Monthly Archives: October 2016

Slay the wicked, O God!

Meditation Journey Day 49     

Hi Friend,

Have you ever felt like David did in Psalm 139:19? He cries out, Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!” God, will you please get rid of the evil around me?

That cry begins the process for David to gain a victory in his spiritual battle. It is where we begin too! Keep in mind while David may have been thinking of literal bad people in his world whereas our spiritual battle is not against flesh and blood. Our battles are against the lies and half truths pressed upon us by the world, the devil, and our own sinful nature.

Keep in mind while David may have been thinking of literal bad people in his world whereas our spiritual battle is not against flesh and blood. Our battles are against the lies and half truths pressed upon us by the world, the devil, and our own sinful nature.

David has journeyed through the wonderful truths of verses 1-18 in his song of praise to God, Psalm 139. As he becomes aware that all the heavenly blessings are true he also realizes the wickedness he has accepted in his life. He has internalized God’s loving kindness, and it has changed his perspective of The LORD, himself and the evil around him. He now understands he has been living by Satan’s thoughts and the world’s values. Radical change is coming to David; he is beginning to be transformed as he puts off the lies of Satan and puts on the truth of God. This is also our first step to being transformed. When we see God as He really is and ourselves through the lens of His precious thoughts, we will change our direction and perspective to His way. The Bible calls this repentance.

Anytime we read, hear or see the kindness of God and do not breathe a prayer repentof humble thanks for His mercy; we are not receiving His truth into our hearts.

Repentance always happens in our lives when we receive God’s kindness and embrace His goodness revealed in Jesus Christ. Listen to what Paul wrote about repentance, “Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” All the truth of the first eighteen verses of Psalm 139 is God’s kindness to us. It was given by the Holy Spirit to lead us to change our direction and repent. Anytime we read, hear or see the kindness of God and do not breathe a prayer of humble thanks for His mercy; we are not receiving His truth into our hearts. We would then be presuming on God’s grace. The Holy Spirit is trying to transform us through God’s thoughts, and we resist Him by thinking they are not important! We assume God is not speaking about me, or we consider the Bible as a book just written by man and doubt its truthfulness. You may be presuming at this very moment I am not in need of this message! Remember the first step in receiving God’s Word is to realize it is a personal word from God to us (Proverbs 2). All our negative presuming about God’s Word is just a form of arrogance and pride.

David did receive God’s thoughts as precious, and now he sees the wickedness all around him. The prophet Isaiah experienced the same repentant attitude when he saw the Lord high and lifted up in the temple. He cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” All through the Bible, we have accounts of people who saw the Lord’s grace and kindness and they melted into a new perspective of God and themselves. It always happens when we encounter the Living God! I pray it begins to happen to you as you humbly receive the precious thoughts in Psalm 139:1-18. 

You will know you have begun to transform when you become aware of the lies you have accepted about God and yourself. David cried, “Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!” He was saying, God, please get rid of the evil I now see in me and around me! Are you beginning to experience a changing attitude toward God and yourself as you journey through Psalm 139?

This is the point where the spiritual battle rages all the time. What we believe about God and ourselves is the critical point of us gaining freedom. Psalm 139 paints a grace-filled picture of Father God’s love and kindness. The more that becomes clear the more we can see the evil we have believed and accepted into our hearts. Then we too will become very uncomfortable with the world’s evil that we accept and the secular thoughts we embrace. We will also begin to cry out, O God take away the wickedness in my heart and in my world!

Observation: Verses 19 is David’s cry as he becomes aware of the evil around him. This is the first step of transformation when we have actually received and internalized God’s precious thoughts.

Interpretation: Verses 19-22 are a model of the process of repentance. It may be somewhat different for each person, but it contains the basic process to walk us through repentance. Each step is another layer of transformation in our walk of faith. If this process of internal change is not happening in us; then we are assuming that the message is not true or not for us. We are probably not nurturing our spiritual garden. Have you hidden any of Psalm 139 in your hearts ?

Application Prayer: Father God, I see you in a different light through the words of Psalm 139. I view myself different too. I am ashamed of the lies I have believed, and I pray that you will remove the evil from my life. Please slay my sinfulness and the wickedness in me  … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

How to win the Spiritual War!

Meditation Journey Day 48              

Hi Friend,

Today we begin a very practical and critically important section of Psalm 139. At first look verses, 19-22 do not feel like they should be in this Psalm. Up till now, we have received one gracious blessing after another.

Through Psalm 139:1-16, we learned God esteems us worthy of His constant attention and time. He never leaves us, His Beloved, because He cares so deeply about our welfare. He chose us and created us for a glorious purpose. Then in verse 19-22 the tone changes and the air is charged with anger and hate. The vitriol is not God’s attitude towards David, but it is David’s feelings toward the wicked.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! Men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them, my enemies! Psalm 139:19-22

What is curious about the passage is that it is mostly a discussion between David and God. David only gives one negative sentence to the bloody men; the rest of the passage is David speaking to God and himself.

hit-1This is a model of how to win the spiritual warfare that every Christian faces. Over the next several days we will dissect this passage to learn the course of action we must take to resist Satan. The Holy Spirit wants us to understand this because He desires to destroy the Enemy’s strongholds in our minds.

Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, yet many Christians walk in defeat. Every day they are badgered by guilt, shame or fear. If we personally receive God’s thoughts about us in Psalm 139 and obediently believe them we can experience what Jesus promised. We need to trust His word and believe it is possible for us to continually experience the abundant life Jesus promised.

Here are some basic facts about this war. The spiritual battle of a Christian’s life is unavoidable. Our primary enemy is Satan, he hates God and all God has created and loves, therefore, he hates us. Jesus described Satan clearly when He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10).

The devil and his minions are the enemies; not any person in your life. Paul made it clear in Ephesians 6 that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” When we are mentally fighting with people we are losing the battle and Satan just laughs.

The battlefield of this continual war is in our minds. The weapon we use to defend ourselves and destroy Satan’s strongholds is the Word of God. The power of this lethal weapon is the Spirit of the Living God. Our role in this fight is to yield to God’s Spirit and engraft His word into our hearts and minds. As we humble ourselves to God, He gives us the grace to resist Satan and causes him to flee. (James 4).

Our role in this fight is to yield to God’s Spirit and engraft His word into our hearts and minds. As we humble ourselves to God, He gives us the grace to resist Satan and causes him to flee. (James 4).

The Christian life does not work for many people because they do not yield to God’s Spirit and obey God’s word. Learning how to resist Satan and his deadly temptations is a major step in living a healthy spiritual life. If you embrace the truth of this Psalm you will have a solid framework to nurture your faith in God and experience a confident relationship with Christ.

Please notice I never said you would have a pain free, struggle free, or conflict free life. SurrenderThat is heaven’s reward. What God gives to us here is a joyous life filled with His presence and peace.

The battle is raging. I pray you will put on the armor of God’s precious thoughts and stand against the enemy.

Observation: In verses, 19-22 David’s tone has changed from praise and wonder of God’s blessing to anger and hatred towards God’s enemies. We are in a spiritual war with evil and we must learn how God designed us to win. Remember we wrestle not against flesh and blood!

Interpretation: Through this section, we begin to see the battle in which we are engaged. This passage is a model of how we defeat sin, Satan and the lies of the world. Many Christians are defeated by the Enemy because they do not yield themselves to God’s Spirit and believe His precious thoughts.

Application Prayer: Father God, Teach me to fight the good fight of faith. I chose to humble myself to your gracious thoughts revealed in Psalm 139. I believe you see me worthy of loving. I believe you are always with me and have created me to be a blessing. Help me to resist Satan’s lies and keep me close to you. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

Spiritual Battle: The Eternal Perspective!

Meditation Journey Day 47

These two verses give us the strategy we need for our daily conflict with sin and Satan.

Hi Friend,

spiritual-warfareSoon we will enter the Valley of Victory, verses 19-22 in Psalm 139. Those verses describe our spiritual war zone. In preparation for the battle ahead, we need to continue unpacking verses, 17-18, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”

These two verses give us the strategy we need for our daily conflict with sin and Satan. The three main points of these verses are:

1) Our proper attitude toward God’s word: It is the only way of truth and it is a precious treasure.

2) Our confidence in God’s Love: It is sustained by the vast amount of His blessings.

3) Our commitment to persevere: He is with us whatever the outcome of a battle might be.

 

We have already looked at the first two points; today we need to grasp the third critical element.

In light of all, God had revealed about His love for us; David concludes: “I awake, and I am still with you.”  Remember King David was a warrior. His conclusion is not just a sweet thing to say about God, but a part of the strategic thinking we need to have if we are to defeat the evil in our earthly nature (Col.3). We think of David as the boy who slew Goliath with a sling, but he fought many battles in hand to hand combat. As a grown man who has survived a war and been hunted by King Saul, he had a great appreciation for God keeping him alive. However, this statement goes beyond being safe in this world. David is revealing the eternal perspective a victorious person must have to win. This eternal perspective says no matter what the enemy does to me I know God will take care of me and I will emerge victoriously.

This eternal perspective says no matter what the enemy does to me I know God will take care of me and I will emerge victoriously.

This was the confidence the three Hebrew men had when the Babylonian King tried to firey-furnacemake them worship the golden statue of his image. If they refused to obey King Nebuchadnezzar then they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego confidently refused to disobey God and gave this reply to the pagan King, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3). The three men had a faith that was totally confident in the outcome of their standing for truth. This is what David is implying when he wrote, “I awake, and I am still with you.”  No matter what I will face God, I know you are with me and you will sustain me.

To face our spiritual battles we too need to have the ultimate confidence in God’s truth. If you learn to meditatively engraft God’s word into your heart you will grow in your confidence of His love and care. This is the way to walk in victory; trusting in His word and relying on His Spirit.

 

Observation: David was so confident in God’s love that he could trust Him whatever the outcome of a battle might be.

Interpretation: To face the giants in our lives we need to have a deep conviction that truth will win. God’s thoughts are precious because they reveal the vast love God gives to us. Knowing this is true gives us a strong confidence that we can stand with truth in our lives no matter the cost.

Application Prayer: Father God, help me to engraft your word into my heart. Infuse into my mind the precious thoughts you revealed to David in Psalm 139. Help me to trust your word in all circumstances no matter what the cost maybe. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?