This month’s Lesson from the Psalms comes fromPsalm 3. But first:
Interesting facts From the Book of Psalms:
Last month we learned that the book of Psalms is actually a compilation of songs, written by many different authors over many hundreds of years. An interesting fact about the Psalms for this month is this: It is believed the songs were compiled into their existing order during the lifetime of Ezra in the fourth century BC. We do not know why this order was chosen. All we know is that it was not assembled based on author or chronology, for the songs of the different writers are intermixed throughout the entire collection.
Over the past 8 months, we have looked at eight individual Psalms and how these powerful songs can empower us, rendering our prayer life stronger and increasing our faith. Today’s lesson comes fromPsalms 3, a Psalm of David, from them time period when David fled from his son, Absalom. This Psalm provides us with an excellent model for spiritual warfare:
Step 1: Recognizing the enemy…
“O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
So many are saying,
‘God will never rescue him!'” (vs. 1-2 NLT)
We’ve all been there. Perhaps we are there right now.
We need to remember that though our enemies may appear to be of flesh and blood, or they may seem to be circumstantial in nature–disease, death, financial difficulties, loss of home or job, etc.–our deadliest enemy is spiritual in nature: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12 NLT). These spiritual forces orchestrate and coordinate the problems and trials of life, using them to weaken us for the full-force attacks of doubt, unforgiveness, discouragement, depression, anxiety, fear, control, etc. Is it any wonder we feel so overwhelmed, so beaten up, so defeated? Is it any wonder we cry out, like David of old, “O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me” (Ps. 3:1 NLT)?
Step 2: Recognizing God’s power…
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.” (vs. 3-4 NLT)
Once we have recognized the true nature of our enemy, we need to remember that Christ has already defeated the devil: “For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” (Heb. 2:14b NLT. See also1 John 3:8,Col. 1:13, etc). We must remember that in Him, we have access to God’s power, for God is our refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1-3;Ps. 91:2,Deut. 33:27, etc.). He is our shield (seePs. 84:9,Ps. 5:12,Ps. 18:2,2 Sam. 22:3, etc.) He is our glory (seeIs. 60:19). When we cry out to Him, He answers us (seePs. 34:17,1 John 5:14,Ps. 66:19,John 9:31,1 Peter 3:12, etc)!
The second powerful lesson about spiritual warfare from these next two verses ofPsalms 3 is that in our time of trouble, we need to recognize God’s love, power, strength and supremacy!
Part 3: Lesson in trust…
“I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.” (vs. 5-6 NLT)
After we recognize who the real enemy is and we remind ourselves of God’s supremacy and love, the next step is to put our unwavering faith in the Solution-Giver.
It’s easy enough to say we trust God, but the real test is this: Will we lay down ‘in the back of the boat’, so to speak, and ‘go to sleep’? Will we have the confidence that we don’t need to do anything, for the Lord is watching over us? Will we have that peace that allows us to sleep during spiritual warfare? This is the kind of faith God seeks, and it is the third powerful lesson on spiritual warfare thatPsalms 3 has to teach us: Our faith in God should be so unfailing that we can literally sleep in peace knowing that God is watching over us and knowing that there is no need to fear the 10,000s of enemies surrounding us!
Lesson Four: Taking action…
“Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.” (vs. 7-8 NLT)
When we put our unwavering trust in the Solution-Giver, the One who has already defeated the enemy, then we can rise up with confidence, knowing our prayer will be answered. We can in faith call out to God: “Arise…Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!” for we are assured that,“Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people.”
Whatever it is you’re going through right now, why not take these important steps outlined in Psalms 3:
1. Recognize the enemy;
2. Recognize God’s love and supremacy;
3. Put your total faith in Him;
4. Rise up in the power of Jesus’ name and claim victory.
Next, take a few moments to pray Psalms 3 over your current problems!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Lessons From the Psalms” mini-series, please click here.)