PSALM 13 – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE BATTLES WE ALL FACE. David wrote today’s scripture. Aren’t we glad he did? Aren’t we glad God inspired his pen? David reaches all of us. David comes alongside each of us who are striving to live the Christian life and says, “I know. Believe me I know.” And he does something else. We not only hear his whisper of affirmation within us, but he opens up his heart saying, “Yes, I was the man God called ‘after His heart.’ Yes, I was privileged to write a lot of scriptures. Yes, I enjoyed sweet fellowship with the Lord. And yes, I struggled big-time with the same things you struggle with. Let me help you in the same battles I fought.”
First, like David, we fight the battle of impatience with God’s timing in our lives – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? David is not afraid to be open with his God. Four times in two short verses he cries out of the anguish of an impatient heart – “How long?” What we may learn from David with this is to be brutally transparent before God. Voice our hurts. Voice our impatience. God wants all of us to include our struggles.
Next, like David, we don’t always live on the joyful Mountain of Transfiguration – How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? We discredit Christianity to the world if we portray “Happy in Jesus All the Time” because we are not. Contented? Yes. Happy? No. We fight selfishness, sin, Satan, and ever-changing emotions that grieve our souls, discourage our hearts, and like David, cause sorrow and often for long periods of time.
A third spiritual battle we fight that David did as well is in the arena of prayer – Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. David’s prayer is short and to the point. He hurts. He is desperate and needs his God to rescue him now. Learn this example. Prayer is the language of love not formed by flowery words or vain repetitions. It is the cry of desperation from the heart of a child of God to his or her God who needs Him. Let’s learn to develop a continual prayer life of relationship that isn’t mechanical or scripted but formed in the heart of loving dependency on God.
The final lesson about battles from David is how to win all of them – But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. All our spiritual foes are defeated, sooner or later, by resolve to rest in God’s steadfast love, live with a rejoicing heart over God’s salvation, and consciously choose to worship no matter the circumstances we find ourselves.
David. A true friend who models for us, not only as one after God’s own heart, but a fellow warrior helping us fight the spiritual battles common to all Christians.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for the spiritual war You have called me to knowing it is evidence of new life in You.”
QUOTE: “The Christian life is the fighting life; the warring life; the battling life – to forget this means we are defeated.”