Saturday, March 18, 2017

Strength For the Battle

“For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle…” (Psalm 18:39a)

        In case you hadn’t noticed, life is a battle. And in our case, as children of God, the opposing forces are supernatural (Eph. 6:12). They may not look like the creatures in The Lord of the Rings, but they are every bit as menacing. When you and I strive to do right, there will always be someone or something, whether seen or unseen, trying to influence us in the opposite direction. Be it (unreasonable) reasoning, cajoling, or intimidation—every possible means will be brought to bear. Some of the battles will be ongoing; others will be decisive. Some will represent minor skirmishes, while others may escalate into bloody assaults. But the overall description of our Spiritual lives, whether it is victory or defeat, will depend upon the success of our battling.

        For this reason, God, in His infinite wisdom and love, has made provision for perpetual victory. We may not always experience it, but it is always at our disposal. One need not be strong-willed or even strong-minded, only strong in faith. You know, like the grain of the little mustard seed (Matt. 17:20). In fact, according to 2 Corinthians 12:9, the least endowed among us may be the most qualified to display the personification of strength. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Does this mean those of us designated as the “weaker vessel” (1Pet. 3:7) have an edge on spiritual strength? Just a thought.

         As I say, these Spiritual battles are life-long and hard-fought, and we should not be surprised that the bloodiest battle of all may be the last one. It was certainly true for our Lord. There comes a time when even a mighty warrior may hang up his armor in hopes of resting from battle, content to remember the glory. Has not the armor become rusty with use, as well as the warrior? No, we need have no fear in either case. Our text tells us that as long as the battle rages (all the way to the end), there will be strength, and so we can be assured, the needed armor (Philip. 4:19).

        This eighteenth Psalm makes it abundantly plain that the source of all this wonderful strength is the Lord God Almighty (vv.1-2, etc.); and we are exhorted to solicit His aid in every battle we face. All we have to do it tell Him we will provide the body, if He will provide the armor; we will engage the enemy, if He will strike the final blow. You and I have the option of going through this life victorious, from battle to battle, in His strength. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them… They go from strength to strength…” Psl. 84:5 &7

        With these “rules of engagement,” we can say with confidence, “[T]he Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ha! 

John Henry Jowett (The Whole Armour of God) says of Romans 8:37  “…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors…” “To be more than conqueror is to be on the top of the old serpent, and, as (Robert) Browning says, to stand upon him and to feel him wriggle beneath your feet.”’


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