You Must Believe & Act On It
May 22, 2011
This morning on the phone you said that you are feeling like Daniel in the den, the lions circling around you, any minute about to tear you to pieces. Well, they will not, for we’ve committed your case to the God who hears and who acts in might and mercy. He is “the God who rescues those who cry out to Him, sending them help from Heaven, and rebuking those who hotly pursue them.” (Ps. 57:2,3, my paraphrase)
You may say, “I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts– men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.” (v. 4) Yes, but for those of us who serve God continually (Dan. 6:20), do we not continually see Him “shut the mouths of the lions”? (v. 22) Yes, I realize that the lions still circle you, and that you are still locked in the den, the trial, the suffering, and that you see no way of escape. But there is one Escape –Jesus– so keep your eyes on Him. He is your shield of protection, and as you cry out in distress to Him, He absolutely has promised to “hear your voice and ransom you unharmed from that battle waged against you, though many oppose you.” (See Ps. 55:16-18)
Keep quoting 2 Tim. 1:7 as you’ve been doing, for fear must go when we believe and trust. We do not have cause to fear, for God’s presence is with us in the den, and when we are finally lifted out, verse 23 can also be said of us, “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.” Why was no wound found? Because he “was found innocent in God’s sight” (v. 22) and because he trusted in God. This is all that is required of us as well. And if we do get wounded, our repentance and trust will allow God to still save and heal us. (Isa. 30:15 & Jer. 17:14)
Do not look for ways and places to flee. (See Isa. 30:15-17) Look only up, cry out to the Mighty God; ask Him to rescue you –and He will. (v. 18,19) For “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9) “There is salvation in no one else.” (Acts 4:12) Therefore, let your heart say, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Ps. 62:1,2) Do you believe this? You must determine to, for God is only these things to us as we believe enough to run for cover –run for cover into Him, His presence, and in under the Refuge He is.
For “The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.” (Ps. 37:39) –Any kind of trouble, whether it be of the heart, mind, spirit, or body. “The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.” (v. 40) A reason, a cause, is given for why God delivers us from our troubles (including those inflicted at the hands of wicked people). What is the reason? It says, “… because they take refuge in Him.”
Say this: “My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” (Ps. 62:7,8) Are you pouring out your heart to Him? Not others, but Him? You must. Don’t rely on anyone else, “for the help of man is worthless.” (Ps. 60:11) People may try to help, but they too can find you no solution. Your troubles are too many, the arm of the enemy too cunning, the wickedness of evil men too destructive and wounding.
But we do have a God who hears! Do you believe this? Then act upon it. God sees everything, He knows what to do, He can command one word and the enemy will shrivel under His breath. Do you believe this? You must. God moves mountains, but He has chosen to do so through a means. (Matt. 21:21,22) What is that means? It’s faith and the obedience that comes from faith. Speaking out the promises in God’s Word is an action of faith. Singing praises to God is an action of faith. Focusing our heart on the Lord is an action of faith. We must enact our faith by action.
But “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him [for fellowship or for help of any kind] must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6) Do you believe He exists? Of course you say you do. But you must act upon this belief. If you don’t, are you actually… truly… really… believing?
Stand up, Girl! Speak out loud your faith. Put on the belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14) so that the enemy’s lies will not pierce through and wound you. Put on that helmet of salvation we have available and pull it down tight over your mind. Jesus is that helmet. Wrap Him around your mind. Hold up that shield of faith –why do you have it resting on the ground at your feet?! Hold it up in front of you. It does stop enemy bullets. (v. 16) Get the breastplate of righteousness in place (v. 14) by walking absolutely blameless before God. Holiness… purity… all thoughts and actions captive to Christ’s obedience. (2 Cor. 10:5 & John 14:15) “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18) –continually. True, we are in a war, a war in a very fallen, evil world… but! –by faith, go feast at the table He’s prepared for you, though the table be right in the presence of your enemies! (Ps. 23:5)
Today and every day get “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (v. 15) This Gospel of peace is not just a message, it is a Person, –“the Lord of peace Himself”. (2 Thes. 3:16) He alone can grant peace –between you and God, and between you and others, including your enemies (Prov. 16:7), for He is the “Mighty God… [the] Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6) And as we remain clothed in Him (Rom. 13:14), we dwell in what His name means: “First, His name means ‘king of righteousness;’ then also… ‘king of peace.'” (Heb. 7:2) Walk into these promises by using “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17) For He is the actual Word of God (Rev. 19:13) and by speaking Him in faith, we clothe ourselves with Him –He who is our shield of victory. (Ps. 3:3 & 7:10 & 18:2,35 & 115:9-11, etc.) Indeed, it is fact: God “is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” (Ps. 18:30) For who? Uh-huh.
Yes, many are feeling the pressure of lions, the sting of words, the anguish of betrayal… But, “By this I will know that God is for me: When I call on the Lord for help, my enemies will –and absolutely must– turn back.” (My paraphrase of Ps. 56:9)
Yes… truly… “From the LORD comes deliverance.” (Ps. 3:8) Believe this, friend, and act upon your belief through faith-words, faith-actions. Then you will see God Himself work salvation for you. And you will praise Him along with the Psalmist, testifying, “He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Ps. 18:17-19)
Let God delight in you. –Because of your innocence before Him, your obedience to Him, and your trust in His goodness and power to save you.
Love and prayers,