David’s psalm continues with another declaration of his confidence in God’s power to deliver him from enemies and obstacles: “In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall” (II Samuel 22:30, NLT).
“In your strength I can crush an army.” David knew his own strength was futile. He’d learned as a youth as he fought the wild animals that sought to attack his father’s flocks that he needed the Lord’s strength to safeguard himself and those under his care. As he told Saul when he asked to fight Goliath, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (I Samuel 17:37).
“With my God I can scale any wall.” Over and over throughout this psalm of praise we see David proclaiming “my God.” Even though the Lord was “the God of Israel” (I Samuel 10:18a), David also understood that He was a personal God and that any success David had in any struggle was dependent on his walk with the Lord.
In other words, David knew he could “crush an army” or “scale any wall” only when he was spiritually conditioned to do so. You may recall reading Proverbs 18:10 earlier in our look at David: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (NIV). A person must be physically fit to be able to run; likewise, to run to his spiritual “Strong Tower,” a person must be spiritually fit. Rather than falling apart in a crisis, a person who is “strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10a, NLT) will run to the One who can give him the strength to face the problem.
How do we become spiritually fit? By staying in close fellowship with God every single day. We cannot allow our lives to become so busy that we don’t have time for God. If we do that, we set ourselves up for disaster.
We may be super busy people, but we find time for the things that matter to us. A current survey shows that in the average American household, at least one TV is on for almost seven hours a day. In total, Americans watch an annual average of 250 billion hours of TV.
So while families, including professing Christian households, are consuming hours of TV every day, believers don’t take nearly as much interest in the word of God. In the recently conducted Transformational Discipleship study by LifeWay Research, only 19 percent said they read the Bible every day and 14 percent said they read it once a week. A whopping 22 percent said they read God’s Word once a month or a few times a month. And get this one: 18 percent said that, outside of church, they rarely or never read the Bible.
Which brings me to the most incongruous part of the LifeWay survey’s responses. Ninety percent of the respondents said, “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do.” Ninety percent! The vast majority of the very same respondents that seldom or rarely read their Bibles said they wanted to “please and honor Jesus.” I believer that, my friends, is what we call “good intentions.”
Folks, we can’t be strong while weak in our knowledge and love for the word of God. And good intentions won’t cut it. That’s like getting around to losing weight or starting an exercise program or putting back money for that special vacation – it ain’t gonna happen until you’re truly committed to reaching that goal.
Let me leave you with a deep thought to chew on: if your faith doesn’t impact your own life enough to draw you close to God, how do you ever expect it to bring your lost family members and friends into a saving knowledge of Jesus?
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates