Does It Matter?

25 06 2013


It is unfortunate that sometimes the words we need to hear from the Lord are the ones that we are most familiar with and, so, we are quicker to dismiss them.  There is a deception circulating the body of Christ whose emphasis is Freedom in Christ, but whose end result is Freedom of the Flesh.

Are we free in Christ to do whatever we want?

In terms of losing our salvation?  Yes; yes, we are.

In terms of staying close to the Lord and maintaining the kind of anointing that furthers His kingdom, the answer is a solid “ABSOLUTELY NOT.”

(Titus 1:16)  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

(1 John 3:1-3) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When the Apostle Paul exhorts us that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery,” he is referring to slavery to the kind of legalism that says a person must add to what Christ did on the cross in order to be saved (5:4).  The key thought of the Book of Galatians is “Salvation by Faith.”

The people who perpetuate the notion that Freedom in Christ means that we can do whatever we want because we are saved, tend to not continue on past the first verses of the fifth chapter of Galatians, because it clearly shows that true salvation walks in the Spirit, where the Spirit walks, and how the Spirit walks, and therefore, bears the Fruit of the Spirit.

(Galatians 5:16-25) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 

There are clearly two options for the believer:  walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit.  And that is where our freedom lies.  You the direction you want to go, but we must realize that the direction DOES matter.

(Galatians 6:7-9) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 

The seeds of the flesh sprout quickly and bear fruit that satisfies momentarily.  The fruit eaten, though, quickly turns to poison and begins to produce death.

The seeds of the Spirit sprout slower, because the roots are going deeper to produce a solid stalk on which to bear the kind of fruit that satisfies permanently; it satisfies the soul, and continues to bear more fruit, so that it becomes a source of life.

(James 1:14-15) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 

According to James, it is our very own desire that gets us into trouble.  We falsely assume that lust refers only sexual desires so as long as we aren’t having actual physical sexual intercourse outside of marriage, these verses do not apply to us.  Not so, the word means “a deep longing for anything, especially for that which is forbidden.”  It is our desires that bait us, they seduce us.  We enjoy the flirty, never really intending to go any further with it; but by the nature of bait, it gets its hooks in and does not let go until we are lying in a pan as dinner for the enemy.

(Titus 2:11-14 ESV) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, training us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, looking for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.

The grace of God saves AND instructs us.  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to behavior that isn’t characteristic of the Lord (1 John 2:3-6).  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to the seemingly tasty morsels the world offers us (1 John 2:15-17).  The grace of God also trains us to live in such a way that we control SELF and choose to live the kind of lives that reflect our Savior (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:5-9).  The focus is not on what we do as much as on WHO we are doing it for.

(1 Corinthians 6:12, 20)  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful to me, but I will not be mastered by anything… For you have been bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body.

Some would point out that there is no specific commandment from God regarding particular behaviors, and so they have freedom to exercise them if they choose.  That is when it is important to remember that sin is a direction, not a line that we cross.  Have you ever wondered how a solid believer can fall so hard and land so far from the things of the Lord without even seeming to care?  It is because they assumed they could dance so close to the line of sin and not fall victim to its lures.  This is foolishness and the enemy delights in it.

(Romans 13:11-14) Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Some will point out that they are very involved in church, that they love the Lord, and that they are still in their Word everyday, so a little smoking here, an inappropriate movie there, a tiny dip into the pool of fantasy through video games or daydreams… isn’t a big deal. What they don’t realize is that they have a tiny island of rock on which they have one foot standing, in the middle of acres of quicksand; and it won’t take but a little bit to blow them right off their foundation into the miry depths waiting for them (Matthew 7:24-27).

(Philippians 3:7-12) But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 

Any area of behavior that we feel the need to defend with a self-righteous argument of freedom in Christ should probably give us cause to wonder if the enemy has inadvertently found a place in which to put a hook.

(Philippians 2:14-16) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…

What does your behavior say to the world around you?  Does it scream to the lost that you love the Lord enough to follow Him, even when it means not being able to do the things that you’d really like to do? 

(John 12:25-26) He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

If you are truly saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you were rescued from the land of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of God as His kid (John 1:12; Colossians 1:13-14); and you have the freedom to choose (Joshua 24:15).  Your choice in any given area reflects the whole of your choice.  Choose Life for your own sake and for the sake of those around you (Deuteronomy 30:15-17).

