God’s Help in the Battle

Psalm 20 is a Psalm of David and is entitled “A Plea for God’s Help”. Although not much is known as to the history or the reason for this Psalm, it is believed to be a call for the Lord’s help as the king and the armies of Israel go off into the battle.

On a daily basis, those of us who are saved enter the battle field of Satan. The Bible gives us the tools that we need to be victorious over his tricks. Psalm 20 is one of those tools that we can use to fight this battle. Notice, if you will, that the petitions that are raised invoke the omnipotent power of God’s protection for His people.
1. The Lord hears in our time of trouble – v. 1
When we cry out to the Lord, He hears us. The Psalmist in the 17th Psalm cries out in verse six, “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.” The confidence that we have in the Lord is that He hears us and bows down His ear to us.
2. The Lord will defend thee – v. 1
The Bible tells us that the Lord is our buckler, shield, and mighty tower. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Ps 18:2).” All of these speak to the defense that we have in the Lord.
3. The Lord will send help- v. 2
As I read the Bible, I find that in many instances where the God of Heaven sends help at just the right time. Sisera was bearing down on the children of Israel with his chariots of iron. The Lord sent a rain that muddied the mountains and caused the chariots to stick in the muck and mire. Sisera fled on foot and came to the tent of Jael. She fed him and gave him respite so he could rest and while he slept, she drove a tent spike through his head. The novice would say, coincidence; but the child of God knows that the Lord is his defense in times of trouble.
4. The Lord will remember thy offerings – v. 3
The sacrifices and offerings that the Lord desires from His children is a “broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:16).” Too many times we allow pride and arrogance to get in the way of our relationship with the Lord. We think, “I got this.” We need to be sure that we humble ourselves and allow God to have the control of our lives.
5. The Lord will accept our sacrifices – v. 3
The Lord told Israel that He was tired of their sacrifices because they were given in an attitude of obligation and not from the heart. If we want God to accept the gifts that we give to Him, we should give them out of a heart of love and adoration for what He has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord accepts those gifts that are heart gifts.
6. The Lord will grant the desire of your heart – v. 4
The 21st Psalm has an amazing truth to behold on this point. “The king shall joy in Thy strength, O Lord; and in Thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah (Psalm 21:1, 2).” The theologians can’t agree on the definition of the word ‘Selah’; but the basic meaning is ‘stop, meditate, and chew on this truth.’ If that is the meaning, then we need to muse over the fact that the Lord gives us the desires of our heart. The truth is that when our hearts are in tune with His heart through the Holy Spirit, our desires and His desires are going to be one in the same!
7. The Lord will fulfill all His counsel – v. 4
Can we trust the Lord to do what is best for us? Absolutely! He wants the best for his children and He delights in meeting our needs! Ps 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

What is the result of God’s defense of His children? What is the natural response of His goodness to us? The answer is found in verse 5.
1. We will rejoice in Thy salvation.
2. We will set up Thy banners in Your name. The banners raised identify us with the One for whom we fight. The American Flag is the standard for us who are Americans. That flag was lifted over the ramparts as the rockets flamed in the night. The Flag of our Saviour is stained red with the blood of the martyrs who stood for the faith of God. We, too, should lift the Banner of God to this lost and dying world.
3. We will receive the answer to our prayers and we trust the Lord in the midst of our trials and tribulations.

The Encourager becomes the Encouraged

    First John 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    The purpose of my Blog is to encourage and help people realize the Goodness of the Lord. Therefore, I strive to be an encourager. However, this past month has been a blur for my family and me. Normally everything goes along well (except when the devil fights tooth and nail every step that we take); my health has always been good, the health of my family has always been good, and we live a life trusting the Lord for everything.

    Rewind to the beginning of January. We had scheduled a Stewardship Campaign for February 10 through March 10. Speaker prearranged, plans made, messages and Sunday School lessons ready to be taught, Banquet set up, etc. Now comes the fun part! We are praying that God will do an amazing thing in the lives of our people and that we will all learn to Trust the Lord in everything.

