The Psalms and the Armour of God . . . July 2015
The Psalms are full of Davidís pleas to God in the midst of his calamity and depression. It was like he was on a roller coaster, up one minute, down the next, then round the bend, and finally on the straight and narrow. But in all of his ups and downs he always called out to, and relied upon God to deliver him. His declarations that the Lord was a refuge for him, a high tower and a stronghold in times of trouble carried him through.
I have been reading the Psalms in the Amplified Bible and of Ďtroubleí it says, high cost, destitution and desperation. David also prayed that God would lighten the eyes of his faith so that he could behold Godís face in the pitch-like darkness (of destitution and desperation), lest he sleep the sleep of death. David knew that if he didnít stay on track with God, no matter what was happening in his life, that he would lose all faith and trust in the Only One who could or would deliver him out of the darkness.
At this time in Davidís life, King Saul was out to kill him out of jealousy of Davidís great feats and his huge popularity. David spent quite some time hiding out in the hills and caves, crying out to God to deliver him. His endless praises to God, his declarations of God as his fortress, his deliverer, his stronghold, his high tower, and also how Godís way is perfect and brings the shield of Salvation, came before God, into His very ears.
When David became aware that God had heard him, he pursued his enemies. He acted by faith that God had girded him with strength for the battle and he went on the offensive, knowing that he had Godís favour and protection, instead of spending the rest of his days on the defensive. He had spent so much time in crying out to God in prayer, intercession and travail, that his faithfulness had brought him to a place where he could shout, ď The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the refuge and stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?Ē At the end of this Psalm he states very confidently, pretty much as a testimony, ďWait and hope for and expect the Lord ; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for, and hope for, and expect the Lord.Ē
So because of Davidís great tenacity in pursuing Godís blessings and favour, he now calls God his strength and impenetrable shield, and he has come to rely on, trust, and confidently lean on Him for help. This causes his heart to greatly rejoice and sing praises to the Lord. God turns Davidís mourning into dancing and great gladness, and he sings to God a new song, committing his very spirit into Godís hands.
To the end that his tongue and his heart and everything glorious within him sang praise to God and could not be silent. ďOh Lord, my God, I will give thanks to You forever.Ē In the secret place of Godís presence, he was being hidden from the plots of men, knowing that all those who trust in the Lord and rely upon and confidently lean upon Him, shall be compassed about (circled) with mercy and lovingkindness.
God is righteous and just. He is merciful and loving, and in fact, His lovingkindness extends to the skies, and His faithfulness to the clouds. In other words, He is everywhere. How precious is His love. We can, as David did, take refuge and put our trust under the shadow of His wings. ďFor with God is the fountain of life ; In His light, we see light.Ē
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires and secret petitions of our hearts. He will draw us up out of the pit of destruction, and out of the miry clay, and set us upon a rock (Jesus) steadying our steps and establishing our goings. He will put a new song into our mouths, songs of praise to our God.
As children of the New Covenant we can still draw upon, and will always be able to draw upon, all of the benefits that David had, but we also have a new mandate. And that is that Jesus commands us to ĎLove our enemies, and our neighbours as ourselves.í
Today, as children of the New Covenant, bought for us by Jesusí blood and His forgiveness of mankindís sin, we no longer fight with flesh and blood, or in other words, with physical opponents ; but our fight is against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, or in other words, the devil and all his nasty cohort who are each day trying to bring us down. David recognised this and fought it with Godís words that were in his heart.
So in Ephesians 6:13-17 we are told to put on our armour, the full armour of God. And having done all possible through prayer and supplication to God, to stand in faith. This armour is :
* The Helmet of Salvation
* The Breastplate of Righteousness
* The Shield of Faith
* The Belt of Truth
* The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
* Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace
Praying at all times in the Spirit.
This is how we prepare for the battles of this life ~
1. We need to come to a place in our hearts where we desire to make Jesus Lord of our lives ~ This is the Helmet of Salvation.
2. We need to live holy and clean and sin free lives ~ This is the Breastplate of Righteousness.
3. We need to put all our trust in God, as David did ~ This is our Shield of Faith.
4. We need to get into Godís Word regularly and discover Him and His Will ~ This is the Belt of Truth.
5. We need to make His Word real in our lives by meditating upon what we read and learning it and confessing it before others, and keeping in tune with it by expecting revelation from Holy Spirit ~ This is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
6. We need to be prepared to take His Word to others ~ This is the Gospel of Peace.
You will find all the references to the above in Psalms 1-37.