To them, either you are rejoicing or you are heavy hearted. It cannot be both at the same time. But here is one of the amazing things about true salvation! When we belong to Jesus Christ and are kept by His divine power, this experience not only becomes possible, it becomes normal. Scripture reminds us that all throughout our Christian lives we will be going through different trials. These are ordained by our loving Heavenly Father for the refining and perfecting of our faith. He knows that a tested faith is more precious than anything in this world. But even though the trial is not easy and often causes a heaviness in our spirit, yet we can rejoice because we know God is working all of these things for our eternal good and for His glory! What a joy it is, as we pass through the storms of life, to know that God is using them to draw us closer to Him and conform us more into the image of His Son.
“And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw…” 2 Kings 6:17 KJV. One of the amazing things about this incident in Elisha’s ministry was, when he prayed about this very dire situation, he did not ask God to change anything about their circumstances. Certainly he saw the hosts of the enemy surrounding them. He saw the horses and chariots that were against him. But he simply prayed that God would help his servant to see more than the physical foes that were against them. How often we need to pray this same prayer for ourselves and others as we pass through difficult situations. The enemy comes against us and we react in fear because we are only focusing on what is against us. We see the physical problems and the great material needs around us. We see the rise of ungodlinesses everywhere. And if that is all we are seeing it can become overwhelming. But what a difference it makes when God opens our eyes of faith to see Him, Who is our Defender and Helper! How different it is when we realize that the hosts of Heaven are on our side. And how it encourages us to see that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! And then, when by faith we see that all those things against us, God is actually working for our good and His glory, it changes our attitude entirely. May our prayer be, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see.”
“For You have delivered my soul from death: Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” Psalms 56:13 NKJV. In this verse David is praising God for saving him from his enemies. He thanks God for delivering his soul from death. And certainly, all Christians should praise God for saving our souls from the eternal death that awaited us and that we deserved! We should thank Him for delivering us from the hand of our enemy who was seeking to destroy us. But notice, he doesn’t stop there in thanking God, and neither should we. Knowing God’s great power and mercy and what He has already done in his life, he praises God for keeping him from falling into sin. He is thankful that God is able to hold him up spiritually so that he can walk everyday pleasing to God even in this present world. May this be our desire as well. May we ask God to work in us and change us in whatever way is necessary so that we can live every moment for His honor and glory and be kept from falling into sin. May the longing of our soul be to walk in the light of His favor, holy and blameless before God in all that we do.
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 NKJV. As we read these words we are reminded how God uses His divine love in us to cover the ugliness of human lives that are so stained by sin. But it is important to understand what these words are referring to. It is clear that our love will not cover our sins against God or others, for only the blood of Jesus can do that. But what this verse is referring to is how God’s divine love working in us covers the sins others commit against us. It covers how their sins affect us. Love covers over their wrong spirits and attitudes. Love forgives the wrongs even as God forgives us. Love causes us to see them, not as the sinful people they are, but as needy souls more precious than all this world. Love chooses to see the best in people, rather than dwelling on their flaws. Love deals with others as God does with us, in kindness, gentleness and compassion. So it’s obvious that this kind of love must come to us from God Himself. By His grace, let us be the people Jesus called us to be, those who are ‘known by our love for one another’, above all things.
“to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 KJV. This passage is describing the amazing work that Jesus Christ came to do in the souls of men. When we truly come to Him as our Lord and Saviour, He makes such a profound difference in our hearts and lives that these words become true for us! He takes away the ugliness of our sin and gives us the beauty of salvation. He takes away our mourning and fills us with His joy. He removes the spirit of heaviness and clothes us with the garment of praise. God help us to believe, this is still what Christ desires to do in every soul! And He will do all of this so that HE is glorified! So often we become pressed down in spirit because things aren’t going how we think they should. But let us realize, we are not living for our will, but for His! We are not saved so we can have an easy life that glories in what we have done. No! We are saved so the world can see the power of His Life in us triumphing over everything that is against us. And Jesus does all this great work in us so that He might be glorified! By the power and grace of God, let us live so that others can see the joy of the Lord in us.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14 KJV. These words are both very encouraging and very sobering. On one hand it is a great joy and privilege to be led by God’s Holy Spirit. But on the other hand, it is a serious thing to realize these words reveal a great separation between the true and the false. They remind us that all of God’s children will be lead by the Spirit. But only God’s children can be led by the Spirit, because He cannot lead someone who does not want to be led. This tells us a lot about our spiritual experience. If we do not have the humility that recognizes our need to be led and the willingness to let the Holy Spirit lead us, then we have no reason to think we are saved. If we are not being led daily to God’s Word and communion with our Father, then someone or something else is leading us, which is probably our own flesh. We can be sure that the Spirit will always lead us to God and to His Son Jesus Christ. Too often we allow ourselves to be lead down some path of discouragement or despair, where it seems there is no hope. But that is never how the Spirit leads! Even in our weakness and failure He will always lead us to Jesus. And what a joy it is to walk in the Spirit and be led to Christ in all that we do. By God’s grace, let us humbly follow His leading.
“Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself;” Isaiah 44:24 KJV. What a profound and wonderful thought this is. To know that the One Who had such infinite power and wisdom to be able to create this world and universe, to hang the stars in place, He is the same One Who formed each of us in the womb! To know that the same mighty hand which shaped this world is the same tender hand which holds each of us. He is the One Who designed us for a specific purpose, which is to live for His glory in a loving relationship and in daily fellowship with Him. He is the One Who has redeemed us from the hand of the enemy. He is the One Who promises us that He will provide all our needs according to His riches in glory! And when we know this awesome God as our Father, why should we ever worry that He will not take care of us as His children? How blessed we are to know that He Who made all things, will always make a way for us through every trial and difficulty we ever face! What a mighty God we serve. By His grace, let us faithfully follow Him.
“My soul followeth hard after Thee…” Psalm 63:8 KJV. Many religious people have the mistaken idea that once they have come to Christ that everything is done. They make a profession of faith, get baptized, join a church and then get back to their life. But the reality is, when we experience true salvation and Jesus Christ satisfies the thirsting of our soul, it begins a journey which transforms all of life! And then, we will do as the psalmist describes here in these words. We will follow after Christ all of our days. We will desire more and more of the One Who is the Fountain of Living Water. Because we have found Him to be precious to our souls, we will long for more of Him. This ongoing spiritual desire is one of the clear evidences of a personal experience of salvation. And without this desire, we have no reason to think we are truly saved. Everything that is alive seeks for more sustenance to stay alive. When we become alive in Christ, we will always want more of Him Who is our life. By God’s grace, let us follow Jesus, the only One Who is able to satisfy our souls.