    That is where it all began, in my estimation. At the end of January I got sick. The strong able bodied individual that I am, I usually try to “suffer” through my annual bout with bronchitis. Well, after missing a Wednesday night service (something I never do) my wife began to become alarmed at my slow recovery. So when I fell on the couch Friday morning with no oxygen and no energy and unable to lift myself off the couch, she insisted that I go to the doctor (I’m still working on my forgiveness of this move :0); I strongly dislike going to the doctor. Well, with tests and evaluations it was determined that I had the flu, a bacterial infection, and bronchitis! (I never do anything without fanfare!) Course of action: three shots (that is the worst part, I HATE shots), antibiotics and steroids and a prognostication that I would be down four weeks!

    When was the start of our Stewardship Campaign, class? Yes, February 10th and I could not preach! I could not get out of bed! Incidentally, Brother Kevin Bowling did an awesome job with the message. This is how it has gone for the whole month of February.

    Now, my son is sick in the hospital and we have had to miss more church and we have not been there for all the extra blessings that have come our way because of the faithfulness of our people to get behind this campaign and Trust the Lord!

    The basis of this Blog is to say “Thank you” to all those that have responded in Prayer for my son and I. I have posted prayer requests on Twitter and Facebook. So many have responded to the call for prayer on our behalf. Many have called to check on us. Pastors, missionaries, and evangelists have been so kind to check and recheck with us. Friends and family have gone the extra mile to encourage us. Finally, many have come to the hospital and encouraged us through all of this. And our loving church family has picked up the slack and been such a blessing to my family.

    What have we learned? Many valuable lessons that we could not and would not have learned if we were not in this valley at this busy time of our lives. I see the awesomeness of a Loving God, a loving family that has helped in many ways, a loving church, and many others that have prayed and lifted us up.

    Thank you all for encouraging my family and I as we slowly recover from this trial and use what we have learned to help encourage others. Thanks to you all!

P.S. This blog was written March 3rd. Since then the Stewardship Campaign has run its full course and God blessed abundantly! Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I pray this blog has been an encouragement to you.

Stewardship

“The most important aspect of tithing and stewardship is not the raising of money for the church, but the development of devoted Christians.” Fred M. Wood

    When you hear the word “stewardship” in the local church most attendees say under their breath, “Here we go again, another message on tithing. That’s all our preacher knows, money, money, money.”

    Stewardship is more than money, money, money. Stewardship is about learning to trust the Lord in all things. It is trusting Him to help you in witnessing for Him. It is trusting Him to help you through the difficult issues you face in your life. It is trusting Him when you do not see the answer. It is trusting Him with all your worldly possessions.

    Stewardship is defined as “taking oversight of another’s possessions.” We are stewards of God’s possessions! God has entrusted us with everything that we have: our houses, our cars, our jobs, our children, and every other possession that we own. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” As stewards over God’s possessions, we are to be found faithful. Faithfulness means that we are to faithfully administer God’s possessions for His Glory.

    Stewarding our homes is important. Following God’s plan for the home: i.e. husbands and wives submitting to one another under the authority of Christ. Children obeying their parents in the Lord for this is right. When our homes have the right order, there is harmony and peace.

    Stewarding our finances. When a person has a proper relationship with their finances they will trust the Lord to help them in making the right decisions in spending, buying, saving, and giving. Giving to the Lord should never be done out of necessity or burden, but out of a willing heart, trusting the Lord in all things.

    Stewarding our jobs. Our jobs should never control our lives. By that I do not mean that we are to take our employment lightly or arbitrarily. We should work for our employer faithfully, honestly, and with loyalty. We should be good stewards of our time while we are on the job and do the best job that we can. We should not take off or be late excessively. We should not use the employer’s time to: talk on the phone (unless it is for the company); text and use social media (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.); waste time talking, gossiping, and sleeping.

    Stewarding our time. Our time should be guarded with the utmost care. Wasting time on such things as television, the internet, social media, and other things that detract from time with the Lord, the Church, and the family. As good stewards of our time, we should make time for Bible reading, prayer, and the work of the Lord.

    The next time that the preacher mentions stewardship your mind should evaluate how you are doing in terms of your time, talent, and tithe. Trust the Lord to lead you and guide you in your service to Him. I guarantee you that He will never infringe on your family time, rest time, or your finances without rewarding you abundantly.