When something out of the ordinary happens, or we are grappling with some problem, we may turn to someone else and seek his/her advice. This practice is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, when we talk to someone else about a problem, it gives us a chance to crystallize in our own mind what the real problem may be. Once we actually identify the problem, then we start to see the beginnings of a solution. Another person may be able to point out some things we had not even considered. So, seeking advice can be very helpful.
However, advice can also be wrong. Apparently, in Psalm 11, David was facing some kind of problem, and he received some advice from his friends or counselors. Their advice was to run! Obviously, David was not overly pleased with their suggestions! “In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to my soul, flee as a bird to your mountain; for behold the wicked bend the bow; they make ready their arrow on the string to shoot in darkness the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
His timid and fearful friends advised him to flee, but in the beginning of this psalm we can see the great faith of David. We don’t know what specific challenge he faced, but the “wiser” course of’ action would have been to withdraw. David rejected that kind of thinking, because his trust was in the Lord, and he knew that with God anything was possible.
Today, Christians also face trials and opposition. The fact is that the many, many people do not accept the teachings of Jesus Christ. Many leaders in entertainment, news, education, government, and other areas seem to actively work against the great truths of the New Testament. The forces opposed to Jesus Christ and the Gospel seem to be growing in strength.
On a more personal level, we meet people daily that refuse to accept Jesus Christ. Situations will arise where we will find ourselves at a disadvantage because we are Christians. As we look around in the workplace, in our neighborhood, in our schools we may feel lonely, besieged, and ready to give up. Well, what do we do? The advice given to David was – run!
How about that? Should we retreat? Should we give up the field to the enemy because they seem to be stronger or better organized? As Christians look over the ranks of the enemy, they may despair. “How can we do any good against the world? There is so many of them and so few of us!” Without realizing it, congregations can develop a “can’t” attitude about doing the Lord’s work. These congregations view themselves as little fortresses besieged by the forces of evil.
David knew the answer. “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of man.” The point in this Psalm is that no matter how strong the enemy seems to be, the Lord is seated. He knows. He is in control. We need to remember this great fact.
So what does the Lord want from us? He wants trust, faith, confidence, assurance, competence, and calm steadiness as we deal with life in this world. The day can be the darkest just before the victory. In fact, with the Lord; we’ve already won! We must reflect the same attitude and faith as David.
God’s power cannot be measured by the standards of the world. As a Christian, the Lord does not want us to do something for him. Instead, he wants us to let him use us. Look at what was accomplished in the early days of the church. Everyday people, with common skills, were given a mission to spread the Gospel to the world. They did it! “Yes, but that was different. They were different. Times are different. We can’t do that today.”
I submit to you that if we accept these statements, we are accepting lies. If we place our lives in the hands of our God and Father, if we become receptive to the opportunities that will open up before us; then we can be effective in our respective communities. The spreading of the Gospel is one-on-one work. Think of each Christian quietly touching one person after another throughout a life.
What if the individual work of members of each congregation in San Antonio resulted in 10 people obeying the Gospel this year – and then again next year, and the year after? How would that change our communities? Can it be done? Nothing is impossible in the Lord. Remember, “The Lord is in His holy temple”.
Should we run? Forget it! Let Our Light Shine!