“I Did It My Way” . . . to My Dismay

10 Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom?11Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? 12 Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. 13 Through God, we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. —Psalm 108:10-13

AS WE CLOSE out our PTA “meeting” with this psalm today, we find David taking a slightly different tone. He seems to be asking who will give him power over his enemies. But notice that he isn’t doubting God here, and he actually answers his own question, saying that ultimately it will be God, who, even in wrath, remembers mercy. David knows that God had cast them off before for their disobedience and had left them to their own devices. David now appears to be looking at his situation from God’s perspective, admitting that when he did things his way, instead of God’s way, it was disastrous, resulting in defeat.

Now he’s eager to resume his praise, showing his confidence in God, through whom, he declares, “we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”

What can we learn from this? Praise and trust will always be visible in our actions. And there’s the “A” of our PTA meeting. It’s a sad truth in our day that Christianity for many means going to church. That’s not wrong, but it certainly isn’t the whole of the Christian experience nor the definition of on-fire Christian living!

The apostle Matthew wrote: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory. . . . All the nations will be gathered before Him . . . and He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you . . . : for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:31-36).

Some see this as the Great White Throne Judgment and others see it as the dividing of the survivors of the Tribulation according to their faith and deeds. Either way, the principle remains the same, and we can examine ourselves by it. Those who praise and trust the Lord will have actions as manifestations of that praise and trust.

Can we Christians really have the single most important piece of information in the universe and keep it to ourselves? Shouldn’t it impact our decisions about what we do and how we structure our lives? Shouldn’t we want to feed the hungry in the hope of being able to tell them about the love of Jesus? Shouldn’t we give to the thirsty water in the hope of telling them of salvation through faith in Christ and the living water that He offers to all who come to Him? Shouldn’t it make us hospitable, having a love for strangers, taking them into our lives in the hope of telling them about Jesus? Shouldn’t we clothe the naked for God’s glory? Shouldn’t we visit the sick and imprisoned so we might tell them of a God who heals and sets free human souls? As people who PRAISE God and TRUST in His Word, would not these be the identifying features through our ACTIONS?

Our “meeting” is about to adjourn, but we want to remember that God has called us to action, and a big part of the on-fire Christian life is “doing”—not for salvation, but for evidence of lives that are given to our Savior. Merely going to church is not serving God. Praising God and preaching of Him is the way that God has given us to share the Lord with the world, and as we exhibit our trust in Him through our actions, may we draw many to Him.

Our meeting is now adjourned, but our journey continues. And remember, even in these perilous times, the Lord our God is with us!

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

BARRY STAGNER

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