The War with Evil

Enemy attack? There was a time in my life when I had no enemies. Once I began ministry, however, that changed. It should come as no surprise that many who serve God in full-time ministry become targets of demonic assaults, especially those who serve in regions where the powers of darkness are commonplace. But enemy attacks are by no means limited to those dark corners of the world.

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Longing for God

The composition of David—preserved for us as Psalms 42 and 43—sings the following lines three times, strongly suggesting the issue at hand is inner turmoil. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him. (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5) The term “despair” comes from the Hebrew word shakhakh, which in the literal sense means “to crouch, bow down.”

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Confess and Be Cleansed

No one can tell me that Scripture, though written more than two thousand years ago, is not relevant today. David’s poem is both beautiful and practical. Having celebrated the faithfulness of God and acknowledged the difficulty of confession, he scolds the reader for his or her stubborn pride.

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Sin Distorts the Truth

As David’s celebration song about God’s forgiveness continues, he recognizes that confession is costly. He also acknowledges the fact that we have a window of opportunity that may, one day, close. Consequently, he prays for God’s future provision. Provision for Future Needs: Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

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The Bitter Price of Secret Sin

David’s celebration of God’s forgiveness takes a dark turn as he recalls his anguished past. He remembers—perhaps accompanied by a gloomy minor key—the days of misery he spent in the isolation of secret sin. Reflection on Past Sins: When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

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From Self-deception to Relief

I once asked my sister, Luci, to name the emotion she considered the most powerful and enjoyable of all. She surprised me with her answer: relief. After thinking for a moment, I had to agree. Relief is everyone’s favorite feeling! David’s song about forgiveness begins with a celebration of relief, which he found in God’s forgiveness of his transgression.

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Living under the Cloud of Guilt

Your conscience may be invisible but it is certainly not inactive! Who hasn’t been kept awake by its pleadings? With incredible regularity, an unforgiven conscience can rob us of an appetite, steal our sleep, and drive us to distraction. Do you remember Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”? The main character has committed murder.

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Self-Promotion

As you continue your attentive listening this week, keep your ears open for another kind of offensive, unproductive speech. It might seem like a minor problem, but I assure you, the Scriptures take this seriously. I’m referring to boasting, to speech or activities that assume a place of superiority over others. 4. Boasting

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Your Greatest Treasure

As we examine Solomon’s counsel on the importance of guarding one’s heart, note that he again directs his words to “my son.” Because the Holy Spirit preserved this passage for us, we now benefit from Solomon’s wise fatherly advice. Observe his comment about inclining your ear to his sayings and keeping them “in the midst of your heart” (v. 21). Very interesting!

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God’s Standard of Living

Benjamin Franklin once called David’s Psalm 15 the “Gentleman’s Psalm.” To him, it represented the standard of life after which a gentleman should pattern his walk. As fine a description as that may be, David’s song goes even deeper than that—it is indeed the “Christian’s Psalm.” It sets forth not so much the way a person finds the Lord as the way we are to live after the Lord has entered our life.

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