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Monday, August 15, 2016

Facing the Enemy

Psalm 143, letting God fight for us
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where enemies have the upper hand. At other times, we are our own worst enemy, letting our thoughts spiral into hopelessness. 

Whichever "enemy" we're facing, Psalm 143 gives us advice:
  • The Psalmist cries out to the Lord (1-6).
  • He acknowledges that he won't make it without the Lord (7). 
  • He meets with God in the morning looking for help (8). 
  • He "hides" in the Lord, knowing God will protect him (9).
  • He asks God's Spirit to guide him and give him wisdom (10).
  • He affirms his trust and commitment (8,12).
When we're troubled, discouraged, or under attack, these steps are important. 

While it's good to get godly advice, we need to seek God first and foremost, admitting our need. When we wake up - before fear or bitterness takes possession of our thoughts - we should seek the Lord and "hide" in His wisdom and comfort. We should seek His guidance and confess our trust. 

Bible Study
Wise Christians realize their faith is not dependent on their strength or wisdom but on the Lord's.

1. Paul had a difficulty (most Bible scholars think it was a physical problem). When he asked God to remove it, this is what God told him: 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10: I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

2. On another occasion, Paul and his companions found that their strength had limits, but God's has no limits. 

2 Corinthians 1:8-9: We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  

We should always put our trust, first and foremost, in God, not in man or in ourselves.
copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com