Take the time to read the entirety of Psalm 18:1-50, and then come back and read the following verses again:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
– Psalm 18:1-3
I have one of the best jobs in the world, working with some of the best people in the world to proclaim the best news in the world…but even with all that in mind, I am not immune to tough days in the office. Even when I have witnessed the incredible things that we get to see every single Sunday in services, Mondays in the office can seem overwhelming.
David wrote Psalm 18 right at the zenith of his kingly leadership. He was leading one of the most powerful nations in the region, a nation that had the additional responsibility of being the people of God, and David knew that war was approaching from without and mutiny was approaching from within. If I am tempted to think my job is stressful, I have to remember that my son hasn’t tried to kill me recently (as David’s son was attempting to do), and I don’t have to lead the most pigheaded and rebellious people on the planet.
So what did David pursue in order to find comfort, faith and even joy on his most difficult and troublesome days as king?
David allowed his view of the world to be shaped by who God is rather than by what he would be facing.
He looked back at the unchanging nature of God, and allowed his view of the world to be shaped by who God is rather than by what he would be facing. It’s a helpful thing to do.
David declared that God was his strength. He knew that God never gets tired from being strong, so David was free to be weak.
He declared that God was his rock, so David knew that he stood on solid ground.
He declared that God was his fortress, so David knew that he was safe and secure in God’s presence.
He declared that God was his deliverer. David knew that he would be rescued from his enemies and saved from himself.
He declared that God was his shield, so the blows and fiery darts of accusation from the enemy couldn’t pierce him.
He declared that God’s salvation was like a horn with which he could take ground. He didn’t just need to defend – he could use the gospel to assault the dark places.
He declared that God was worthy of praise. He just declared.
To what will you look in order to shape your worldview? Will you look to your surrounding circumstances, or will you look to your unchanging God and declare that He is, in fact, all the things that David said He was? The choice you make will determine how you get through your toughest days.
Singing as you plant
We need to hear that God is strong, solid, fortress-like, a faithful deliverer, our shield and our salvation.
Planting a church makes you feel weak, fragile, vulnerable, exposed, overwhelmed and under attack in every aspect of your life. To top it all, we feel pitifully unsuccessful. This is why we need to hear that God is strong, solid, fortress-like, a faithful deliverer, our shield and our salvation.
Not only do we need to hear it, we need to apply it to ourselves and our churches at every opportunity.
In Jesus, God is really our strength, our shield, our fortress, our salvation, our rock. As those united with him, his righteousness is ours, with all the Father’s constant help.
Father God, forgive me for the days when I let circumstances determine my faith in your goodness rather than letting my faith in your goodness determine my approach to my circumstances. Give me greater faith, please, Lord.