Friday, December 26, 2014

December 26 – Does He delight in you?

He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.  They confronted me in the day of my distress, but the Lord was my support.  He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.  (Psalm 18:17-19 HCSB)

Can you say that God delights in you?  What would make God feel so strongly about you of all people?  Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.”  Those who fear Him have a deep respect for Him and live in obedience to His word, and those who hope in His mercy, trust that He will show them lovingkindness.  

It should go without saying that in contrast, God can’t delight in you when you live by knee-jerk reactions and selfish excuses for why you can’t obey Him.  Instead, fear His awesome power so that you carefully obey Him and live each moment in submission to Him, and trust in His great mercy so that when problems arise, you can determine your miracle before you see it.  This choice causes God to look on you with great delight, with a desire to rescue you from powerful enemies.  

God doesn’t promise that enemies won’t try to attack, or that we will never be hated by others.  I have heard Christians judge others for not being spiritual enough because they stir up the anger of others.  Jesus stirred up anger and He had plenty of enemies.  Of course we need to make sure that these negative reactions are because of our love for God, and not because we brought them on by our fleshly behavior.  But being attacked by family, friends, coworkers, or total strangers when we live in obedience to God’s word, can’t throw us into fear because of their hostility or rejection.  With negative accusations swirling around us, He promises to be our support.  He’ll lift us out of that oppression and set us in a spacious place where there is peace and freedom.

It goes against all our instincts to remain calm under fire, whether it’s a physical threat or emotional.  Our minds race to figure out what’s going on and how to stop the attack.  Those who aren’t spiritual even try to appease their enemies out of pure fear, and that’s when the distinction is made between a true and false believer.  Do you fear your enemies more? Then you’ll try to please them by buying some peace.  Do you fear God more?  Then you’ll stand your ground and obey Him in obedience and trust.  It’s in these moments of crisis that your true faith becomes evident.  Though you may wrestle with temptations of doubt, your final decision to remain in faith, to hope in His mercy and to never deny Him becomes the catalyst for your rescue in your day of distress.  

Be aware as well, that not all enemy attacks come through people who are against you.  Satan is the true enemy, and though he does use weak people, he can also attack through circumstances and what may appear to be just plain bad luck.   No matter what the attack or from what source, you are promised support, rescue and a spacious place to enjoy the presence of God.  Be sure that you that God delights in you.  Choose Him over all others, even in your day of distress.

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