June 26, 2016

Psalm 44:6-7 I do not trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.

This Psalm was written during some time of national calamity by a member of the Korahite clan of the tribe of Levi. From verse 9 on it is a complaint about the terrible situation they find themselves in, and a plea for Divine action, but it bases all that on these first eight verses that proclaim God’s faithfulness. That said, there is important truth here. These two verses in particular are important for everyone to take to heart and remember. The writer is not unequipped; he has a bow and a sword. However, he does not rely on his equipment but on the Lord. We tend to get that backwards, focusing on material resources and the like and tacking God on as an afterthought, if at all. Amazingly, that is true even in churches, where you would expect God to be the first thought. The Bible does not teach us to be passive or lazy, but again and again it tells us to put God first in our thinking, planning, and actions, (Matthew 6:33 and many more) because we can do nothing without Him. (John 15:5) We are called to be good stewards of all that God makes available to us, (1 Corinthians 4:2) but we must not let what has been provided – or what seems to be insufficient – distract us from the One who provides everything. We need to be focused on God, first and foremost, and follow Him in obedient, faithful trust.

This is very timely, because we as a church are faced with an opportunity that seems too big for us, and at the same time the devil seems to be trying to take it away from us. We are not to be cocky, but neither are we to be discouraged. The very ferocity of the opposition should give us assurance that we are impinging on enemy territory, and give us joyful anticipation of what God is going to do through us. We are not to be careless and we are never to be puffed up, as though it were all about us, but we are to be joyful in the assurance that God is more than able to meet every challenge. We must stay submitted to Him, acting when and how He directs and not otherwise, but not holding back from anything, no matter how difficult it might seem from our perspective. Our focus is to be on God’s kingdom and His glory, not ours. In ourselves we are certainly not up to the task, but nothing is difficult for Him. (Jeremiah 32:27)

Father, thank You for this Word. It is easy to get distracted by all the opposition, with attacks on health and confidence on so many in the church. Help us all learn from these things what You want to teach us, so that we will be increasingly equipped and prepared for what You want to do through us, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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