Today: Psalms 71:1-8; Acts 4:1-22; 2 Samuel 11 & 12
“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me.” Psalm 71:1-2
David often wrote Psalms about his physical enemies who were hunting him in order to kill him. Most of us won’t have to deal with anything that extreme (hopefully not, anyway!).
But David also contended with his spiritual enemy, the devil. And we ALL must confront this same opponent, whether we realize it or not.
We all face temptations to do wrong, hurtful things that aren’t pleasing to God. And the more committed we are to following God, the more Satan will target us for destruction. We all are subject to human weaknesses and the devil is an expert at exploiting them. Craig and I pray daily for wisdom, discernment and protection from the enemy’s lies. But any of us can fall if we aren’t vigilant against Satan’s ploys. David was a man after God’s own heart, and he fell hard when he sinned with Bathsheba and then tried to cover up his sin by killing her husband.
Sometimes resisting temptations requires moment by moment combat in the trenches of our own minds. But God promises to help us in this battle. God is our “strong refuge to which I may resort continually;” God is “my rock and my fortress.” (v.3) God can “deliver me… out of the hand of the wicked.” (v.4)
The Sadducees and other religious leaders tried repeatedly to stop the spread of this Christianity, “however, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” (v.4) Everything the religious leaders did backfired. Christianity spread like crazy.
The same is happening today. Our mainstream cultural leaders try as hard as they can to silence Christians. In many places, those sharing Christ’s message are canceled, silenced, and even imprisoned and severely threatened so “that from now on they speak to no man in [Jesus’] name.” (v.17) We are shut down on social media, removed from schools, and banned from many other public forums. We are “commanded,” as the religious leaders commanded the early Christians, “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (v.18)
But a great awakening is taking place today around the world. More and more people are coming to Christ in a final great revival before He returns again. Be BOLD and take COURAGE, Christians! Nothing the enemy tries to do can stop it, “for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard!” (v.20)
2 Samuel 11-12
“So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 2 Samuel 2:13
The six most important words King David ever uttered were, “I have sinned against the LORD,” when the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin. This was the difference between King Saul and King David. Saul tried to justify and excuse his sins. But David repented. David recognized his own sins and pleaded for forgiveness. David accepted God’s judgment and the consequences of his errors, “and he went into the house of the LORD and worshipped.” (v.12:20)