Seek God's protection when gearing up for life's battles
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, March 2, 2019
“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress: may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. … Lord give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!” — Psalm 20:1 & 9 (The Bible, New International Version)
How do you psych yourself up for a challenge? What do you do to prepare for the impossible? When you are in agony from facing significant challenges, whom do you cry out to? If you are about to go to war, what do you pray?
Psalm 20 is David’s prayer before war. This is a man simply asking God to bless him and his country with victory in battle. The nation of Israel used this prayer before their battles. Throughout American history, our military chaplains have quoted these nine verses prior to battle. May you never be on the eve of battle. But if you are one of the few who know they will go to battle tomorrow, please read and pray this Psalm. For the rest of us, this can guide us when it is our turn to face life’s biggest battles.
When facing a battle, ask God for protection (Psalm 20:1-5). Stand up. Speak up. Request help from the One with all authority. He is able and willing to help you. What are you waiting for? Ask God for help. He is ready to listen and to assist.
Not only did David ask God to help him during war, but he also asked God to remember his sacrifice and offering to God during times of peace. This request could be awkward for many people who have not made him Lord of their life prior to battle. If we fail to live a life in proper relationship with the Father, it would be awkward to ask God to honor a sacrifice or offering. If we have surrendered no part of our life to him, it would not be natural. If you are trying to live right, it will be easier to ask God to remember your faithfulness to Him. When there is a battle on the horizon, can you say to God, “Remember?” Why not renew your walk with God now, when all is good, so that when life is overwhelming, you can cry out to him for help, like David did.
Regardless, God is willing and ready to grant you success! This is our victory chant. When God is on your side, you can shout the victory chant even before the battle! If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:21)?
Indeed, God saves us (Psalm 20:6). It is the Lord that will fight and win our battles for us. The Lord saves. This is difficult to understand with a human mind, but the battle is already won before it begins. God’s right hand saves you from hell. He saves you from sin, from depression, darkness, loneliness, sadness, death, poverty ... you name it. God is able to rescue you. Truly, we have a god who gives great victories of guaranteed blessings.
Trust in God for His deliverance (Psalm 20:7-9). David’s warriors shouted that their trust was not in chariots or horses, but in God. There is nothing on this earth as strong as God. We would do well to remember that God’s deliverance is already granted. Foolish arrogance would be to believe you can achieve victory by yourself. But when you petition the Lord for protection, you can immediately lean into your victory. As the old hymn reminds us, “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever!” Salvation belongs to you because you trust in the Lord for deliverance.
Dr. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.