The battles you face in this life will be many, and even though you are not alone, many of your battles may never be seen by anyone other than the Lord. In the secret place, the dwelling place of the inner man, the real you, is where your fiercest battles will be fought as a needed warrior in the army of the Lord. Fear. Anger. Pain. Self-loathing. Addiction. Memories. Strongholds. Rejection. Urges. Sin. Even though no one may see your battles, they will see your victories so you must fight. Not to “win”, but to “live and tell of the works of the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3) Dear friend, you are the unknown soldier.
Part two – Based on a compilation of letters written to a beloved soldier under fire in the Middle East many years ago, this devotional series – in honor of Veteran’s Day – centers around the life of another soldier, who lived a very long time ago, in the same location- whose battle had not yet been won, who was under heavy attack and whose life was in grave danger…
“For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave…” (Psalm 57)
My dear Soldier,
You are still in Iraq, under heavy fire and as I cry out to the Lord for your safe return, I am reminded of David, who, like you, was surrounded by those who craved his death. People who have never met you are trying to kill you. They hate you, because you’re there, because you’re an American, because you represent an end to the run of their evil and power. This is why the world needs a soldier like you. A person who can see beyond themselves, who fights not for their own glory or reward, but for the enduring promise of freedom for all who are under threat. I will forever be grateful for the battles you’ve fought and won that no one will ever see. In Psalm 57, David, a soldier, a king and a worshipper was trapped and cried out to the God who saves…
(v. 4) “I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.”
When David fled for his life, pursued by Saul, he was already God’s anointed king. Saul had failed, the old regime was crumbling and David represented a new era of worship and godliness and restoration, but it wasn’t easy. Even within God’s promise, even knowing he was called and anointed, he had to fight.
Even though no one may see your battles, they will see your victories so you must fight…. God did not remove David from this situation, but He did give him the strength, wisdom and peace to walk through it.~Alicia Purdy
David he was among lions who wanted to devour him because they were jealous and hateful and violent. David wrote this whole chapter because he was living under the constant threat of attack, which reminds me of your life. He knew he needed God’s divine intervention and protection. God did not remove David from this situation, but He did give him the strength, wisdom and peace to walk through it. Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might– I know that the Lord will do for you what He did for David.
(v. 5) “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth.”
And here, immediately after ‘complaining’ to God about his situation, David’s immediate next breath is to worship and praise God. Why?? What was there to worship about? David, even before all the wisdom and guidance of the New Testament ever existed, knew that the proper response to trials is to encounter God in worship. In fact, he wrote, in Psalm 144:9-10, “I will sing a new song unto You, O God… it is He who gives victory to kings…” before he’d won his battle!
The Army of the Lord Must Fight With Spiritual Weapons
The Psalms are full of worship as a response to pain, tribulation, repentance, mercy, confusion, regret and so much more, but what makes them so profound is to realize most of them were written well before the story ended, before victory was won. You are not weaponless in any fight, but as you know from your training, you must not be drawn into petty skirmishes, but must fight the right battles with the right weapons. It doesn’t make any sense to the human mind, but worship in the midst of a circumstance beyond your control is the most beautiful and powerful kind. Nothing makes sense right now, but I am worshipping the God who understands it all, and I know you are too. We are far apart, but my heart is close to yours.
(V. 6) “My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Selah.”
The faithfulness of God isn’t always shown through His mighty acts, but in the simplicity of the every day miracles. We must seek those and worship Him for them… things like your enemy falling into their own pit- the one they’ve dug for you! This happened with Queen Esther also and Hamaan, who was hung on the gallows he, himself, built. But the fear is real. Our faith is tested each time. Will God come through? Will this work out? Will I survive this? We all must confront these deep, probing questions and those battles are fought and won on our knees.
But I know the endless battles must be exhausting. The constant awareness that every ride in a truck could end in a roadside bomb. Each day on patrol could end in sniper fire. But I am standing in faith with you that “the terror by night, “the arrow that flies by day”, “the pestilence that pursues in darkness,” and “the destruction that strikes at noonday”, “shall not come near you.” (Psalm 91) David was frustrated and exhausted and worn down, tired of this happening over and over, as I know you are my dear, brave soldier, and yet he recognized that, because he intentionally sought the Lord for help in the battle, and, through his praise, gave the battle to the Lord moment by moment, the Lord had his permission to fight on his behalf! Hallelujah!
The faithfulness of God isn’t always shown through His mighty acts, but in the simplicity of the every day miracles. We must seek those and worship Him for them~Alicia Purdy
Your Heavenly Father, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will go after those who try to destroy anyone who hides in Him for protection. Remember – NONE of what David is praising God for in this Psalm has he actually seen at this point – he’s not king, although he was promised he would be, he’s being hunted like an animal and yet he’s exalting and worshipping and facing the fire with his faith, because He believes that God will come through for him – and He will for you, too. “They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He also brought me forth into a large place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.“ (Psalm 18:18-19) You will come home, and before you head out into the battle, first war on your knees in worship before the Lord, and I will do the same.
Strengthen Your Spirit to Fight Your Way to Victory!
- Read Part One of this Series: “Soldiers in the Bible Don’t Always Fight”
- “Take the People of War With You into Your Battle Season”
- “Use Your Spiritual Authority to Win the Battle Against Satan”
- “Get Back Satan! 5 Tips for Using Scripture as a Defense”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!