Thursday, August 25, 2016

This Means War

War; no one ever wants to go to war. No one wants to pick up their armor, pick up their weapon and head into battle. But sometimes, we have no choice. Sometimes, we have to go to war. Psalm 91 has been one of my go to Psalms for much of my Christian life. It was one of the first Psalms that I ran to as a young Christian trying to find her footing among the darkness of this world. In its verses I found strength, encouragement, peace and comfort for every storm of my life. This morning I found myself going back to its verses and as I read it, I heard the Lord calling me to pick up my sword and get ready to fight, this was war.
             I think sometimes as Christians we forget we are soldiers in the army of God. We forget that we are all fighting a spiritual battle, one that rages all around us. But we have nothing to fear, not today, not any day because we have chosen to make The Most High God our refuge and we with confidence face this battle with shields high, swords drawn and a shout of victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. I don’t know what battle you are facing today, but I pray that you find comfort in His words and what He showed me in Psalm 91 today. This means war!

1) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High God will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
     He who dwells
- he who lives, stays, and hides- in the shelter- the defense and protection- of the Most High will abide- live- in the shadow- the covering and protection- of the Almighty.
When the storms come, you have a roof to run to and a defense to protect you. You will be safe. No rain, thunder, or lightning will touch you when you live, hide and stay with the Lord God Almighty.
We choose by faith to make God our refuge. We choose by faith to make Him our guardian and when we choose Him we find in Him all that we need or can ever desire for this life. To dwell in the Most High means that we are at home in Him. We find our rest, solace, and we seek to be alone in the midst of His presence. He is the one we run to, like when you come home from a long vacation and all you want to do is snuggle up on your own bed and not leave the comforts of your surroundings ever again. He is to be that kind of place for us. We are to be more comfortable in Him than we are without Him.
God will shelter me from every storm that would come upon me. He becomes my barrier, the hedge of protection around me lest anything would cause me harm.
“no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from Me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

2) I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
     I will say- Deut. 30:14 “But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so that you can do it.”- In confidence we can say that He is my refuge- the place I run to, the place I will flee- and my fortress- my defense; nothing can penetrate- my God-Elohim, the One True God- in whom I trust. I am confident that God will protect me. I am confident that God is my defense, my refuge, and I will flee to Him alone to protect me from the enemies’ attack. He will deliver me, as He has promised. And I will say it out loud.

3) For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
     He will- there is no maybe, might, or possibly- it is a promise, He will. When we make God our refuge, our fortress and our defense, He will deliver us. He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler- from that which can catch us off guard, from the traps of those who seek to do us harm-and from the deadly pestilence.

4) He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.
     He is able. He is firm. He is faithful and you can fully rely on Him to do what He has promised.
“In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 31:20
His faithfulness- His constant and proven promises to you. His continued grace, mercies, and His faithful promise to never leave you nor forsake you-is a shield- a shield that covers the entire body. Nothing is left exposed to the enemy. He hides you from their plots and keeps you safe from the evil that comes from their tongues. Nothing can harm you, even their words fall to the ground because He is a shield and-a buckler- a tower that surrounds and defends what the shield cannot. 
So that….

5 & 6) You will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
You will not fear- because you are completely defended. There is nothing exposed to the attacks, nothing can get in because He has you completely surrounded in safety.

7) A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
    A thousand may fall- calamity, trials, strife and battles are a guarantee in this life. But what will destroy another will not come near you, it will not touch you. You will not be destroyed, you will not be shaken, and you will not be moved. You shall be preserved in the days to come. Those who fall will see you standing and will know, without a doubt, that you serve the Most High God, and they will know that He is your refuge.

8) You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
     You will only look- you will see their destruction, those who came against you, those who in their wickedness sought to destroy you, you will see God’s judgment upon them and the recompense that is due them for their sins.

9 & 10) Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place, the Most High, who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
     Because you have made-because you have made the choice to dwell with God, to follow after God, to keep His commandments and His ways, nothing will be allowed to come near you without His complete, divine, absolute knowledge and approval. Look at David’s life- saved from the lion who tried to attack his sheep when he was just a shepherd boy; or the victory God gave him over Goliath, or the many wars and battles he fought, and not one scratch came upon him. Look at Daniel, Paul, John, and countless others; nothing came near them unless God allowed it. God was their refuge, their one and only dwelling place. Nothing can happen to us unless God allows it.

11 & 12) For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
He will give His angels- the Lord of Hosts, the Commander of ten thousands upon ten thousands of angels who are at His command- they will guard you-they will keep watch and will set up a guard around you, they will encircle you and protect you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up-they will redirect the troubles that could have befallen us had they not been there. Even when we may not see the danger His angels will protect us and keep us in His ways. They will bear us up lest we stumble and fall into sin and temptation, which will take us out from under His protection. He gives His angels charge over you! Just think about that!

13) You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
        The powers of darkness shall not prevail against you. The schemes, the fiery darts, the arrows that fly by day, all shall fall away before they penetrate you and you shall have victory over all of this. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 ESV

14, 15, &16) Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
      We have in these verses the sure promises of God to those who put their trust in Him. God will! Think about that! God will deliver us, He will protect us, He will answer us, He will be with us in times of trouble. He will rescue us and He will honor us. He will satisfy us and He will show us the glory of His salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. He will, without doubt, fear, or any insecurity whatsoever- He will deliver us. We can have peace in the midst of this battle because we are safe under the shadow of His wings. We can have comfort and joy while the storms beat upon our defenses because He is with us. He fights for us. We can be confident that no weapon, nope, not even this one that you are facing right now can prosper against you because, 
“all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20. And to that, let us say- Amen!!

Now, get out there and fight!