Sharing Our Journey – 2

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Scripture Text:

Psalm 18:1-3, 31-33, 49; Lamentations 3:19-24; Philippians 4:10-13

Psalm 18 is a poem or hymn for worship, and verses 1–3 are the invocation. The poet comes right to the point: “I will love You, O LORD, my strength.” In this sentence, we find the confession of faith that this person makes in the one who strengthens and empowers him. We know without reading further that this writer believes he has not and does not have to face life and its tasks in his strength alone. God helps him meet the demands of life, and he knows it. He doesn’t feel any pressure to be fiercely independent. He doesn’t feel that if he reaches out for help from God he becomes a weakling. He knows that the sign of weakness and carelessness is in trying to live life without the guidance and strength of the One who made life, the only one who has real strength to offer.

The poet, in this invocation, pictured God as his rock—his foundation for living. He saw God as his protector. We can see that this poet is a warrior, probably King David. David—as is the case with us—obviously was not shielded from all the effects of evil, but as God’s child he could not be overcome ultimately by evil. The place he could put his trust in life—the place he could really put his weight down—was with God. God is the only worthy foundation for living, but not a passive foundation, a wistful wisher of goodwill. God is actively at work in our lives to help us do His will and meet the demands and challenges of being human without being overtaken by the evil in the world.

In verse 31, the psalmist asks, “For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?” Make no mistake about it! This God is the one God, the God of Israel; He is both the foundation of our being and—if we are wise—the source of our guidance and the one in whom we trust.

The psalmist was convinced that the God whom he praised in worship was the God who girded him with strength. The help he needed to live as God’s person was so real it was like armor; it was like something he wore, and, therefore, his way was safe. Evil, no matter how great it was and no matter in what form it came, could not ultimately overcome him.

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Sometimes, I think, when we come for worship, we want the event to be something like a pep rally or a transfusion. We look at it as something that will get us going for a few more days of service. It’s as if we leave God at our public or private place of worship. Then, we see ourselves as going out to face the world on our own. This is incorrect. We don’t leave God anywhere. God is with us, not just watching what happens to us but actively involved—if we permit it—in our dealing with all facets of life. God is with us offering us strength to use in bearing the burdens, facing the disappointments, serving wherever we are led, and doing the tasks necessary to serve the Lord well. We don’t have to go it alone, and—in truth—spiritually, we really can’t. We need God and the strength God gives like a warrior needed armor for battle.

David said in verse 33, that “He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.” That is, God gave him a firm and careful stance in the insecure places of life, like a doe who is surefooted on uneven and unpredictable terrain. It’s the same picture the psalmist had in mind in verse 36: “You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.” David was thinking of battle situations, but we can have the same assurance in the situations we face. The situations may change, but God is the same.

There is much insecurity and vulnerability about our lives. There are many times when we think we’re going to slip and fall because of the terrain, situations that come to us over which we have absolutely no control, and even because of bad situations that we bring upon ourselves. The ground becomes very uncertain along the way. The causes may differ, but the results are the same. We think we’re going to fall; we don’t know if we can keep standing. You know exactly what that feels like, don’t you?

To Be Continued

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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