First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 71

Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    never let me be defeated!
Psalm 71:1 (GNT)

Let us hope in God’s protection.

So many things in our lives can defeat us. We can be cruising along, enjoying life, when Bam! out of nowhere, we’re knocked down. Or maybe we see the forces mounting, surrounding, calling in reinforcements against us. However it happens, maybe we think, surely its all over.

But is it?

As a lover of fantasy and a good story, I can’t help but revisit the amazing epic battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings. Their fight for all that’s good in middle earth, their battle against the consuming darkness, their clash after clash with the enemy. In the Battle for Helms Deep, the heroes are trapped, their fortress besieged, the enemy barrages the gates, hope seems gone. Yet they rally. They will fight. They mount up. They draw their weapons. The trump sounds. And they meet the attack head on. In the midst of the defensive strike, they trust help will arrive. At the height of their engagement with the enemy “suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun.”

Indeed. My heart can’t help but thrill at the image. Help. Protection. Victory.

Our daily lives tend not to be an epic war scene, and yet we may face conflict on every side. As we fight our daily skirmishes and big battles, we have to remind ourselves, our struggle is not what it seems. We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against an enemy who seeks to steal from us, kill us, destroy us. We fight against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (from John 10:10 and Ephesians 6:12)

Therefore, we cannot do battle as the world does. So how do we battle? Just how does the Lord call us to victory? We must recognize we can’t fight on our own. Like the Psalmist, we must come to the Lord for protection. He provides us with the strength and the weapons.

We are called to put on every piece of God’s armor so we will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle we will still be standing firm. (from Ephesians 6:13)

We are to use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (from 2 Corinthians 10:4)

Two things, Scripture tells us, gives us victory.

Our faith in Jesus. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (from 1 John 5:4-5)

Our testimony. And they have defeated him (the accuser, also know as satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. (from Revelation 12:20)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. (Ephesians 6:13-18, MSG)

Prayer

Thank You Heavenly Father! You give us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. We who have Your word living in our hearts have won our battle with the evil one. And the victory belongs to You.

Grace and Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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