Friday, September 6, 2013

Our Stronghold

What do you think of when you hear the word, stronghold?  I know in church circles, it is often used in a negative sense referring to something that has a hold on someone.  When referring to strongholds with that definition we could be talking about anything ranging from alcoholism to constant lying.  The use of the word represents something that has dominance over someone.  Today, I would like you to set aside the negative connotations to the word, stronghold and consider how it could be used in a positive sense.  According to dictionary.com, stronghold can also mean "a well fortified place; a fortress."  What kind of picture do you have in your mind when you think on that definition?  For me, that gives me a picture of something that we would go to for safety.  As I look at the book of Psalms, I want to continue with the theme this week where we see how different psalms express God as our protector.  Please use the link and read Psalm 144 to see how David used the word, stronghold, to give us a word picture of God's amazing protection.

 David opened this psalm showing us how he viewed God - his total defense.  I want you to consider David for a moment, the man who penned these words.  We often think of him as the king of Israel; however, when we read his psalms, do we remember how he became king?  David started as a humble shepherd over his father's sheep and believed even then that God was his fortress.  With this faith, he didn't falter or run when Samuel anointed him to be the next king.  With this faith, he defeated the giant that no one else in the king's army would even go near.  With this faith, he served king Saul even when Saul would try to kill him on occasion.  With this faith, David fought and won many battles.  With this faith, David left his throne when his son started an insurrection and trusted that God would protect him.  Was David a superhuman?  I don't think so; I think his faith in God's love and protection is what allowed him to take each step every day.

We may physically never face a giant in battle; however, there are spiritual battles that are fought.  There is a battle over our minds and souls when we become part of God's family.  There is an enemy that wants to destroy us; however, God promises protection.  Psalm 144:1 tells us who our instructor to prepare us for these battles.  God is the One who trains us and He is the One who protects us.  I believe that our faith in this truth comes from spending time with Him in prayer and in the Bible, it also comes from our community of fellow believers, and it comes from experiencing His providence and protection in our lives.  His protection is always there, whether or not we recognize it.  But, when we spend time each day reading the Bible and praying we strengthen our faith and we begin to develop eyes that recognize His work in our lives.  Our true victory in the battle is recognizing that it has nothing to do with our skill; it has everything to do with God working in us and protecting us.  When we believe that, we truly do run to Him as our fortress.

Is God your stronghold?

This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.

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