It has been a while since I’ve posted here…Facebook, being my biggest medium to publish a thought on the go. I thought I’d dust off the old pastor’s blog and give put my hand to the work of unpacking some scripture. This morning’s choice: Psalm 46. Without further ado, let’s dig in to this wonderful love song to Yahweh-God.
Psalm 46English Standard Version (ESV)
God Is Our Fortress
To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.[a] A Song.
46 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[b] help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
Is God your fortress? That’s a question I have to pause and ask everyone. I honestly believe one of the biggest problems in the church today are the idols we have allowed into our doors without even realizing it. Here are some that I think have become our fortresses built on sand:
- Success: many pastors and parishioners both put a lot of weight on the worldly definition of success; they look for tangible and chartable statistical growth, how much money is brought in, how many attended Sunday School, etc., but the fact is, God’s version of success is in discipleship, and/in relationship to Himself. Anything else is just an idol.
- Busy-ness: We’ve turned busy-ness into an art-form. We let internal influences (activities, dinners, bake-sales, etc.) and outside influences (Sports, activities, shows, meetings) penetrate our walk. We let our kids’ activities dictate our Lord’s Day observance. God commanded a Sabbath be taken, not only for rest, but so that we could get our focus back on him, and share in the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Shame on us for allowing anything to come between us and our God, Family time, and church-family time. If the cross does not cause you to sacrifice, then you do not know its power and meaning.
- Money: in today’s economy, this is a big deal. May I be honest with you? I’m in debt; partially because of school, but partially because I engage in buying things I really don’t need. Things have become my security blanket, money the tool to get it. Yet God does not want me to depend on Money, he wants me to depend on Him! Money is like sand in a sieve, I can never hold on to it, and if I do, it becomes like mud, sticky, and useless, and making tracks and dirtying my life in every sense. I should make God my rock, not this quicksand pit of money. God will never leave or forsake me, money is easy-come, easy-go.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
No matter what life throws at us, be it death, fire, famine, sickness, pain, or whatever else there may be, God shall make me an immovable city. He promises us peace beyond understanding , but we must do as He commands us: rejoice always, not be anxious, and pray and supplicate (ask/beg) Him in thanksgiving, letting our requests be made known to Him (Philippians 4:4-7). It’s like the bumper sticker says: know Jesus, know peace; no Jesus, no peace. He will make you immovable, courageous, and able to say “no” to anything that comes between you and Him, if you but trust in Him as your refuge and strength.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
God is faithful! His works are well documented: in the Bible, throughout History, and in our own lives, we can see the mighty hand of God move. Hold fast to this! Some day, Jesus is returning, and, as Lebron James pointed out, will make everything right again, but we must hold fast to Him. Be still! YOU don’t have to do anything, make God do anything, because He’s already acting! Just throw yourself at His feet, submit to His design, and be still. He will guide your paths, He will make your paths straight (Psalm 119:105-112), and He will have the victory…just trust in Him to do it! No matter the external circumstances, God will allow you to endure, no matter the storms on the Horizon, God will allow you to weather it, and no matter the armies that surround you, God will prevail. Just Be still, and know that He is God!