It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
We can find in the word of God many expressions that compare our daily lives with a continuous war. Certainly we are involved day by day in adverse situations that are the result of attacks by some of our enemies, including our own flesh or sinful nature. Our families are under heavy artillery fire whose sole purpose is to divide us and make us fight against each other. We are in a field of a battle that fortunately belongs to the Lord and by definition the war is already won. But even though our enemies have been defeated they will not acknowledge it and they will continue attacking all those who are on the Lord’s side as long as God permits. Many may wonder why the Lord does not put an end to this long conflict that has affected humanity since the time of our first fathers. Both the duration and troop involvement in the conflict are part of God’s perfect plan and hostilities will end only when God is satisfied that his plan has been carried out and his goals have been achieved. Meanwhile, as soldiers in this fight, the Lord prepares us and empowers us so we can struggle and emerge unscathed from the encounter.
Among many other things that God confers us to go into battle with are: strength, security, swiftness, steadfastness training, and power as King David says in this portion of Psalm 18. All these features allow us to address the conflict with a reassuring sense of confidence, not based on our own strength but based on the strength that comes from God. If we know that we have these skills and we apply them in the battlefield, our spiritual progress will be solid and permanent as that of seasoned warriors. Thank God that the battle belongs to him and we are part of the victorious army. Thank God that He enables us so we can prevail over the many conflicts in which we will be involved on a daily basis until the Lord announces with the hammered silver trumpets that the final victory has been achieved. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged battle, Christianity, conflict, enemies, faith, God, hope, Jesus, life, love, power, Psalms, salvation, security, sinful nature, spirituality, steadfastness, strenght, swiftness, training, truth, war, wisdom
You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
When one sins, that is, when one aims, shoots and misses the target, one feels frustration and, most probably, also shame of not being able to achieve the objective. To be successful at hitting the target requires three things: a steady hand, adequate training and talent to make the most of the weapon being fired. The steady hand is equivalent, in the Christian life, to steadfastness in faith and character. The apostle James said: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” How well could one aim if one fluctuates every moment of one’s life? Secondly, adequate training is the process of sanctification that God achieves in the lives of their children by means of trials and exposure to increasingly difficult challenges in order to strengthen us. Or, as the apostle Peter said: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Finally, the talent for using the weapon is equivalent to the capacity ─talents and gifts─ given to us by the Holy Spirit of God for the service of others. The apostle Paul said: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” In another place he says: “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it…. to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” I hope this apostolic illustration will guide you when you have to face the enemy’s attacks. Every victory achieved is a step forward in the way of justice and truth in which God has placed us. Hit the target! To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged faith, gifts, God, Holy Spirit, life, love, miss, Psalms, sin, steadfastness, talents, target, trials