Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help,
Draw also the spear and the battle axe
to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul “I am your salvation”.
Why are the enemies that contend with our souls given permission to linger in our memory data base? Reflecting back on the past two years, it seems as though these enemies have battled against my soul without ceasing; Enemies such as fear, depression, despair, cancer, betrayal, hopelessness, grief, and sheer terror. Each enemy came with it’s own team of circumstances. Some knocked me out in the ring. Others roughed me up with marks of black and blue. Still others knocked me down but I got up.
The opponents that came with a team of external circumstances justified them as seemingly worthy opponents; Loss of income, family members battling cancer, chronic health issues, etc. What became most terrifying were the opponents that came with a team of internal circumstances that raged against my soul. One opposing team member questioned the authenticity of my faith. Yet, another denounced the goodness of my God. One mocked my character as a daughter of the King. Another doubted my worth as a Christian who appeared to weak to stand. As the blows kept coming, my soul despaired. In the ring, I lost consciousness of my God. I became paralyzed apart from my Healer. My breath was gone even though the very breath of God had been sealed within me.
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me: Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. Draw also the spear and the battle axe to meet those who pursue me”
In my soul searching efforts in God’s word, Psalm 35 showed me that contending with these enemies were never my battles to contend with. Should I have stepped into the ring? Absolutely! The ring represents the testing of our faith, a place where God has the opportunity to be glorified through us. My mistake was that I stepped into the ring relying on my own strength, my own skills and strategy for winning. Round One busted my lip. Round two blurred my vision when it knocked me down. Round three paralyzed me. But God, in His infinite mercy, called me to my corner and asked me if I had had enough? And as He doctored my quivering lips, my vision of who He is came into focus. My Contender, my Strength and my Shield was before me. Heart wrenching cries poured forth, “ENOUGH! Enough of me, Pappa! Save me. Just one more time Pappa. Please save me.”
“Say to my soul, “God is my salvation!”
I don’t know what you are facing today.
Maybe your soul has been knocked out in the loss of a relationship? The loss of a marriage? The loss of a loved one? The loss of a dream?
Maybe your soul’s vision has been blurred watching a loved one battling a ferocious disease? Or watching financial ruin rob you of your ability to provide food for your children? Or maybe your vision is blurred because the enemy keeps reminding you of who you were and what he says you will never be?
Maybe your soul is paralyzed by the labels this world has placed on you? Or by chronic, debilitating health issues? Or just maybe your paralysis stems from unbelief that you will ever be what God’s Word says you can be?
Is your soul ready to win? Stop contending! Step up as God’s warrior, fully trusting His power to protect you! Step aside as God’s treasured child, fully embracing His immeasurable love for you!! The battle is His!
Scripture Memory: Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for us, we need only to be still/silent.”
Soul Searching Reflection:
What are you contending with today?
What is your current posture in the ring? Are you beaten up? Knocked down? Knocked out? Are you in between rounds seeking God’s salvation?
What effects have the battles had upon your soul? Is there unresolved anger from the wounds? Is there unforgiveness in your heart?
What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you today?
How does this revelation impact the condition of your soul?
What soul searching efforts is God asking you to make this week?