God’s Presence Is One of the Greatest Indicators of a Battle Won

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The Bible is an irreplaceable source of encouragement in the life of the Christian. This may seem like an obvious statement, but so are many of the commands of Scripture after the Christian has heard them one hundred times before. Nevertheless, the Scriptures make it clear that there are matters pertaining to the Christian faith that must be brought up by way of reminder.

One area of specific concern, as it pertains to this article, has to do with the encouragement that can be derived during times of battle. The book of Psalms can be read in couple of different ways. First, for instance, one can read the Psalms and see the many people that brought hardship in the life of David. The Christian can see how David sought the Lord and trusted in God in the midst of these trials as his enemies sought his life or his ruin.

The other way is to read those same stories and think about the spiritual battles that we face today. The enemy will seek to destroy the Christian, much like David’s physical enemies sought to destroy David during his day. Scripture allows this interpretation, as it makes it clear that the Christian is, in fact, fighting in a spiritual war: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…” (Eph. 6:12), and, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh” (2 Cor. 10:3). The reality for each Christian, whether he knows it or not, is that there is an enemy who is seeking to destroy him.

Maybe you have physical enemies in your life who are seeking to come against you. If not, you can know for sure that you are in a spiritual battle. Psalm 9:3-4 gives the Christian great hope that God is in the midst.

God is present in battle

Scripture says, “When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence” (Ps. 9:3). The believer would be hard pressed to find a more reassuring statement than this. This same statement is said in different ways in similar circumstances throughout Scripture. One of the greatest displays of the blessing found in this verse can be read within the book of Joshua. In Joshua, God tells His people that He will never leave them nor forsake them.

In other words, God’s presence will be with them in battle. It is also said in the Bible that God’s presence should drive away fear from the life of the Christian. As David’s enemies came against him, he knew that God was in the midst. Psalm 9:3 tells us that it was the very presence of God that would fight for David and fight against his enemies.

What this also means is that David found his rest in God in the midst of the battle. David did not seek to take the battle into his own hands. Herein is the problem of many Christians. When the fight is on, the Christian has a tendency to resort to trusting in himself or trying to work out the situation by himself.

One of the ways that this can take place is when the believer chooses to sin in the midst of battle. This is a way in which he seeks to fix the situation in his own strength. Anger is at the top of the list of ways this may occur. Closely connected to this, but somewhat subtle, is the Christian’s trying to do what the Bible says, but begrudgingly. Doing what the Bible says is important. However, there will be a way that bitterness can arise in the heart of the believer if he merely seeks to do what the Bible says to save face or out of mere duty.

Yes, there will be times when doing what the Bible says is hard. But there is a difference between the Bible being hard to apply sometimes and the commands of God becoming a burden. It is on this latter difficulty that a Christian may find himself. The Bible declares that the commands of God are not burdensome. Therefore, the Christian must find a better way.

Finding rest in the battle

David tells the way. David looked to God and found a place of rest in Him. As David rested in God, it did not mean that David did not flee from Saul, for he did. It also did not mean that when he thought his son would kill him, he chose not to leave his throne – he did that, too. What all this means is that David was still active. This is the great challenge of the Christian: to be both active and at rest.

It is hard to explain the rest that the Christian can find in God and how to go about it. It is much more easily understood by those who have experienced it. How could someone describe the taste of honey? Sure, they could say that it is sweet. But so is chocolate and even molasses for that matter. Nevertheless, honey is not the same. It is unique in its sweetness and its flavor. If someone were to describe honey by saying that it tastes delicious, this explanation would be too broad, for so is steak, as is a milkshake, but these are surely not the same as honey.

To eat honey is to know its taste. To find rest in God is to know its effects. But there must be some way that the Christian can seek to help another to develop this inward rest. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). At the outset, the Christian must turn to Jesus. Rest will never be found apart from finding it in Christ.

There is a way in which the Christian throws his soul upon the Savior. Rest is more of an inward reality than anything else. It resembles Jesus in the midst of the storm, as found in the Gospel accounts. A day came when Jesus was asleep in the boat and a storm was taking place. The disciples were scared and frantically seeking to wake up Jesus. This is an illustrative picture of rest versus unrest. Jesus was at rest – not merely sleeping, but also tranquil and calm. When He awoke from His physical sleep, He was still at rest. Nevertheless, He worked; i.e., He silenced the storm.

It is also possible that the Christian could draw from this story that being at rest will also help the believer to solve his problems, whereas being at unrest will not. This may be stretching the text beyond what it actually being conveyed, but regardless, it remains as a wonderful picture of what it looks like to be at rest in the midst of an external crisis.

Still another truth must be embraced for the Christian to find his rest in the Lord.

God is always at work

Scripture says, “For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right” (Ps. 9:4). David transitions to an all-important reality. It is this: God is always at work in the life of the Christian. In this portion of Scripture, it is said that God “maintained” David’s right and his cause. This word “maintained” gives the impression that God was constantly at work. He never ceased working good in the life of David. So will He never cease to work good in your life, as well.

He is a God Who is for His children. He will maintain their just cause.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for the ways that You continually fight for me. Sometimes it is hard to remember that You are present in the midst of the battle. I pray that You would help me to see Your mighty hand at work each day in my life. I recognize that there is a war that I am in, and I need Your help. Teach me how to trust in You more and more each day. You are worthy of my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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