Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25 – He’s on our side

He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!”  (Psalm 46:10 NET)

There’s an old hymn based on the King James version of this verse, “Be Still and Know That I am God,” written in the 1800’s.  We sang it in church as I was growing up, and it seemed to be a passive song to accept whatever life throws at me as the will of God.  But this chapter is all about God as our warrior, that He will intervene in the most adverse situations, that He is mighty and terrifying against the devil.  Verse 9 says, “He brings an end to wars throughout the earth; he shatters the bow and breaks the spear; he burns the shields with fire.”  He defeats enemies, He’s on our side. 

Psalm 46 is one of the more warlike chapters of the Bible.  It describes the shaking of the earth, the crumbling of mountains that crash into the depths of the sea, the armies of God overthrowing nations and bringing devastation to the earth, all with the comfort and joy of knowing that He fights for us.  And then near the end of the chapter comes this command – stop striving and recognize that He is God.  

There is nothing strong about running ourselves ragged, trying to sort out all our problems day after day.  We’ve been taught that being busy, looking busy and being on top of our game is our moral obligation.  But God says in effect, “Let me do the fighting for you – I’m a lot stronger than you are, I can see demons and enemies, where you can’t, I have unlimited power and you don’t, I love to fight for my children who I love – I only ask that you treat me as your Lord and Father.”  

When we tie ourselves up in knots by tackling problems in our own strength, we are denying that God is our Lord and Father.  We block God from working when we decide that we have to take care of it all, even though we pray.  We can make the most foolish and time-wasting prayers when we rush around in our self-important state of busyness, asking God to bless our to-do list and make everything work out right.  When we don’t even stop to listen to Him, we basically tell Him that His mighty armies can just take a step back and find something else to do because we’ve got it under control.  We can be so ridiculous, it’s embarrassing.  If we spent all that energy just seeking Him first, we’d be light years ahead in our endeavors, and far more peaceful as well. 

We gain time when we give time to God, to meditate, to listen to what He’s trying to tell us.  We have to bring ourselves down from our high horses and know that if we don’t serve and obey our Lord, He can’t fight for us. We can’t obey Him if we don’t know what He’s saying or where He’s guiding us.  We need to be still, meditate on His word, stop striving, and recognize that He is God.  When we allow Him to work, He uses our lives to become known and exalted throughout all the nations of the world.  And when He is exalted, we are lifted up as well.

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