Psalm 35:1-3 – Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to help me!
Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers;
say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me
What are you contending with? What are you fighting against? Is it something worth fighting for? In our lives we fight over a lot of things. We have a lot of things to contend with on a daily basis. Sometimes we feel like we’re contending with traffic, spouses, children, work and so much more. Sometimes we create the drama and contention ourselves. We see others as against us and everything becomes a battle. That’s not what God wants for us. He fought the battle against sin and won.
fight against those who fight against me
What if you didn’t fight? What if you took a step back and didn’t feel the need to prove that you were right or to fight for your way? What would happen? What if you trusted the Lord to fight your battles for you? I wonder if you’re thinking right now, but what if He doesn’t help me? When we give things over to God, we get a bit impatient. We want to see results quickly. We want the other person to admit that we were right and they were wrong. We want them to suffer for the unkind way they treated us. God’s way may not look like that. He may work in different ways. He may make them learn a lesson, but it might not be that you’re smarter, right or cuter than them. He may want them to learn humility, kindness or patience. Maybe He’s teaching that to you as well.
This weekend, my son was in a baseball tournament. They won their first game, but as they were about to start the second game, the coaches realized there were kids from a higher league on the other team. They asked the coaches from the other team about it and they denied that they were upper league players, but one of the kids admitted it. My son’s team began the game under protest. My son (a right fighter of sorts) was very upset that they were cheating. I told him to let his coaches fight this battle. Well, toward the end of the game, the manager of the tournament came over and had the other team forfeit because they had played using inappropriate players for this tournament. The coaches had fought the fight for their players. God does the same thing for us. At first it didn’t look like their “protest” was going to get the team anywhere. You couldn’t tell that it was being sorted out. But it was. The game was played as normal, but the outcome was anything but normal. Our team lost, but they won. Our lives are not always as clear-cut as we would like them to be. People try to cheat and steal to get ahead. They’re willing to tear you down to build themselves up.
say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
But our salvation, our saving grace is not from us, it is from our Lord. He can sort out all of our problems, and when we allow Him to take the lead in our battles, they often get over more quickly and turn out better than we could have expected. So back to that question, what would it look like if you didn’t fight battles, but instead handed them over to God? Would you get walked all over, or would the Lord take up the battle for you and allow you to have victory over the evil in your life? I believe that if you give your troubles to Him, He will be your salvation. He will be trustworthy. The beauty is that when God fights your battles, He’s not worried about your pride. When I get into a fight or an argument, usually it is because I am beating a dead horse trying to prove that I am right. My pride gets in the way of progress. I am willing to bleed to death if I could just get the other person to say, “You’re right Jill”. But to be honest, usually when I’m in a fight, I’m not right. I’m fighting because I’m embarrassed I made a mistake. Or I might be fighting because I felt slighted (another pride and entitlement issue). But it is not because I’m trying to protect others, provide for others or correct some other injustice. I am more selfish than that. So if I stopped fighting and hand my frustration over to God, I can promise you it would come out better than me taking care of it on my own.
What do you have to contend with?