October 9, 2020
I sat at my computer ready to finish an article the other night. But I confess, rather than get to my task, I slipped over to check my inbox. And this message from a friend popped up:
“The alarm company called at 3:30 this morning. Our jewelry store had a break-in. A thief, expert in computers, managed to bypass our alarm system, break the door window, and reach in to open the door from the inside.
But he was in for a surprise. He wasn’t aware we have a secondary alarm system installed. It went off scaring him out.”
A second alarm? What a great idea. When it comes to protecting something valuable, wise people double their protection.
But often we don’t do that.
As a result, we end up vulnerable to any emotional and spiritual break-in. They take place because we failed to set up adequate protection.
We’re just too busy engaged in watching the screen, reading headlines, checking others’ posts on social media, turning angry at comments that don’t align with our thinking. No wonder we need coffee to wake us up in the morning, Tylenol to get rid of the throbbing headache, and a glass of wine to help us sleep.
But who could blame us? Life is tough. And there is one being that makes sure it’s tougher, more painful and ugly.
God identified him as the evil one. And today, some say that Satan has become more intense in his attacks. Could it be that while we’re busy with other things, he managed to trip the first alarm and has made his way in?
Even if he did, we can learn from David. Although he was a mighty king, a hero, and a brave warrior, sometimes he stepped out unprotected and slipped into the cliff of destructive sin. Other times, he was depressed and desperate.
And in that desperation is when he installed in his heart a second layer of protection—he tapped into God’s power through His promises.
Our declaration to combat fear.
And when he did, there was no shyness or hesitation. He crushed the enemy with his courageous declaration in Psalm 23. His assertion of God’s promises was bold and audacious. And ours should be, too, as we make David’s words our own: With unwavering faith we declare:
- No matter what chaos surrounds us, we will lack nothing. We will not be without. God will meet our needs, provide and supply all because “The LORD is our shepherd, we shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1a)
- When we drag our feet through the mud of adversity, exhausted by the weight of our burdens, “He promises His strength and makes us lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:1b)
- We will not trudge through the rough waters that flow through the river of fear, anxiety or worry because “He leads us beside quiet waters…” (Psalm 23:2)
- Although our soul may be discouraged and dim, we will still rejoice because in His unending love and mercy “He restores our soul.” (Psalm 23:3)
- We’re not paralyzed by fear, but follow God’s instructions, believe His promises and hold His hand firm because “He guides us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
- No matter the discouraging and unwanted medical diagnosis, we still assert with passion because “Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil…” (Psalm 23:4)
- We push away gloom because even in the midst of sorrow, we’re never alone or abandoned. Therefore, we declare, “For you are with us; your rod and your staff, they comfort us.” (Psalm 23:4)
- Many ridicule our faith, insult our convictions and fiercely attack our beliefs. But we assert, “You prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies. You anoint our head with oil; our cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)
- With unbridled boldness, we climb to the rooftops, grab the largest megaphone and declare: “Surely goodness and love will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
We’re living in urgent times. We can’t afford to be mousy about our convictions or shy about claiming the power of God’s Word. Rather, we embrace profound reassurance and audacious boldness. And with that confidence, we’re already victorious. This truth must dominate our every thought, word and attitude. They did for David as he tasted reassurance when God lifted him from that dark valley. Why wouldn’t God do the same for us?
Father, because of the power of Your Word, I can rest at night, trust during the day and see Your hand at work. No matter the mess in the world, I shall be confident and reassured. In Jesus’ name.
What portion of Psalm 23 was written for you?
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