Inspired by The Bible Study Group
“I try so hard” remarked one of the participants at a small Christian gathering. He went on, “I think I am doing so well in my walk with Christ and then it’s like I fall off the rails”. “Join the club”, another participant offered, “It happens to me too”. Before long, all of us in the group freely admitted to falling prey to such things as too much alcohol, or bursts of anger, or being prone to covet, or perhaps loving gossip too much, or indulging in gluttony, impure thinking and deeds, or maybe selfishness and greed. Fortunately, as Christians, we are under the Blood of Christ and cannot be possessed, but we can be influenced, and it is at these times when we sin. Demons know our weaknesses. It’s like an idea popping into our minds, it can be good or bad. If bad, it is the demon influence. If good, it’s likely the Holy Spirit or despite the fact we are weak, maybe we drawn strength. By the way, we don’t hear the Holy Spirit, but it is communicating with us because it is teaching us. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit does not allow demons to possess Christians.
Prayer, Prayer and lots of prayer! That’s the answer when the influences seem too great. And there are so many wonderful prayers throughout the Bible that can help us in times of weakness, the Lord’s Prayer, for example. Another is the prayer of protection, Psalm 91. I recite these daily, along with one of my favourites, Psalm 23. It helps me when I try to understand the deeper meaning of the prayer, what the Lord God is imparting to us as we reflect on His Words. Let me try to show you what I mean through the words I think He inspired David to instill in our hearts. You may have deeper thoughts as to the meaning and if you do, perhaps you can share them with us via letter or e-mail.
When I recite the first line of the psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd”, I shut my eyes and see my Comforter, my Protector and my Guide, and it gives me such a wonderful feeling of knowing I am a child of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is lovingly watching over my journey through life. Then, when David wrote, “I shall not want”, I understand He is my Provider, not only of the basics of life, but the strength when I need it most and the compassion for those close to me and those who come into my life.
When I recite, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters”, I think of all the blessings He instilled in me and feel so fortunate that He has prepared me for the road He selected for me. Then, when He had David write, “He restoreth my soul”, He is whispering to me that He is forgiving my sins and what a joyous feeling it is that I have a fresh new beginning, to live life as He wants me to. If only!
Then David wrote the Lord’s Words, “He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake”, easily the most powerful line in the entire psalm, in my view. Now, this righteous path runs right through our life’s journey, from our birth to our death, just as David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (from our birth to our death). But, oh what a glorious journey! Jesus trod the path Himself, but He was perfect; we are not. And so, we are bound to stray from time to time and when we do, those are the times we experience failures, losses, disappointments and those always regrettable “unchecked temptations”.
Still, we Christians can look at this valley of the shadow of death and feel blessed with God’s following Words, as expressed by David, “I will feel no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. You see, the Holy Spirit is with us, encouraging us to return to the righteous path and remaining on it for longer periods of time, each time; giving us the strength to overcome our weakness and above all, to encourage us to seek the peace and protection of the “rod and staff”, which simply represent the “beautiful laws and commandments” of the Lord God Almighty. How blessed we are.
When I contemplate David’s praise of God, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies”, I can’t help but think of the words of John when asked about those in white robes, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb”. The final sentence of this psalm, that I will quote later, is the reward for all those who have come under the Blood of Christ”.
First, however, David wrote, “thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over”. I’m sure all of us to whom God the Father directed to Jesus Christ have come to realize how God treats us as special and showers us with special gifts, perhaps greater peace, love, opportunities to serve, perhaps even greater blessings. But, as we view life, both before and after we come to Christ, we realize our lives are abundant.
So, it is easy to understand, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. And it is because that once we have come under the Blood of Jesus Christ, we catch ourselves quickly and get back on that righteous path and do our best to stay there for longer and longer periods of time. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit guiding our steps and encouraging us.
And the great reward, “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”, which, of course, is that most wonderful “kingdom of God” that will finally be complete when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to take up His Throne.
As I recite this prayer, I think of the great responsibility we have to spread the Gospels of the Kingdom and Salvation and news of the Israel Truth to our brethren around the world. As an Association, we try to do it through the publication of this magazine and the hoped-for wisdom throughout our website. As we read through Matthew 24, we can’t help but think that the age is soon to close with the return of our Wonderful Lord; so we encourage those of you who could do more, to perhaps pass along our magazine and renew your efforts to convey God’s Word to family, friends and associates.
God will bless you for your work.