Calvary Pastors This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors

Psalm 21:1  The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! 

Sometimes we Christians take a low view of what we should be joyful over.  We rejoice in our new cars.  We rejoice that we got to attend a particular event.  We rejoice that the weather suits us today.  As such things happen, we proclaim “God is good”, and we are happy for the moment.

Please don’t misunderstand me…I agree that the blessings of God come to us in many ways, and none of the aforementioned items are wrong to be happy about.  And yet, there is a special kind of joy that only some experience.

The joy of which King David spoke is never experienced by those who maintain their “comfort zone”.  (Did you know that phrase is not in the Bible?)  

The joy that David experienced is never known by those who live for the weekend, who work so they can take a vacation, and who live as spectators of the great spiritual battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness.

David experienced the joy that only a soldier knows: He knew the joy of experiencing God’s strength and salvation in battle.  Put yourself in David’s place, and imagine what he faced many times throughout his life.

Except perhaps for archery, David and his men fought hand to hand with their enemies.  People always died when they went out to battle.  David and his soldiers lived intense lives…lives that most of us will never experience. 

In Psalm 20, David and his people asked for victory, and for their lives to be spared.  They made freewill offerings and commitment offerings to God, and then determined within themselves that they would not trust in horses or chariots, but in God.  David would not trust only in his God given abilities as a warrior.  He had killed a lion, a bear, Goliath, and tens of thousands, but David determined to trust in God for victory, and for his life. 

Psalm 21 speaks of David’s return from battle.  Imagine coming home from such military campaigns, and knowing that God had been strong on your behalf, and had saved you.

I submit to you…David’s joy was much greater than the joy of the average Christian.  We are happy about our new flat screen T.V.’s; David rejoiced over God’s deliverance.  We are happy that God cleared the commute traffic for us; David rejoiced that God had been present with him in battle.

I don’t mean to minimize our lives of faith.  I do mean to magnify David’s life and faith. Those who win in battle rejoice in a way that spectators will never experience.

May I encourage and exhort you to remember that we too are in a battle.  Warren Wiersbe is quoted as saying, “The world is not a playground, it is a battleground”.

As a Christian, you are in a fight.  God really means it when he says that we are in a war.

Ephesians 6:10-12  10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We don’t fight like David did, but we do fight.  At least, we ought to be fighting.  Fighting takes courage.  Fighting takes discipline. Fighting requires a deep conviction.  Fighting is messy and costly.  Fighting can be lonely.  Many Christians leave the fighting to others, and then offer their critique of the battle from the bleachers.

Christians that are not willing to engage in the spiritual battle will never experience the kind of joy that David knew.  He fought, risked it all, and experienced the joy of God’s strength and salvation. 

So what does the fight look like for us?  How do we get engaged in the battle?  Here are some suggestions.

Fight for the Biblical thinking that you and everyone around you needs.  Commit to reading the Bible, and let God transform you by renewing your mind.  (Romans 12:2) Quit thinking carnally because you only think carnally.

Fight for the salvation and sanctification of others through acts of love.  Sacrifice your time for them.  Give up your agenda, and spend your life for others.  Fight against the self-focus that prevents us from blessing others.  Nehemiah told the people, Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (Nehemiah 4:12)

Fight in prayer.  James 5:16 tells us, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. There are many people that need our prayers.  There are many situations that need our prayers.  Either we believe that verse or we don’t.  Prayer requires discipline and conviction, and we need to fight against our flesh and against Satan, for neither wants to see us pray.

What then will be the result?

Like David, we will come back from the battle having seen God’s strength and salvation, both in our lives and in the lives of others.  We will see people saved.  We will see lives and situations changed.  We will see the hand of God moving in situations that we were powerless to affect.

The Christian who engages in spiritual battle knows of victories that the Christian in the bleachers can only read about.  The bleacher Christian is just as saved, but they do not know the joy of having spent their lives in the Great Battle, and they will not experience the joy that King David and the One Greater Than David knew.

Everyone you know needs you to be fighting.  There is no exception in that statement.  We fight for God’s purposes, and for the sake of others, and as we do, we see God in the battle, and experiencing His strength and salvation.

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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