Fresh Outta Defeat

I kind of thought the coronavirus might stick around long enough to keep us indoors on Resurrection Sunday. She has unpacked her bags and settled in like a visiting relative who doesn’t care that they’ve overstayed their welcome.

Even so, not even a pandemic has the ability to weaken the impact of what Christ accomplished on the cross. Whether we are joined together collectively with other believers in our community or locked away in our homes in isolation, that doesn’t change the fact that our freedom has been purchased and our victory has been guaranteed. That being said, there is a way to approach life when you are walking in redemption, liberty and restored relationship with your Maker, which are some of the things we gained as a result of our Savior’s sacrifice.

While some of us have also managed to settle in, making peace with the fact that being confined to our homes will be the norm for a bit longer, some may still be struggling to find that peace. However, if you are a believer, you need but only to recognize who it is that preserves you in times like these and know that because Jesus died and rose again, your Father in Heaven is closer than you think.

To my knowledge, David never lived through a pandemic but he spent many days hidden away in caves to avoid death at the hands of King Saul. He was familiar with being isolated and he knew what uncertainty felt like. He had no idea when it would end – when Saul would finally see that he wasn’t a threat. He was constantly on the run and while I’m sure that fear rose up within him every now and then, he knew how to speak peace to his storm by speaking peace and calm to his soul.

David’s words in Psalm 62:1, 2; 5-7 NKJV read as follows:

Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

 

Here is the Message translation of the first two verses:

God, the one and only—
I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
So why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
Breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.

 

There is so much in this text that the only way to take it all in so that we can fully appreciate it is by breaking it down bit by bit.

Before getting into the Message translation, I absolutely must share with you a piece of commentary I came across that beautifully expounds on verse one of the NKJV of our text.

“Truly my soul silently waits for God.” 

“The proverb that speech is silver but silence is gold, is more than true in this case. No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of his mouth, but free from all inward and self caused emotion, as also from all power to be moved by anything other than the divine will.”(Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David)

It takes masterful skill to quiet our minds and wait for God in such a way that we bring our concerns and fluctuating emotions under subjection not in acquiescence but in total surrender to His peace, knowing that our God is worthy of our complete trust.

Now, let’s look at the Message translation of the remaining text.

“God the one and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not?”

These words reflect a deep love for and faith in our Father. He is not a god, He is my one and only God – the lover and ruler of my soul and because of this, I am willing to wait as long as He deems necessary to fulfill His purpose in me. It can never be known how long we’ll have to wait on anything that God promises to give us and the amount of faith it takes to remain in the dark for an unspecified amount of time in anticipation of its manifestation takes quite a bit of spiritual maturity. But if everything we need rests at our Father’s feet then why do we need to pursue anything outside of Him? Anything  meant for us that isn’t currently in our possession will come to us at the appointed time so we need not fret about those things. We may be confined to our homes but everything we have need of is on this side of our front door – simply because He lives in us, not outside of us.

“He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul”.

He keeps us grounded, even in the face of the unknown. He is a sure foundation. We can stand on His word.  We don’t have to waver. We are grounded, planted, rooted. “Moved but not removed,” as Spurgeon puts it.

His salvation has the ability to relieve our anxiety, allowing us to exhale. Anxiety about tomorrow can cause our throats tighten but His salvation – His ability to preserve us from harm or ruin – loosens anxiety’s grip. It assures us that while trouble may continue to pursue us, our Father will never allow it to overtake us.

“[He’s] an impregnable castle; I’m set for life”.

God is a fortress that cannot be broken into, defeated nor destroyed. One that cannot be penetrated nor conquered. He hedges us from behind and before. He makes perfect plans for His imperfect children. We are set for life. When our circumstances say otherwise, we are set for life. When calamity befalls us, we are still covered. When we stray from the path He has set before us, His grace allows us to find our way back because we are set for life. 

Prior to writing this post, I thought victory came from summoning it through our own will. I thought I was victorious simply because I proclaimed that I was. But as I think about what we’ll celebrate in a few days and what that means for me, I realize that I am victorious because of what Christ did over 2000 years ago. When my Savior hung on that cross, waiting for the life to leave His earthly body so that it would be finished, I’d like to think that my face was one of the ones that flashed in His mind when He asked Himself if it had been worth it. And yours probably did, too. I’d like to think that He thought about all of those that would reject His sacrifice but then remembered all of those that would believe on Him – and so He decided to stay. That is why we win and that is why we can continue to wait on God, the one and only. Because in Him and through Him we have the victory, along with everything else that we could ever need, so why not? Because He rose, we win.

Happy Resurrection Sunday to you and yours.

 

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