Ever felt besieged? Like your world is against you? I’m sure we all have those times when opponents seem to have multiplied and taken steroids, while loved ones are too preoccupied to help us. Our instinctive reactions swing between gritting our teeth and doing battle versus flopping in a deflated heap before the enemy’s trampling feet.
It’s the isolation that gets to me. Feeling that I am alone, I turn in on myself. The fighter rustles up hidden resources, puts on a brave face, and roars back at the world. At other times, the feeble fugitive throws up his hands in despair at his inner weakness, and surrenders.
That sad, polarized perspective on life is not spiritual maturity. The Bible describes a different kind of life. King David recognized that life is not determined by a tug-of-war between our inner resources and a besieging enemy. Our lives prosper when they are connected to the Lord. Here’s how David expressed it:
“Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say,
“Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.”
Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:1-8)
When our lives are nestled in relationship with Him, embracing and embraced by His will, then we experience His protection. The more our lives are devoted to His purposes, the more shielded we are. Attacks against His servants are really attacks against Him. His help comes swiftly. He smashes life’s snares. Look back over your life and see how many times that has been true for you.
Discovering what David knew sets us free. No longer do we need to play an aggressive role or, on the other hand, avoid every hint of conflict. When trouble comes, we can stand still to await the salvation of the Lord. Friends will appreciate us more too—who enjoys being around limp people, or those whose teeth always seem to be gritted and who want to recruit us for their army?
Please share these Bible devotionals with others who might be blessed.