I have absolutely loved this series in Hebrews 12: journeying through a soul detox and being reminded of the gospel in all its fullness and simplicity. So often, our souls get busy and clouded by all the things going on in our life, instead of being regularly nourished and replenished by the truths and presence of God. Reminding ourselves what we really need to feel equipped and armed to fight the good fight is so important.
And so, we’re finishing January in the simple and rich truths of Psalm 18.
The full Psalm is available to read here (or even better – in your own Bible!) and I’d really encourage you to spend some time pondering the passage in all its fullness: perhaps with a notebook and pen one morning, praying the truths over yourself and all that is ahead of you in 2018. I can guarantee that your heart will feel better for it!
We’re exploring some of the key promises below, to keep us steady, armed, equipped and ready to face whatever the year has for us.
I love you Lord my strength (v1)
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield; my stronghold (v2)
The words start with the Psalmist praising the Lord for His strength: the solid nature of His character, the safe refuge He is. How would our lives be different if we really believed that God would be our fortress and hiding place in all situations this year? If we relied on Him 100% for deliverance – rather than trusting in our own plans?
He drew me out of deep waters (v16)
To the faithful God shows Himself faithful
Jesus died, to buy our souls, so that we might be seen as blameless, righteous and faithful in the eyes of God. Therefore, you better believe that God will show Himself faithful to us – in every situation. You can believe that God will show up. He won’t stay silent. He will draw you from whatever deep waters you’re in and show Himself faithful.
The Lord will keep my lamp burning (v28)
This year, if you’re burning out – the Lord will be your fuel. He will replenish and sustain you. He is the energy you’re lacking, the vision that’s fizzled out, the strength you need for each new day.
With God’s help, I can advance against a troop;
With my God I can scale a wall (v29)
Read this – believe it – and pray it over the year that lies ahead of you: over February 1st to December 31st, over every Monday morning, stressful deadline, anxious thoughts, fractured relationships, or whatever your ‘troops’ or ‘walls’ might look like in the coming months.
The Psalmist writes here in the middle of battle – and we will face battles in our lives too. The promise here is that God is with us – He will give us all we need to advance against the troops that look unshakeable (Friends at school? A Level results? Finances? Job-searching? Anxiety?); and to scale the walls that look unscalable.
For who is God beside the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? (v31)
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. (v32)
He trains my hands for battle (v34)
His right hand sustains me (v35)
He provides a broad path for my feet (v36)
I know for one that if I really and truly absorb this truth into my heart this year; my 2018 will be a whole lot more fruitful, and a whole lot less self-absorbed.
When I’m tempted to play God in my own life, I end thinking too much about myself. I become easily jealous or offended by other people, thinking I’m inferior or superior to others in my life, and forgetting the reason I’m here. I’m weak and at my worst.
But when I’m assured that God is my Rock – that He is the Lord of my life, then I’m at my best. I’m better for being under the safety of His right hand; I’m better for being where I was always intended to be: walking with my God. I’m looking up at Him, rather than in on myself, and I’m adopting the posture I was always designed to hold.
My prayer for all of us, is that the months ahead would be ones where we feel armed and ready to face any battle: safe in the simple knowledge that we are loved and secure with the One who knows all things.
Lucy founded More Precious in 2013 whilst studying at Durham University, and has had the humbling experience of overseeing its growth ever since. She is passionate about communicating what it means to be in relationship with God to girls and young women. Lucy lives and works in London with her husband James, and is part of the Holy Trinity Clapham church family.