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My God is…fighting for me Psalm 35:1-3

Psalm 35:1-3 – Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;My God is fighting for 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

Definition of CONTEND

intransitive verb
1: to strive or vie in contest or rivalry or against difficulties :struggle
2: to strive in debate : argue
transitive verb
1: maintainassert <contended that he was right>
2: to struggle for : contest

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?

 
 

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My God is…a Lamp 2 Samuel 22:28-30

2 Samuel 22: 28-30 leaaping-over-wall

You save a humble people,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.
For you are my lamp, O Lord,
and my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

You save a humble people

I am called to be a humble person; To put God at the top of my list. Nothing else should be more important to me than the Lord. Unfortunately, all too often, I find myself trying to do things my own way, veering away from the Lord. I like to think that I have had great ideas, or that somehow I was responsible for the good things that happen in my life (the bad things, I’m often willing to say were God’s doing).

But your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down

Immediately upon reading this part of our verse for today, I am reminded of Psalm 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” I find that pretty much everything that has caused me grief is some how related to my pride. I think of myself instead of others or the Lord. I may even think myself better than others (and dare I say the Lord). Sure I can have those french fries, I’m worth it. Says who? It’s alright if I park in the reserved space, I’m only going to be a couple of minutes. I don’t have time to make the meal for that family. I have to get ready for a party. Whatever it is (and there are so many more examples), they all relate back to pride, or putting myself and my own needs above the needs of others.

For you are my lamp, O Lord,
and my God lightens my darkness.

But I am not left in my pit of prideful despair. The Lord is working on me, He is showing me my faults and like pealing away at an onion, each layer reveals something new I need to work on. Does God do this because I am such a disappointment to Him? No He does it because I am such a disappointment to myself. He points out (sometimes gently, sometimes blatantly) the things I need to work on, because it is in my best interest. He loves me and wants me to live free from all of my pride filled pains. He is a lamp showing my sin so that I don’t have to live with them anymore. Revealing the sickness so that I might be healed. It’s like going to the Dr and finding out you have a cracked rib. You knew you had a lot of pain in your ribs, but you didn’t know what was the source. Dr. God (sorry for the silliness) takes an x-ray of your chest and shows you that you’re indeed broken. Without God showing you your brokenness, you wouldn’t know what to do differently to allow you to heal.

We live in a sinful, painful world. I would venture to say that there isn’t one person out there who is reading this that hasn’t known some pain that has lingered on for years. But God can heal you of that pain. He is a lamp that will lighten your darkness.

For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Forgiveness is the stuff of freedom. Once we have been healed of our sins and are living with our Lord as the center of our lives we can find the confidence and freedom the end of this verse so displays. We can take on the world, and all its future hurts. We can leap tall buildings in a single bound! OK  we can leap over our problems and no longer be in pain because of them. He wants us to be freed from our sins, but often our pride, in the form of self loathing or self boasting get in the way of us seeing the hurt and dealing with it. I don’t know about you, but I want to have the Lord shine His light in my life, that I might have the confidence in this verse. That with the Lord all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Can you leap over a wall?

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in My God is a Lamp

 

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