Today’s Reading: Psalms 144-150
Today’s Reflection: Psalms 144:1-2
1) Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 2) he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
The Psalms are songs and poems, and God is Love (1 John 4:8), but the reality is life is a battle and it is God who makes us ready to fight it.
It is impossible to avoid conflict in this world. Lucifer brought conflict and confusion when he tempted Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit in Eden (Genesis 3), and our fore-parents sealed its place in the fabric of our lives by falling to temptation. Not long after, humanity split into two factions: children of men, choosing to going their own sinful ways (Genesis 4:23-24, 6:5), and children of God, who followed the Lord’s leading (Genesis 4:26, 6:8-9). The Bible makes it clear there is no way these two sides can live peacefully together.
2 Corinthians 6:15-18 – 15) What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16) What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17) Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18) and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Matthew 10:34 – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
1 John 2:15-16 – 15) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16) For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
So we have to be ready to fight to maintain and uphold the standards of God in our lives. There are two critical points to understand about how and why we fight:
1) Our true fight is not a physical one: When we have struggles all too often we are fooled into thinking people are the problem because they appear to be the cause, and sometimes we lash out at them. But just as Adam and Eve’s struggle began with the demonic influence of the spiritual being Lucifer, so too our challenges, trials and difficulties in life all have spiritual origins. This is where the focus of our warfare should be.
Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Corinthians 10:4 – For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
2) Often our greatest enemy is ourselves: How often have you tackled a challenge in your life and managed to bring circumstances and other people into agreement, but still find it hard for you to do your part in having complete victory? As Joyce Meyer discusses at length in her best selling book “Battlefield of the Mind”, our own thoughts are the principle arena in which we do warfare with our spiritual enemies. When thoughts are divided between loyalty to God and selfish desire we cannot stand.
Matthew 6:24(a) – “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
James 1:8 – He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Proverbs 25:28 – A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
But when thoughts are surrendered to Christ and reshaped in His image, we can live victoriously.
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Allow God to equip through the renewing of your mind, and to strengthen your hands for battle.
Ephesians 6:10-11 – 10) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.