Monthly Archives: November 2016

our responsibility in our spiritual battle

Meditation Journey Day 51      

Hi Friend,

King David’s response to seeing evil is:

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!  Psalm 139:19

We have seen how David has been made aware of God’s loving kindness in verses 1-18 of Psalm 139, and he has embraced the precious thoughts God has about him. Now he sees the evil in and around him in vivid colors. His first reaction was to expect God to destroy them; his second response was to simply expect them to leave. God wants us to do more in a battle with evil.

God wants us to do more in a battle with evil.

In verse 20, David turns to God and petitions Him once more; this time for God to defend God’s good name.  “They speak against you (God) with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain!” David is still expecting God to do what only David can do, which is take the responsibility for the sin he has in his life.

rosevelt(Please note, I know the battle is the LORD’s and it is His power that defeats the enemy, but there is a personal responsibility in our spiritual battles that we must accept. It is not that we must pay for our sin because we cannot. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and justifier.  Our responsibility is to accept our choices and to bring them to God in humility. The battles are allowed so that we might seek His grace and power to work through us. Our spiritual battles are allowed by Him to transform us, not just to change our circumstances. Romans 8:28-29)

What David is saying is true; the enemy does speak against God. Satan always wants to malign the character of God. People that speak maliciously about God or the Bible do have evil thoughts working in their minds. They ignore that God’s word judges them, they do not judge it!

God’s enemies do take His name in vain. When we think ugly thoughts about God we concur with the evil of this world. If we allow the thoughts of the wicked to become our thoughts, we set ourselves against God.

God wants David to understand that the evil facing him in his spiritual battle will only be changed as David makes the internal decision to be in total agreement and dependence on God. God never makes anyone believe in Him. God always honors our freedom to choose.  He allows the wicked to be wicked, and He gives us, His Beloved, opportunity to become Christ-like as we take ownership of our behavior.

“God wants David to understand that the evil facing him in his spiritual battle will only be changed as David makes the internal decision to be in total agreement and dependence on God.”

What David is doing up to this point in the process is typical of human nature. We think God or someone else will be the solution to our problems. That is not how God wants to relate to us. He wants us to trust Him by faith, therefore, giving us the spiritual tools to allow Him to work through us. Spiritual transformation is always from the inside out. We must receive God’s life in our human spirit and grow Christ’s nature in us through faith and obedience.

Our natural thinking is to ask God to change our circumstances to our liking, and if God does not do what we think is right, we typically resent His decision.  However, God has another agenda for us. He redeemed us to transform us internally by way of our trusting and obeying Him. We are naturally on a track to be conformed externally to our surrounding environment. But the Holy Spirit wants us to be spiritually transformed by God’s word internally (Romans 12). It all depends on whether or not we turn to God and humbly take responsibility for the choices we make.

Observation: In verse 20, David continues his typical human response to the problem of evil. He is expecting God to remove it. Only this time He is appealing to God’s honor as the basis of why God must act. However, God has an eternal desire for His Beloved to be transformed from the inside out to become Christ-like. 

Interpretation: When we see God’s goodness and kindness, as we observe in Psalm 139, the evil in the world and in our lives challenges its veracity. We naturally hope God will remove it or that it will just go away. God in His perfect wisdom designed us not just to know the truth but to become like Christ. That only happens as we are transformed internally by His eternal power. This happens as we nurture the new nature of Christ in us by engrafting His word and yielding to His Spirit.

Application Prayer: Father God, Thank you for insisting I grow in my faith by making me take responsibility for the evil in my life. Give me the grace to trust your word and to yield to your Spirit as I fight the good fight of faith. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

 

 

Advertisements

the spiritually normal response

Meditation Journey Day 50       

Hi Friend,

What is the spiritually normal response to truth?

We are now in the Valley of Victory of Psalm 139:19-22. These verses are a pattern and process of how we gain Victory over evil and sin in our own life. They come after we have seen the beauty of the LORD in the preceding verses 1-18. David is displaying what our hearts will do when we have seen the Lord’s loving-kindness and gracious mercy.

This is the process of repentance and it is the spiritually normal response.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! Men of blood, depart from me!

What David is saying is, LORD I see your truth and hold your thoughts precious in my change-1heart. Now I know the wickedness around me and in me and I do not like it! Turning towards God, David asks, “God, can you please change my circumstances?” Then David turns towards the evil and says, Men of blood, depart from me!” David is sick of the sin his eyes see and his heart is burdened by the evil associations he has accepted. His expectations are that God will remove them and change the circumstance. David then turns to the men of blood and hopes that by simply telling them to leave the problem will be solved. It won’t.

The wicked and the men of blood, while they may have been real people to David, are metaphors of the lies and half-truths we believe.

The wicked and the men of blood, while they may have been real people to David, are metaphors of the lies and half-truths we believe. The wicked thoughts that we believe have been leading us to rebellion and darkness. They are the seeds of bitterness and rejection that tell us God does not love us. The evil thoughts are lusts of all kinds that sell us pleasure as a sanctuary of false peace. The men of blood are demon’s lies that murder our hope and slaughter our purpose. Friend, they will not go away simply because we ask.

The Holy Spirit is powerful enough to destroy them all independently of us, but He does not always choose to exercise His power.

repent-turnaround1Why, because He wants us to gain the victory from the inside out. He wants us to “stand strong in the Lord and the power of His might” with an internal confidence in God. How we stand in the Lord’s power will come clearer as we proceed on this journey. Just remember what you have learned to this point. The Holy Spirit has given us God’s precious thoughts in Psalm 139 and now He wants us to receive it, believe it and obey it. This is the only path the world, sin, and Satan will be defeated in our lives.

Observation: David sees the wickedness around him and he responds in the spiritually normal way of wanting freedom and change. His first two responses to the realization he needs change are typical and non-productive. David was expecting God to change his circumstances or he hoped they would just go away on their own accord.

Interpretation: The road to spiritual victory starts with the Holy Spirit revealing to us God’s loving kindness. He leads us to the foot of the cross to see the grace poured out on us. That is what we have been receiving through Psalm 139:1-18. Jesus Christ’ sacrifice on the cross obtained all the blessings we have received from God. As we become alive in Christ, the wickedness of this world becomes more uncomfortable. Our response typically is to expect God to change our circumstances. He could but He does not because He wants an internal and everlasting transformation of our hearts.

Application Prayer: Father God, Thank you for your gracious mercy revealed in Jesus Christ dying for me. I know all your grace freely flows to me through His death, burial and resurrection. As I receive your precious thoughts and obey them the sin in my life becomes more obvious. It challenges your word and resists your truth. Help me to take the responsibility to internally allow you to change me. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?