(Ephesians 4:1)  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.


Loving His Way

18 07 2012

Psalms 119:128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.

  •  Right:  straight or even, as in a level that is dead on with no variation from center point
  • Precepts:  those things entrusted to man, for which he is responsible
  • Hate:  to hate personally
  • False:  untruth, sham, deceit
  • Way:  well-trodden path

The things You have given to me to do are in all ways right, therefore, I personally hate all the well trodden, but false paths.

The psalmist recognized that narrow is the path of God and wide is the path of deceit.  Jesus is THE way (John 14:6) and He is always straight and true.  Many are the ways of the enemy who tantalizes us with all his lies to try to dissuade us to follow his ways.  He isn’t concerned which we choose, as long as it isn’t the one the Lord has given us.

 This godly man was not indifferent to anything, but that which he did not love he hated. He was no chip in the porridge without flavour; he was a good lover or a good hater, but he was never a waverer…  His detestation was as unreserved as his affection; he had not a good word for any practice which would not bear the light of truth. The fact that such large multitudes follow the broad road had no influence upon this holy mail, except to make him more determined to avoid every form of error and sin. May the Holy Spirit so rule in our hearts that our affections may be in the same decided condition towards the precepts of the word. — C. H. Spurgeon

The psalmist could clearly know the difference between the right way and the false way because he was absolutely and firmly immersed in the truth.  To have his confidence and his sure convictions, we must be in the Word, know the Word, and live the Word.  Counterfeits cannot stand the test of The Word, and so the best insurance we have against going the wrong way is walking true to the whole council of God’s Word.

 Never flounder on the rocks of indecision.  The call of My heart to you is for your utter abandon to the waters of My will.”  — F. J. Roberts

Your will for me, O Lord, is always right and true.  Confirm it to me as I seek You and Your Word.  Fill me so full of Your truth that any and all counterfeits are detestable to me.  You are the only way for me and as I walk with You, I can trust that all will be well and good.

No Enemy Com

8 07 2012

Psalms 119:115 Depart from me, evildoers, That I may observe the commandments of my God.

Throughout this long psalm, the psalmist has talked with God and with himself (through meditation).  He has been surrounded by, hunted by, and in battle with the wicked and arrogant almost continually.  Yet, out of 176 verses, he only speaks directly to his enemies once.  That is less than 1% of his communication.  He actively resists the enemy, rather than engaging him in a conversation that will encourage him to hang around.  The Book of Jude pronounces a woe upon those who would spend too much time and energy speaking to or with the enemy.  Eve is a good example of the problems of associating too much with the enemy.  Certainly her downfall was inevitable when she began to talk back to the serpent.  Many an illicit relationship has begun and marriages ruined by simple conversation.

 What a beautiful title for the Lord this verse contains! The word God only occurs in this one place in all this lengthened psalm, and then it is attended by the personal word “my” — “my God.” — C. H. Spurgeon

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

This would seem, at first glance, to support a growing notion among some believers today that being completely sequestered from the evil of this world is the only way to be protected from its harmful effects.  However, let’s consider some of the Lord’s commands to you and I, such as:

  1. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)
  2. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)
  3. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; “nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)

Wait a second… don’t these two ideas seem to contradict one another?  How can I resist the enemy, refusing to engage him in conversation and still actively be involved in communicating to the Lost?

The principle is simple:  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)  Our enemy works through people, using them as pawns to inflict his evil upon us.  We silence the enemy and do not allow him space in our thoughts or conversations; but we are actively engaged in working to set free those held captive by that same enemy.  We are ambassadors bringing the good news of reconciliation to God; we are not ever to negotiate peace with the enemy.  (2 Corinthians 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20)

  2 Corinthians 1:12  For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

So, what does that mean in my life?

When the enemy stands in my path, I tell him to get out of the way, and keep moving on my merry way, arm and arm with the Lord. I actively leave those who has departed from God.   I don’t allow them to sideline me in anyway lest I tarry in disobedience for evil companionship is incompatible with godly advance.  But, I also am not afraid to share the Good News with others willing to listen as I go.

 As if he had said, talk no more of it, save your breath, I am resolved on my course, I have sworn, and am steadfastly purposed to keep the commandments of my God; with God’s help, there will I hold me, and all the world shall not wrest me from it. –Robert Sanderson, 1587-1663.

