The temptation to give up the fight will come to you again and again as you walk out your journey of faith, but you must press on! Your weakness is how God can finally display His strength (2 Cor. 12:8-10) – and your testimony will bring Him the glory! If you want to be a true warrior in the faith who wins the victory, you’ll have to, literally, fight for it- but are you fighting on the right battleground? The battles you’ll face may feel like they’re surrounding you, but here’s the real secret to victory in every battle: Fight from your knees!
Allowing the Lord to fight for you is not easy because we all want to feel like we’re doing “something” more than “just praying”, but that’s the deception! King David in the Bible faced the same problem. He was a warrior, but the battle he faced would not be won through his own power. The enemy is well aware that if you will dig into the Word and stand on it, pray without ceasing and dwell in the presence of the Lord in worship- he is defeated!
Maybe no one will every see your battle, but dear unknown soldier, the Lord sees, knows, hears, cares, and never leaves. He’s with you in the battle- now, learn how to fight to win!
Part three – In honor of Veteran’s Day, this series is based on a compilation of letters written to a beloved soldier under fire in the Middle East many years ago. Based around Psalm 57, this devotional series 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,
While I wait in faith for your safe return from battle, I find myself fighting fear that there is no end in sight. I have to constantly remind myself that even there are long periods of silence between us, or even if the news is bad that day or even if I’ve had a bad dream, my trust is in the Lord.
(v. 7) My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!
How was David’s heart confident in the Lord when what he saw around him was a contradiction to the goodness of God? How could David look at war, death, betrayal, hiding in fear, being endlessly pursued, never knowing who to trust and still worship a faithful God? As I thought about this I realized that David’s response was praise because praise and worship have nothing to do with us, and everything to do with God. Life changes. It gets better, it gets worse– but God exists outside of that. He’s still God whether you’re being shot at with bullets or hugging your children. Praise and worship are the expression of a heart that recognizes God as God – it’s thankfulness for things we have and we haven’t yet received, it’s exultation for things He has and hasn’t yet done, it’s returning love to Him who loved us first.
God knows exactly where you are – where your body is, where your mind is at and where your heart is at. You’ve been asking a lot of deep and heart wrenching questions and if you keep your heart in a place that is fixed on Him, He’s got the answers you need.~Alicia Purdy
David was in a time of his life where he was afraid and frustrated and sick and tired of it all, and weary, and yet, he was completely confident that God would bring him through to the other side. How? The answers he needed were found in the secret place. But, how can that be as I wrestle and cry and lift my chin and as you live on the edge of death?? David was able to ‘see’ down the road, beyond the circumstance of the moment – and trust that God would be there through and on the other side of it because David’s emotions and feelings weren’t in control of him. This is the challenge of faith! He acknowledged that he was feeling those emotions, and yet he didn’t give them permission to control him or dictate the decisions he made and the most important decision of all, that he made in this situation, was that he was going to worship God. David, not even yet the king, fought his battles like the shepherd boy, still worshipping in the fields, never too mighty to bow before the Lord. THAT is what qualified him to be the king.
(v. 8-9) “Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations.”
In these verses, David is doing some very important things: He is spending daily, personal time with God in worship (“wake the dawn with my song”) and praising God publicly with a congregation of people who also loved the Lord (“among all the people”). Finally, he is taking the message of his testimony (which he has not even seen play out in his life yet!) to the rest of the world to say “Look what the Lord has done!” God loves David as much as He loves you now – God has an equal amount of love, favor, mercy and kindness toward us all – so why does it seem like some get more than others? It’s because when we decide to place ourselves ‘under the shadow of His wing’ – where we are submitting to His authority, relying on His strength and willing to accept His love (all three elements, together), we allow Him to pour those things out on us. God is not going to force His love nor authority on us. If we want it, there’s an endless supply, but our responsibility is to go to Him and live like we can’t live without it. I am on this journey too.
(v. 10-11) “For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.”
David knew exactly what I have said, just above – there is an unending supply of God’s love and favor, His faithfulness and mercy. David was willing to look foolish. He was willing to appear weak in front of his family, his friends and his kingdom. He was willing to take his pain and weariness and frustration to God. He was willing to walk through whatever circumstance he was put into with a heart that was unflinching and worshipful, no matter what. He forced himself to see beyond where he was at, in the moment, to trust that God was taking him to another, better place. And, above all else, he refused to let anything – any person, any situation, any fear or thought or emotion, get in the way of glorifying God “in all things”. That is sometimes easier said than done, as you fall asleep to the sound of bombs in the distance and bullets outside your tent.
God knows exactly where you are – where your body is, where your mind is at and where your heart is at. You’ve been asking a lot of deep and heart wrenching questions and if you keep your heart in a place that is fixed on Him, He’s got the answers you need.
In my experiences, answers don’t always come when we’d like them to – and it’s not because God is playing some kind of game, but is because, as the Bible says in James 1:3-4, “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Often times, when we make bad decisions, we feel like we deserve all the bad things that happen as a result, but that is not true! Without Jesus, we would deserve them, but because Jesus died in our place, we can go to the Father without any shame or guilt. My dead soldier- RUN. RUN to Jesus. God poured out all His wrath on Jesus, ONCE and for all and it canceled out all sin. This is why we can come to Jesus and know the love of God and His forgiveness when we sin – because Jesus paid that price with His life. Just because we don’t experience “grace and favor”, doesn’t mean that God is mad or punishing us. It means that our own sense of guilt and shame is preventing us from laying down, in utter humility, at the feet of Jesus to worship Him. God doesn’t separate Himself from us anymore, because of what Jesus did. WE separate ourselves from Him and then ask Him why He left!
My dear soldier, I know that you’re in a season where you have a lot of questions and feel a lot of guilt for your decisions and I know that you hate the battles you are facing right now, and I know the battles could destroy you, but take heart – God is bigger than the battle. And whether or not you caused the battle you’re in, if you get yourself under the ‘shadow of His wing’, as David did in daily, consistent, passionate praise and worship, you will see His compassion and mercy and will perfect that has been there this whole time and in this *entire* circumstance, and in your favor. There is always a way and God will make it for you, if you let Him.
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!