The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6 NAS)
I just arrived home with my bride from a few weeks of vacation. I was reminded in drifting through the Scriptures in one of my daily dives about the simple joy of our security in Christ. It was a reminder that we can often complicate our walk with God with so many ideas and theological concepts that we can lose sight of the relationship. This is why I love this verse out of Psalm 118. The simple statement tells us four things about our relationship with God:
- The LORD deeply cares about you as an individual. “The LORD is for me” – This ought to be such an encouragement to any of us. What an amazing statement that the LORD is for me. He is concerned about who I am and my well-being. He wants the best for me and is committed to doing what is my ultimate good.
- The LORD is our greatest security. Now this is true regardless if I “get it” or not. But if you show me a person who is absolutely convinced that God is for him or her, one of the greatest impacts is that we cease to fear. From a biblical vantage point this takes on many perspectives – my identity as a person is grounded on the fact the LORD is for me. He loves me and accepts me as His child; my value comes from who the LORD says I am. It provides great security from a life of comparison and competition and building value on performance rather than on relationship with Him. Remember this is not treating God as a concierge who gets stuff for me but who is “for me”.
- The LORD has a purpose for us. The fact that we may tend to fear what other people may do to us often succumbs to worrying that others can “destroy my life” or “rob me of what is valuable in life”. We often worry that others can put me in harm’s way while forgetting that nothing touches my life that God cannot use “for” me. Part of this is our skewed perspective that God is there to make my life successful and comfortable (or whatever else you might include). The book of James tells us that we ought to “consider it all joy when we face various trials” because God can work these things for our good – to help us mature and grow our faith. We often forget that this statement in Romans – “God works all things out for our good to those who love Him” (Rom. 8:28) is not a cliché but a fundamental and unshakeable divine edict that God is absolutely faithful to.
- God is the consuming passion for those who truly know Him. When I come to the point that I cease to fear what any person can do to me it can only be built on complete surrender and confidence in our LORD. When we are so persuaded that is God is “for me” then we can abandon the finite and futile thoughts we have about how to live life our way. When I become too consumed about clinging to the things of this world I can often cripple the outworking of genuine faith to follow and trust that the LORD is for me. I can stop worrying about negative or condescending thoughts from others and embrace the eternal care and lovingkindness that God lavishes on my life. I do not need to fear the uncertainties of life. I can experience limitless sense of freedom to rest fully on the LORD and live out a life of faith that is not shackled to my insecurities, fear of failure or the uncertainties of this life.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes
(Psalm 118:8-9 NAS)
Sincerely in Christ – Pastor Brad