Lord, I am not always quick enough to recognize the enemy as I walk in my daily life.  Give me specific wisdom to see him and his schemes and to react appropriately.  May I trust You to go before me and be my rear guard.  And, may I refuse to engage the enemy in any kind of communication and simply let YOU handle him.  Thank You for Your great grace in being willing to walk with me, to protect me, and to move on my behalf.  You are a faithful and good God, and I worship You!


Living in A Foxhole

2 07 2012

Psalms 119:109 My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law.

The psalmist was not ignorant of the danger in which he lived.  Our existence is always fragile at best, but when one lives a life dedicated to the Lord and at odds with the world about him, he abides with a bigger target on his back.  The psalmist wasn’t depressed or angry about his situation, for he was a man familiar with the necessities of battle in order to ensure the security of his kingdom.  Believers ever live with the same necessity, but in a culture where we are too comfortable in the freedom bought by the sacrifice of others we are more inclined to surrender than to fight.

The psalmist, as always, let his spiritual foundation be the ground on which he walked, even in danger.  He also penned the magnificent 23rd Psalm in which he made the same commitment and faith:

 (Psalms 23:1-6)  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 They say that all things are fair in love and war; but the holy man thought not so: while he carried his life in his hand, he also carried the law in his heart. No danger of body should make us endanger our souls by forgetting that which is right. Trouble makes many a man forget his duty, and it would have had the same effect upon the Psalmist if he had not obtained quickening (Ps 119:107) and teaching (Ps 119:108). In his memory of the Lord’s law lay his safety; he was certain not to be forgotten of God, for God was not forgotten of him. It is a special proof of grace when nothing can drive truth out of our thoughts, or holiness out of our lives. If we remember the law even when death stares us in the face, we may be well assured that the Lord is remembering us. — C. H. Spurgeon

While there may be no atheists in foxholes, but the Enemy has done a good job of fooling us into thinking our foxhole is summer cottage.  What is YOUR foxhole?  Where are you in the most danger?  Physically?  Emotionally?  Spiritually?  Our lives are continually being threatened because we have an Enemy who is relentless and never tires of finding ways to steal, kill, and destroy God’s kids.  Even so, we do not have face that threat unarmed.  Everything we need is in the arms of our Dread Champion.  We need only be strong in HIS strength, through His Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 (Ephesians 6:10-18) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

Oh, Lord, don’t let me be fooled into thinking my foxhole is a summer cottage.  May I always be aware that my life is continually in danger from the enemy’s influence and attack.  Draw me close to You and protect me.  Arm me with the best defense, the sword of Your Spirit.  Protect me with Your truth and holiness.  In all of it, keep my heart soft and warm towards others but steely cold against all unrighteousness.  You, O Lord, are a shield about me, You’re my glory, and the lifter of my head; and I trust You with my life.

No Pet Lies

26 06 2012

Psalms 119:104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

  •  Precepts:  refers to something entrusted to man; mandates for which man is responsible
  • Understanding:  to separate mentally; to distinguish
  • Hate:  personally detest
  • False:  a lie; a sham; deceit
  • Way:  A well trodden path

 We are wise if we obey and we grow wise by obeying! — C. H. Spurgeon

The psalmist’s ability to separate things mentally using the principles God entrusted to him brought about the result of properly placed affections.  He not only found God’s Word totally tasty and delectable, but also found every lie and untruth extremely distasteful.  His ongoing spiritual education had refined his taste buds to the point that only the things pertaining Truth were at all pleasing.

What are some well trodden paths of deceit?

  1. Self-righteousness
  2. Pride
  3. Worldlines
  4. Hypocrisy
  5. Unbelief
  6. Immorality

 The psalmist detests them all, holding no “pet lies” affectionately to himself.  He is not of the kind that “spits out some sins, when he rolls others as sweet morsels in his mouth” (George Swinnock).

Doing what we are supposed to do and going where we are supposed to go, with whom we are supposed to be in company, puts us in the best place to love and follow the right way and to hate and turn from the wrong way.  The children of Israel chose to follow the Lord out of captivity, until the road got a little rough and they began to remember some of the lovely things they had left behind.  If we don’t loathe the things from which we have turned, we WILL return to them… even if it is in a whiney unbelieving attitude.

