Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)
The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
I am glad this verse came up this morning as the events of this world unfold and fear continues to be a dominate influence over our lives. Perhaps our collective perspective should shift from what we see to what we do not see. For this is the essence of our faith … the assurance of our faith … what the Spirit enables us to see through Christ Jesus our Lord:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (NKJV; KJV)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NRSV; ESV; NASB)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)
It is not with physical eyes only that we can see what is happening in our world. Through faith, we are able to see with spiritual eyes … the eyes of our hearts having been enlightened with the Word of God … that we might see what God has revealed to us. And God appointed Paul to expose and articulate the ongoing mysterious and deceptive work of Satan (even within the Church) since its inception during Pentecost:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NIV)
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (Sin) is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt Himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that He sets Himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming Himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the Truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Powerful words for us to consider! Powerful revelation as to what lies ahead … as physical, natural forces merge with spiritual forces of darkness to rusher in the coming of the lawless one! Even now there are public displays and satanic marches in our cities to promote and hasten this coming “One World Order” that has been prophesied. Is it true? Did they actually occur yesterday with the solar eclipse? Are these stories just made up? Well, in the context of what has been happening already this year, you will have to determine for yourself what is real … if you can with so much deception being purveyed in the mainstream and social media outlets…. Where is TRUTH when you need it most?
When Jesus prayed for His disciples and for those who would believe in Him through their testimony, the Gospel of John recorded these words:
John 17:13-21 (NIV)
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them to live in accordance with the truth; Your Word is Truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Yes, we have been sanctified … set apart for service to God. We have been equipped with the Truth of God’s Word and His indwelling Spirit. This is “how” we are no longer OF the world … and this is also “why” we have not been taken out of the world. Jesus empowers His people and sends them to be the light of the world … HIS Light! And did you notice that He prayed for the Father to “protect us from the evil one.” And does His prayer not align with the prophetic word of King David who wrote the Psalm 121 that we are receiving today? Even now, I am reminded again, and I encourage you to read the entire Psalm 91: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most-High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Verses 1-2)
When we dwell in the shelter of the Most-High God … when we abide in Jesus Christ and He in us … we have a refuge and a place of rest! We do not have to be or feel distressed. We have a strong tower and a fortress. Indeed, Father God is our Protector, our Provider, and our High Priest! He is protecting us from the evil one … the lawless one who is coming … so that we will not be deceived or receive powerful delusion to believe the lies of Satan! We have been sanctified by the Truth! And God has not given us a Spirit of fear but a Spirit of power and love and self-control! (Cf. 2 Timothy 1:7) And I emphasize “self-control” because if we reactively engage with those who are blinded to the truth … those who manifest themselves with malicious, riotous, and destructive behaviors after the pattern of Satan … we will not shine as light in the darkness if we fail to exercise self-control over our own emotions. “Instead, let us be speaking the Truth in love … so that we will grow into become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Jesus Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Cf. Ephesians 4:15-16)
Romans 2:6-11 (NIV)
6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” (Cf. Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12) 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
Romans 12:16-18 (NIV)
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Ephesians 6:11-13 (NIV)
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Remember, Jesus has already declared, “I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” ~ Matthew 16:18