Kept in the Stronghold
“Rule over me, O God, and contend my cause against people: Keep me safe from the deceitful and unjust man. For you are the God of my stronghold: Will you reject me? Do I need to mourn in darkness because of the oppression of the enemy?”
We like David, never need to fear rejection and darkness of our souls. John sums up for us the truth about the saving and keeping power of God. “Every individual that the Father gives to me will come to me; and he that comes to me I will never cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of him that sent me. Moreover this is the Father’s will that sent me, that I should not lose any individual that He has given me, but will raise them up in the last day. This is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believes on him, has life without beginning or end: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)
There are two great truths contained in this short passage. First, every man, woman, or child, who God the Father has given to Jesus Christ, will come to him. Modern evangelistic practices have “muddied” the water of true evangelism. What does it mean to come to Jesus? There is not one single verse that instructs anyone to pray the sinner’s prayer. In fact, the pattern for any prayer of salvation is not found in the Bible. In most churches today, unbelieving and unsaved folks are urged to “say” a prayer to be assured of salvation. From that point on, the one who has said that prayer is told that they are saved in order to give them an assurance of their salvation.
But assurance of salvation comes from other sources. “And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the Witness of God is far greater: for this is the Witness of God who has witnessed about His Son. He that has confidence on the Son of God has the Witness in himself: he that doesn’t have confidence in God has made him a liar; because he doesn’t believe the testimony that God gave concerning His Son. And this is that testimony that God has given us life without beginning or end, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things have I written unto you that have confidence on the name of the Son of God; in order that you may understand that you have life without beginning or end, and that you will have confidence on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:8-13) John told us “He that has confidence in the Son of God has the Witness in himself.” How is that confidence within the believing man? Jesus told his disciples, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, in order that He will remain with you forever, the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot have because it does not consider Him, nor understand him: but you know him since He remains with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) He continued their instruction with these words, “But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who comes forth from the Father, He will bear witness concerning me: and you also will bear witness, because you have been mine from the beginning.” (John 15:26, 27)
What does all of that mean?
- Those that come to the Lord Jesus Christ have been chosen by God, kept by the Son, and instructed and led by the Spirit of Truth.
- Our confidence and assurance is not because of something we have done, but because of the indwelling Spirit of Truth who is within us.
- The Spirit of Truth, who is the Holy Spirit, witnesses to us about our relationship with the Father and the Son, and causes our life to be a true witness to the world around us.
- God will never reject us or cast us aside. We are kept by HIM.
Our salvation is NOT dependant on anything that we have or can do, but totally on the work of God on our behalf. As David said, “you are the God of my stronghold.”
The second truth involved, is the fact that the Enemy, who is Satan himself, may seek to oppress us but cannot keep us under his power and control. Therefore we can say with David, “Do I need to mourn in darkness because of the oppression of the enemy?” The answer, of course, is an emphatic “NO!”
Webster’s 1828 dictionary rightly defines oppression “To load or burden with unreasonable impositions; to overpower; to overburden; as, to be oppressed with grief.” In other words, the Enemy seeks to put on the believer a load or burden with unreasonable consequences. He wants the “load” to overpower or beat us down. David understood the source of depression and the reason for oppression. “Listen to me and respond: I am restless in my anxiety, and am discomforted because of the voice of the enemy, and confrontation with him: for he directs wickedness on me, and in anger and he hates me.” (Psalm 55:2-3) Our enemy hates us and when we listen to his voice rather than God’s, he brings his anger and oppression down on us. Satan has fooled many untaught and unsuspecting believers into accepting the lie that he has power over them to keep them bound by sin of the past, habits not yet broken, and most of all the memory of our forgiven sin. He is the ultimate liar and deceiver. “And the great dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent, named the Devil [the Accuser], and Satan [the Adversary], who deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:9-10)
Do you, in the confidence of faith, cry out like David and say, “Rule over me, O God, and contend my cause against people: Keep me safe from the deceitful and unjust man”?
We are kept in the Stronghold!