Love is the difference.  If we love our flesh, we will find that the well trodden paths of deceit are so alluring that we will find ourselves on them without even realizing it.  If we love the Lord, however, even should we find ourselves headed down one of those paths of deceit, we will turn quickly and return to Him.  Love is a commitment and is not a feeling, and that is never more true than in our relationship with the Lord.  We commit to follow Him, to love Him, to obey Him… and then we trust Him to give us what we need to follow Him, to love Him, and to obey Him.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”

Lord, only You can give me the desire to follow after You, the ability to follow after You, and the affections to keep me following after You.  I need You!  You said that if we abide in You, You would come abide with us.  I come to You and, in faith, I trust You to come to me.  Let me distinguish between the things that “feel” good and the things that are actually good because they are Yours.  May I hate ALL the paths of deceit and love Yours.

The Arrogant Resurface

7 06 2012

Psalms 119:78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts.

The prideful are ever the enemy of the psalmist.  In this verse he gave us yet another view of the way the arrogant operate.  They actively worked to subvert him with a lie.  Or in other words, they planned to pervert him with things that were not true.  The enemy does not work to destroy what he can pervert for his own use.  In fact, he prefers that because knows that if he can just muddy the waters of a believer a bit with a well chosen lie, then the truth will be less and less visible in the life of that believer.

Notice that the enemy uses the arrogant to take his distorted message to the man of God.  The biggest lie of all is the one the enemy whispers affectionately in the ear of those who love themselves that says, “All you need is a good self esteem.”  The enemy is a master advertiser who sells his lies to appeal to our eyes, to our affections, and to our desires.  The definition of pride is putting a high value of self.  The “Have It Your Way” slogan was employed by the enemy long before Burger King was even a glimmer of a thought.  It is unfortunate that his lie has been allowed to infiltrate the American Church who so often promotes the idea that Jesus died to save us from a poor self esteem.

The psalmist, however was wise to the enemy’s plan to corrupt him.  Rather than let himself fall victim to their enticements, he chose to meditate, to mull over, to spend time thinking about the Truth.  The arrogant only succeed in their perversion when we allow them time in our head.

 Truths lie hid in the heart without efficacy or power, till improved by deep, serious, and pressing thoughts…A sudden carrying a candle through a room, giveth us not so full a survey of the object, as when you stand a while beholding it. A steady contemplation is a great advantage. –Thomas Manton.

Humility is kryptonite of the arrogant.  They hate it, avoid it, and fight actively to destroy it.  Therefore, the humble are the natural enemies of those who belong to the Pride Camp.  The psalmist’s greatest weapon against this enemy was his submission to the Lord.  We cannot have a high Self-esteem and a high Christ-esteem, and the enemy knows it, so he ever works to build the sham that we must first value ourselves before we can value others (including the Lord).

David’s enemies fought against him with the weapons of the flesh, wickedness and falsehood: he withstands them by the armour of the Spirit; not meeting wickedness with wickedness, and falsehood with falsehood. For if we fight against Satan with Satan’s weapons he will soon overcome us; but if we put upon us the complete armour of God to resist him, he shall flee from us. –William Cowper.

At first glance, we might think that the psalmist is being unmerciful to the arrogant, wanting God to pour out shame on them because of their lies and pride.  If this were the case, it would seem hypocritical for him to want the mercy of God for himself, but refuse it to his enemies.  However, I believe it is mercy that cries out for shame for those who are imprisoned with pride.  The only thing that breaks through the bars that hold the arrogant bound is that which exposes the enemy’s lies.  Without eyes to see what their pride really looks like, they are doomed to stay in it.  Shame that brings conviction to the arrogant is the very thing that may bring them to the Lord.

(Luke 18:7-8) “Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly… ” 

 Let us always tend to the word, and keep within the bounds of that, and fight with the weapons that it lendeth us…If we would give over ourselves to God and his word, and admit nothing but that which agreeth to the word, then should we be made wiser than our enemies. –Richard Greenham

What does this mean for me?  It means that if I want to avoid falling for the enemy’s carefully designed advertisements, I need to make sure that I am aware that he is actively trying to pervert me with his lies.  I also need to make sure that I keep his commrades in Pride at arms length so that they aren’t allowed to influence my own ability to see the Truth.  And lastly, I need to let all that God is and all that He has for me determine how I feel about myself and what I will do.

