We all have times when it seems the Lord is far from us. Troubles begin to pile up, and we look around us at people who have no love for God but who seem to prosper. When I’m in a less-than-Christian state of mind, I can really resent that fact. In those times I feel as if I’m on my own…that God has forgotten me. That erroneous frame of mind doesn’t last long, and I ask Jesus to forgive me. Then I turn my focus to the blessings God gives.
This sort of attitude isn’t new, nor is it unique to the times in which we live.
“[To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David.] How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” (Psalm 13:1).
Even King David had the same feelings. We can learn so much from David. He honestly opened his heart before the Lord. It’s not a bad thing to tell God what bothers you; He already knows. When you recognize what it is that’s coming between you and your walk with the Lord, then He can help you through it. Tell Him what’s on your heart, then listen to His reply.
When we get into one of those moods, we need to be careful where we take counsel. God is never far from us. When we’re offended by others, we can be blinded by our own feelings. My hurt, my anger, my bad attitude all get in the way of allowing God’s love to flow through me. At those times we tend to turn to other people who may have the same resentment towards others.
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Jeremiah 17:5).
Notice that this verse tells us that it isn’t God who has departed, but it’s man’s heart that has turned away from God. When seeking counsel from another person, be sure that he or she is a Christian who honors God. Satan can use friends to pull us away from God. Trust Scripture to lead you into a closer walk with God.
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7).
Likewise, don’t trust your own heart in times when you’re questioning God and feeling alone.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
When you’re in a bad state of mind that keeps you separate from God, take a look at your own life and see what’s causing you to feel separated from God. It could be that the resentment you feel towards someone, even towards an enemy, may be the thing that’s causing your trouble. David realized that he was looking to his own logic rather than drawing close to God.
“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:2).
Instead of having a pity party or taking counsel from fallible humans, search Scripture and pray for the counsel of the infallible God of all creation. It’s easy to get distracted from God’s ways when we begin following our own counsel.
David faced many enemies in many forms during his lifetime. In his younger days when protecting his sheep, he fought with a lion and a bear. These fights prepared him to fearlessly face the giant Goliath and prevail. Then David faced a new enemy, which was the government lead by King Saul. The king loved to listen to the soothing sound of David’s music, but would suddenly turn on David and try to kill him. David became king after Saul’s death, and the look of his enemies changed. He faced enemy armies and also the lust of his flesh. Even though the situation changed, the same evil influence was at work.
That evil has always been working against mankind, from the Garden of Eden to today’s wickedness. Satan is the enemy of all people and can come between us and God.
We cannot fight Satan on our own, but we fall prey to him when we stray from God. David knew that God could never be close to him if he didn’t seek God’s will. The enemy could only prevail if David turned away from God; and this truth changed David’s outlook.
“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation” (Psalm 13:3-5).
Instead of seeking revenge, David began seeking God.
The enemy can manifest in many forms. As we watch the political circus, we see the enemy at work, and it’s a very similar situation that the Northern Kingdom of Israel faced when Ahab and Jezebel were in power. Those two were very liberal in their beliefs, especially Jezebel, and were evil to the core. They embraced child sacrifice and worshipped pagan idols. America, and indeed the entire world, has been in the grips of the same liberal satanic ways for many years. It’s the same liberal lunacy that embraces abortion, homosexuality, and other ungodly ideas; and it’s important to understand who the real enemy is.
Satan is the enemy of all mankind and is behind the evil in the world. From that irritating person at work to the world leaders who spew evil, it’s Satan who’s behind the evil as he seeks the destruction of all humanity. Christians must look to Scripture and be led by the Holy Spirit in order to fight the evil. It’s a spiritual battle, and it rages in the unseen realms but manifests in the hearts of men.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
Many Christians read those words and agree, but don’t truly understand that the battle is real. The battle is spiritual. If we don’t stand firm on our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will lose the battle in which we are thrown. Don’t get me wrong. Satan has already lost the war. He lost at the cross, but there are still battles raging. Unless Christians start taking God’s word seriously, the darkness of Satan’s evil will grow stronger.
Brothers and sisters, you must put on your spiritual armor and not allow the influence of Satan’s evil to take you down.
Jesus Christ paid the price of your salvation when He shed His blood on the cross. The same spiritual battle happens in America, Great Britain, France, Iran, Greece, China…it knows no national boundaries. Wherever you live, remember that you’re just passing through this life. You had no choice as to where you were born, but you do have a choice as to where you will spend eternity. Unless you ask Jesus to forgive your sin and accept Him as your Saviour, you’ll spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and all who oppose God.
Allow Christ to rule in your heart. When you begin to look at people from God’s prescriptive, you begin to change your own perspective. The Ahabs and Jezebels who are all around us become human beings who desperately need to bow their hearts before Jesus Christ before they step into eternity. Satan’s influence is strong against Christians, but we can either give in and be crushed by his evil, or we can resist.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded” (James 4:7-8).
If you allow Satan to rule in your heart, you’ll feel far from God. Don’t dwell on what the enemy has done to you, but dwell upon what God has done for you. No matter what hard knocks may come your way, as a Christian you can always rejoice in your salvation.
When Christ rules your life, you’ll see the people around you in a different light…not the light of darkness, but through the Light of the world and the love of Jesus. The person who causes you trouble is a sinner in need of salvation through Jesus. Politicians who promote wickedness need Jesus’ love rather than to continue along the path of destruction. Hollywood idols who have “sold their souls” to Satan in order to gain fame and riches can be saved from an eternity in Hell. We are all in the battle, and every Christian must fight. One of our strongest weapons is prayer.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Pray for fellow Christians. Let God strengthen your spirit and make you fit for battle. Part of fighting the battle is knowing the enemy and knowing how to fight. When someone causes you trouble, look at them as someone who needs to meet Jesus. As you look around your neighborhood or nation, you’ll see many people who are corrupt and controlled by Satan. They all need prayer. Even the worst sinner can find salvation in Jesus. Pay for the lost souls.
God made salvation simple for us. He stepped into His creation and showed us His love. He healed the blind and lame, he cast out demons, and He forgave sinners. For these “crimes” He was accused of blasphemy and arrested. He was mocked and horridly beaten before being forced to carry His cross to be crucified. As He hung on the cross looking at His enemies, what did He say?
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his garment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus had pity for His enemies even though they went right on with their sin. Shouldn’t we, as His followers, have the same outlook? People offend us and cause all kinds of trouble; but if we see people in the same way as God sees them, then our perspective changes. We can pray for them, and our desire should be that they’ll come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
As Christians, we have much to pray about. Our hearts should be broken over the fallen world in which we live, but we also have much to rejoice over.
“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:6).
The Lord greatly blessed David, and He continues His blessing on Christians. Sing to the Lord, Christians. Rejoice in your salvation. The enemy will try to take your joy away, but he won’t win if you keep Christ in your heart.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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