Bible Reading: Psalm 3
“O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” (Psalm 3:1-2)
David and the Psalmists had many human enemies. However, their enemies were not enemies because of personal resentment or vengeance. God prohibited those kinds in Leviticus 19:17-18. Since the beginning, God had commanded His people to “love your neighbour as yourself”. These enemies were enemies because they were people who intentionally opposed God and His people. David and the Psalmists cry out to God that He will uphold His people, His kingdom, His truth in this world lest it is overcome by the powers of darkness working in the enemy of God’s people.
The question is, when was the last time our personal lives related to one of these psalms of lament crying for delivery from an enemy. Have we ever been persecuted? Have we ever had the grace to experience God’s divine intervention as David did when He remembered, “I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me” (Psalm 3:4-5)? Jesus put it simply in Matthew 10:22, “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” Followers of Jesus have enemies because there will be people who hate God and so will hate His people.
Why are our Christian lives relatively easygoing? The most we struggle with are only personal concerns. Rarely do we suffer for the truth. Rarely do we have to stand up and put our lives on the line to defend God’s ways in this world. Why is this so?
The missionary, Jim Elliot, once wrote during his college days:
We are so utterly, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the twentieth century does not reckon with. But we are ‘harmless’ and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are ‘sideliners’ — coaching and criticising the real wrestlers, while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh, that God would make us dangerous!Taken from Shadow Of The Almighty: The life and testimony of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot (Ch. 7)
Sadly, this is the condition of our faith currently. There is no need for the devil to oppose us with enemies because we are too much like our enemies. Satan has put us to sleep with comfort, luxury, and a pleasant life. There is no need to fight when the enemy has already comfortably won.
Oh, that our prayer would be in line with Jim’s, “that God would make us dangerous!” How small is our faith in God. How weak is our trust and obedience to Him. We must pray that God will revive us once again that we may learn to know Him as David did, that we may say for ourselves, “You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Psalm 3:3). May God have mercy to raise up soldiers for the Cross and quicken many Christians of this generation from their slumber.
Lord, forgive us for our faith is too small. Forgive us for the world tastes too sweet for us. Teach us to disgust at the world’s bitterness, to know its evils and oppose it harshly. Make us soldiers of the Cross, willing and ready to serve You. Above all, draw us nearer to You. Only those who are used by You greatly get to know You more deeply. Oh, that we would know You as David did, as Jim Elliot did. Make the words of the Psalms our own experience. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.