Day 8 – Peace amidst Our Enemies
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
– Psalm 4:8
Have you had any sleepless nights lately? Ceaseless deception was at the root to David’s angst in Psalm 4. In the year 2021, we find that we are surrounded by so many lies that we can no longer discern fact from fiction and therefore cannot make righteous judgments. We, as an entire nation, believers and unbelievers alike, are deceived and oppressed by the father of lies who manipulates our information in such a way that we feel exasperated with half the nation, beaten down, confused, pursued, afflicted, slandered, and even divided as the people of God. The psalmist certainly relates as he cries out, “How long will my honor be turned into shame and how long will you love vain words and seek after lies?” Are you tired of crying out to God? Are you angry? Through much fasting and prayer, this has been my chief prayer for the past 5 years: that God will expose the lies and reveal the Spirit of Truth. Many of us ask with exhaustion and discouragement, “How long?” In this Psalm, He reveals to us the secrets to His deliverance into boundless joy and perfect peace.
Our anger, division, and exhaustion must propel us into the Biblical prescription for both peace and purpose in 2021. Psalm 4 gives a Biblical prescription that was effective for King David; we are directed to avoid sin in our anger, ponder in our own hearts on our beds and be silent, offer right sacrifices, and put our trust in the Lord. If you, like myself, find that you have sinned in your righteous anger, we must come clean before the Lord and ask for forgiveness, no matter how righteous the cause. Jesus had the ultimate righteous cause, the ultimate suffering and persecution, the ultimate attack against the Father’s Kingdom, yet He never sinned in His pursuit of establishing the truth for all mankind. We must repent. Secondly, offering right sacrifices is scripturally defined as offering our whole hearts above even our obedient fasting sacrifice. Thirdly, put your trust in the Lord! He was and is the God who makes a way when there is no other way. He was and is the God who best demonstrates His glory in the most seemingly impossible situations.
Having suffered, myself, from 2007-2011 with debilitating sickness amidst no answers and countless doctors, I had many sleepless nights. My peace had been replaced with dread and despair. Our enemies are spiritual, whether they manifest in physical illness, fleshly adversaries, or national catastrophe. One night in particular, I remember crying so helplessly on my bed that I was afraid I would wake my husband. I climbed out of bed, got on the floor, and in an effort of demonstrable faith, I reached back and grabbed the tangible burden from between my shoulder blades and symbolically offered it up to the Lord. As I put my trust in the Lord, the Avenger of my enemies fought for me in that exchange. What followed was indescribable peace that allowed me to sleep immediately. Our God is fighting for us. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. In these 21 days, as we do our fighting in prayer and fasting, the Avenger is destroying our spiritual enemies. I can testify that the Lord brought me answers and healing, added two more children to our family, and has called me to serve Him in a capacity that has made my joy abound, like David, “more than when grain and wine abound!”
Brothers and sisters, as we fast and shed tears in our bed, as we wear out our knees before the Father, we cannot give up. How many times has God given you relief in your distress? The testimonies in my life are far too great to do anything less than pour gasoline on my flickering faith. Our God is faithful and will not only bring boundless and incomparable joy, but will meet us in such a way as to establish the kind of peace that allows us to sleep in the presence of our enemies! Now that is peace.
O faithful One, You are God of the universe. You hear when we call to You! We confess our sinfulness, brokenness, and inability to solve our own problems. Destroy the works of our enemies and deliver Your people into joy and peace as we purpose anew to serve You in righteousness and truth in 2021.
Karen S. Hetzler
Assistant Ministry Director, Christian Union New York
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