Today in my morning devotions, I read Psalm 35. I enjoyed it so much, because it does a good job of illustrating how much God fights for us, how much He is attentive and listening for us. By contrast, this Psalm also shows how opposed to wickedness He is. This is such an important quality to acknowledge and savor about our Abba! I just stopped and smiled, (really grinned with glee is more like it!), and declared some of the verses over my life. I appreciate the tremendous assurance available to us, as we renew our minds to His truth.
The truth is our enemy is not: the person in the news, at the PTA, the bus stop or church committee meeting. The enemy is the the prince of the power of the air, (See Ephesians 2:2, and Ephesians 6:12), who works through influencing, swaying, and just generally confusing and deceiving people, even "good" people. The enemy is out to work his mischief bringing division, hurt, self-doubt, depression, confusion, hatred, you name it. It's an old strategy, as old as the garden. Divide and conquor. Isolate. Deceive. Why am I talking about this on my cheerful, amiable, feel good blogspot? Because I know firsthand and beyond that many struggle with feelings of isloation, inadequacy and even worse. I have my concerns to contend with, as well. We all do.
My devotion refreshed in my mind, that He fights the battles that are beyond me, while I go about my business of serving Him. Whatever He has given me to do, I will do with relish! The whole time, trusting Him to fight off the attacks of the enemy. In case you are thinking this means I expect the problems to go away, without my own actions at all. That rarely happens. More likely, I am able to think clearly as I place trust in Him (peace that passes undertanding), to take the steps today towards solving the problem (His wisdom and knowledge for the situation). Then sometime later, stand back in awe while seeing larger results than I would have originally expected. He adds to our efforts, when done in faith in Him, trusting Him for the future part, which we can't see. Remember it's our daily bread, not tomorrow's! This means most problems in my experience, end up being solved steps at a time, as a process, not a one time event. That's a another post, though! :) Just don't be alarmed when things take step by step to heal, restore, overcome. That's generally the design!
In the meantime, I am liking this Psalm so very much! When you read it, remember who the enemy really is!
Psalm 35 (Amplified Bible)
- CONTEND, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help!
- Draw out also the spear and javelin and close up the way of those who pursue and persecute me. Say to me, I am your deliverance!
- Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek and require my life; let them be turned back and confounded who plan my hurt!
- Let them be as chaff before the wind, with the [a]Angel of the Lord driving them on!
- Let their way be through dark and slippery places, with the Angel of the Lord pursuing and afflicting them.
- For without cause they hid for me their net; a pit of destruction without cause they dug for my life.
- Let destruction befall [my foe] unawares; let the net he hid for me catch him; let him fall into that very destruction.
- Then I shall be joyful in the Lord; I shall rejoice in His deliverance.
- All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like You, You Who deliver the poor and the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who snatches away his goods?
- Malicious and unrighteous witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I know not.
They reward me evil for good to my personal bereavement.
- But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting, and I prayed with head bowed on my breast.
- I behaved as if grieving for my friend or my brother; I bowed down in sorrow, as one who bewails his mother.
- But in my stumbling and limping they rejoiced and gathered together [against me]; the smiters (slanderers and revilers) gathered against me, and I knew them not; they ceased not to slander and revile me.
- Like profane mockers at feasts [making sport for the price of a cake] they gnashed at me with their teeth.
- Lord, how long will You look on [without action]? Rescue my life from their destructions, my dear and only life from the lions!
- I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among a mighty throng.
- Let not those who are wrongfully my foes rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye who hate me without cause.
- For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful matters against those who are quiet in the land.
- Yes, they open their mouths wide against me; they say, Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen it!
- You have seen this, O Lord; keep not silence! O Lord, be not far from me!
- Arouse Yourself, awake to the justice due me, even to my cause, my God and my Lord!
- Judge and vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness (Your rightness and justice); and let [my foes] not rejoice over me!
- Let them not say in their hearts, Aha, that is what we wanted! Let them not say, We have swallowed him up and utterly destroyed him.
- Let them be put to shame and confusion together who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify and exalt themselves over me!
- Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.
- And my tongue shall talk of Your righteousness, rightness, and justice, and of [my reasons for] Your praise all the day long.