By Judson Cornwall
“Your God has commanded your strength; strengthen, O God, what You have done for us” (Ps 68:28).
God had led His people into the Promised Land. Israel had settled down, and was learning how to rule and govern herself among the nations. She was preparing to become a world power.
King David, however, was uneasy in his spirit. Was the little nation of Israel really ready to stand up to the enemy forces around her?
ONLY GOD CAN PROTECT AND PROMOTE WHAT HE HAS BEGUN
David realized that it was not through their strength that they possessed the land. It was a mighty work of God. David also knew that only the Lord can protect and promote that which He has begun. “Show forth Your strength on our behalf, O God!”
When we march with God in the wilderness, we must totally look to Him to provide food, water, and shelter from the heat and cold. He alone can direct and protect us through the many dangers on every side. There is no place for pride on our part; we must completely depend upon God to bring us safely into the Promised Land.
Once we have arrived, however, our attitude can change. It is easy to forget God’s part in our success. We begin to think that the gains we have made were due to our own strength and wisdom. We tend to feel safe and sufficient in ourselves. How sad this is. God’s blessings should make us grateful to Him rather than forgetful of Him.
We must always remember that only “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3).
We can enter and occupy a new realm only by the power of God. He alone can complete what He has begun. How quickly Christian fellowships and organizations forget this. As their programs grow and develop, they rely more and more upon their own abilities, and less upon God. In time, God’s wisdom and power are replaced by man’s reason and ability. There may be an outward form of godliness, but the true power of God has long since departed (2Tim 3:5).
We all need to remember that who we are and where we are in God is completely a work of His grace. If we remove the presence and power of the Lord Jesus from the scene of our religious efforts, the whole picture will fade away. In the eyes of God, there will be nothing left worth looking at. Jesus said there will be a day when many who thought they were doing great things in the name of the Lord will be disappointed. To their sad surprise, God will declare that He never knew them. Their earthly work was both unseen and unknown in Heaven. What man achieves through his own pride and power will have no heavenly reward (Matt 7:21-23).
THE GOD OF STRENGTH
We are expected to grow in Christ and become strong in the Lord. However, we will never come to a place where we no longer need His presence or power. We will always be dependent upon Him, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This is a spiritual truth which is set forth by God Himself. He knows we can neither gain nor sustain – get or keep – our divine possessions apart from His power. Therefore, He not only brings us into our Promised Land, but remains with us to strengthen our stand.