God’s plan. Man sees only what lies behind him. God sees what lies ahead.”
–Elmer Kelton (After the Bugles)
“You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
–James 5:8 (NKJV)
One of the greatest tricks of the devil is to get the Church to believe it should be passive. It was Dorothy Sayers who said that we have done a wonderful job declawing the Lion of Judah. There is a time for pacifism–a time to turn the other cheek–but there is also the time to stand, put on the armor of God, and to stand even firmer–fight! Look this week at Psalm 18:30-36 (HCSB).
30 – God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
31 – For who is God besides Yahweh? And who is a rock? Only our God.
32 – God—He clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect.
33 – He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights.
34 – He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 – You have given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand upholds me, and Your humility exalts me.
36 – You widen a place beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way.
We have been told recently by church leadership not to bother with the Old Testament. That it no longer matters; maybe that is why the Church is so anemic and malnourished, we are not eating a complete, nutritional diet of God’s complete, inspired, authoritative Word. People, don’t be duped; don’t be deceived, misled, or manipulated by the enemy. Listen! We are in a battle! A very real battle that will determine whether you spend eternity, heaven or hell.
You can try to fight this battle in your own strength and you will lose. You must be trained by the Lord, follow His instructions and commands. Martin Luther said, “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing.” We are to take refuge in Him. Perhaps when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write about the armor of God in Ephesians, Paul’s thought went to this portion of the psalms. God clothes us–with His armor. He makes our feet secure–stand and after done all to stand.
Look at verse 34, He is our supreme Drill Instructor. Day in, day out, He is training us to fight the enemy of our souls which is against the enemy–the world. He teaches us how to use weapons against the enemy; to know when to use the right one and how to use it in every situation. When God trains us we can be confident in His training, His leading, His strategy and tactics, and His weapons.
This portion ends by us recognizing where we step. We are to step of the place that He has prepared. He is our foundation. “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand…” Standing on a firm foundation our legs do not weaken or slip. Do not compromise or become complacent for you are indeed in a battle. Know and use your weapons and stand firm letting Him hold you.
“Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
And take to arm you for the fight the panoply of God;
That having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
You may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.”