The wonderful thing about the Truth of God’s Word is that the more value we place on the Lord, the more precious and valuable we actually become.  Self-esteem is the enemy’s lie that we become something valuable by feeling good about ourselves.  Christ-esteem is the truth that we become something valuable by believing the Truth about God.

(Romans 4:2-3) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 

Lord, I am so prone to believe the lies that build my own self.  Fill me with Your truth and wash me continually with it so that I am aware of the lies and have the power through the Holy Spirit to stand firm against them.  Bring shame to those who are actively seeking to pervert me with the enemy’s agenda to promote myself.  Even if that person is me… so that I may stay humble before You.  Let my Christ-esteem grow as my Self-esteem is defeated for the lie that it is.

Lies Don’t Need to Stick

29 05 2012

Psalms 119:69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.

The psalmist sandwiches the issue that is bothering him between the truth of God, where it belongs.  Our troubles ought never to have precedence over anything, otherwise we follow them down a path of destruction.  Nor should they bring up our rear, as if they are dogs nipping at our back side driving us toward depression and discouragement.  Properly placed, issues seem less intimidating (and, in truth, they are).  We will never be overwhelmed by troubles that are compared to the goodness and good work of God Himself in us, around us, for us, and through us.

The psalmist’s trouble comes once again from the mouths of the prideful.  Verse 51 spoke of the way they mocked him with great disrespect.  Later on, we’ll see that their lie is not accidental but a purposeful attempt to pervert him through their deceit.  The arrogant are naturally the enemies of the righteous.

  •  Ps 119:21  You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, Who wander from Your commandments.
  •  Ps 119:51  The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
  •  Ps 119:78  May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts.
  •  Ps 119:85  The arrogant have dug pits for me, Men who are not in accord with Your law.
  •  Ps 119:122 Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me.

Those who move forward in humility and service to God alone will always find opposition from the prideful, both in the church and without.  Humility automatically sets itself at odds with the arrogant:   Joseph experienced the barbs of the arrogant at the mouth of Potiphar’s wife who falsely accused him.  Daniel experienced them through the “wise men” who set him up as subversive to the King’s command.    Moses too experiened it through his own people who continually cast doubt on his ability and authority to lead them.  Jesus is the best example of the war between the arrogant and the Godly.  His very existence was a burr under the saddle of the religious elite of His day.

The primary weapon of the arrogant is deceit and its target is always those bowed humbly before God.  Those who are prepared for the assault will be better able to fight it.

  • Forge:  to stick on as a patch; to impute falsely.
  •  Lie:  an untruth; a sham

Do we not see the same tactic being circulated pervasively throughout our culture today?  Born again believers are continually being portrayed as radical, violent, bigoted, uncontrollable hot heads who are secretly harboring all sorts of perverted activities.  Good is called bad and bad is called good, and the lies are circulated so often that it gets harder and harder to discern which is which.

The psalmist’s return fire was to continue to live obediently to God.  We act out of our beliefs, so the psalmist believed God more than he believed the lies.  Truth of God’s Word is the only armor that keep the lies from sticking and it is the only weapon that extinguishes their fire.  Sometimes we mistakenly think that if we are put on the full armor of the Truth and keep the Sword of the Spirit in our hands that the lies and the battle will stop.  It won’t, this side of heaven.  But, having the proper armor and weapons will bring victory in the battle and peace in the heart of the soldier.

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.

 When slanders drive us to more resolute and careful obedience they work our lasting good; falsehood hurled against us may be made to promote our fidelity to the truth, and the malice of men may increase our love to God. If we try to answer lies by our words we may be beaten in the battle; but a holy life is an unanswerable refutation of all calumnies. Spite is balked if we persevere in holiness despite all opposition. — C. H. Spurgeon

When we trust the Lord enough to obey His marching orders at all times, we will find ourselves well armed for a victorious stand against the lies forged against us.  Deceit can’t stick to the Truth of God’s Word lived out.

Lord God, sometimes I just grow weary of the fight.  Raise up Your banner of Truth in my heart and mind, filling me with Your Holy Spirit of love, power and a sound mind so that I let Your Word stick and not the lies that threaten me.  May I go forth in the knowledge of Who You Are, humbly obeying all You have asked.