Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Psalm 91 - The Soldier's Prayer

My ears always perk up when I hear a story of how God’s Word has made a difference in someone’s life. For me, it is wonderful to read the Bible and see and know the greatness of our God through His written Word. It is also exciting to see and read about the application of His Word in more modern times.
It has been reported that during WWI the soldiers of the 91st Brigade daily recited Psalm 91. This brigade engaged in three of the war’s bloodiest battles, and while other units suffered casualties of up to ninety percent, the 91st Brigade did not suffer a single combat-related death.

Thinking about that story made me wonder why we suffer so many “combat-related” deaths in ministry or church work. Aren’t we all supposed to be on the same side? God has commanded that we “go and make disciples”.
One word continues to come to mind—pride. Webster says that pride is “an over-high opinion of oneself”. Proverbs 18:12 reads, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud…” The Greek word for proud found in this verse is not an adjective but rather a verb—showing action. Pride is busy doing something.

I must regrettably admit that I have had a problem with pride on more than one occasion in my life. It is a battle that I continue to fight. The funny thing about pride is that we do not usually recognize it in our self but can see it clearly in others. It is sneaky—this thing we call pride. It is the reason satan was kicked out of heaven, Nebuchadnezzar was struck by the Lord to live like an animal in the fields, and men and women today are disgraced on the nightly news for the entire world to see.
My pride usually comes in the form of speaking when I need to keep quiet—thinking that what I have to say is more important or correct than someone else—the gift and the curse of being a writer I suppose. But isn’t that what usually causes the conflict in ministry—words? Words are a powerful tool. They can be used to build up one another or to slice each other like a knife. Words can make or break a ministry, a pastor, a music minister, a Sunday school teacher, a youth director, a children’s ministry worker, a hospitality team member, a custodian or any fellow church member.

We are soldiers. We are fighting the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12). We are on the same side. So, as we move forward in battle, let us adopt Psalm 91 as our battle cry. Let us pray that prayer over the church—not the Baptist church or the Methodist church or the Nazarene church—but the Bride of Christ. Let us make God our dwelling place, our refuge and fortress.
He is able to save us from anything the enemy shoots in our direction, and He is able to save us from “combat-related” casualties brought on by our own words. This is a hard one, but we can do it. Just a thought! Have a blessed day, and don’t forget to look up.

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