July 19, 2018: Battle
July 19, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 144, Luke 11:29-36, 2 Thessalonians 1 Psalm 144: Life can sometimes feel like a battle. Endless demands. You get up early and work hard. Then there are the children. The bills. The taxes. On and on it goes: you fight for health, you fight to be heard, you fight to get good grades, you fight to do what is right. David was a real warrior in the most literal sense. And yet David knew it was God “who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (144:1). What has David learned about battling with the Lord on his side, and with God training and equipping him? First, that despite our inadequacy as humans, God still loves his people (144:2-4). We are but a “breath…a fleeting shadow” (144:4). But still, “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer.” So the first lesson is to lean upon the character of God, not upon our own worthiness to receive his love and strength. Second, that God is all-powerful (144:3-11). Certainly the battle is real. There is a “deadly sword” (144:10). There are lies and deceit (144:8). But, in wonderful imagery of God’s power, David draws upon the thunderstorm to evoke the kind of majestic might that God alone wields. “Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy” (144:6). The second lesson then is to lean upon the power of God, not be fearful of the power of people. Third, David refuses to be brow-beaten by circumstances but looks to the future blessing of God in hope (144:12-15). “Then,” verse 12, David envisions, there will be all kinds of blessings. Sons and daughters thriving, barns full, sheep, oxen, no defeat by the enemy. All the signs of blessing in a material sense: family, economy and defense. But there is a much higher blessing still: “blessed is the people whose God is the Lord” (144:15). The greatest blessing of all is to know God and to be known by God. The third lesson then is to lean on hope, and not give in to despair when you are in the midst of the battle. These are David’s lessons for fighting the good fight of faith, lessons from a real warrior who knew that God trained him for battle. Lean upon the character of God who loves you. Lean upon the power of God which protects you. Lean upon the hope of God that will not let you down.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."