From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
One thing we notice in the psalms of David is that he says a great deal about his enemies. If ever a man had enemies, it was David. But he had learned the secret of dealing with his enemies. He had learned the secret of evoking God’s presence and God’s help and here he reveals the secret very simply. It’s to offer God praise.
He says, “God has ordained from the lips of children and infants praise.” Children and infants are the weakest in the natural, but when praise comes from the lips of even the weakest; its effect is to silence the foe and the avenger.
The Bible shows us so clearly that every one of us has a foe, an avenger – someone who’s out to destroy us. His name is Satan. He’s the devil. He’s the accuser of the brothers. He’s the one who misrepresents us, who’s always against us, who misinterprets everything we do, who accuses us before the very throne of God. How can we stop him? How can we silence him? The answer is by praise. When praise ascends to God, it silences Satan. It silences his accusations. It stops his mouth and we have free, unhindered access to God. We live out our life without that continual condemnation of Satan’s accusations.
Remember, praise is the way to bring God in on your side against the devil.
Looking back over my life, I am amazed as I recall the sorrows, deep waters, and flaming fires I have endured. Even the memory of some of these experiences is painful. Yet, I can say with assurance, “God’s Word is true. He brought me out of every trial and I praise him!”
I am certain that many of you reading this can describe many troubles in your past and you have a story to tell. What would your story sound like? If you love Jesus with all your heart, your testimony likely would be, “God has always brought me through. I never went completely under and those things are behind me now. I’m still here and I’m still praising the Lord!”
God is not satisfied with merely a heartfelt “thank you” from us, however. He says, “Wait just a moment, my child. I didn’t bring you through all your challenges just to make you a grateful overcomer. No, I have made a big investment in you and I won’t let you waste your experiences. Your best work is ahead of you!”
When Paul was an older man with years of experience, he spoke to his friends from his heart: “The most wonderful thing for me right now would be to go home and be with my Lord. That is my true desire. But I’m a veteran and I know I am needed here. This generation needs to see a sufferer who survives and rejoices in any affliction. Others are going to face all that I have faced and they need to know that God will bring them through. I not only have survived but I have done so with true hope. I rejoice in the Lord for all he has done for me” (see Philippians 1:21-26).
Do not let your sufferings be in vain. Be determined to learn more about God’s love and faithfulness in the midst of this.
Let us consider three simple things reinforced in the Word of God for those who would discern God’s highest will. First, be willing to put away known sin! Second, separate yourself from all of the attractions of the world, the flesh and the devil! Finally, offer yourself to your God and Savior in believing faith! God has never yet turned away an honest, sincere person who has come to know the eternal value of the atonement and the peace that is promised through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The only person who will never be cleansed and made whole is the one who insists he or she needs no remedy. The person who comes in faith to God and confesses, “I am unclean; I am sin-sick; I am blind,” will find mercy and righteousness and life. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Cleanser. He is the Purifier, the Healer. He is the Sight-giver and the Life-giver. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
There’s a warning against deceiving ourselves, imagining that we can sow one thing in life and reap something different, imagining that we can get away with things that God won’t see, that we won’t be caught up with the consequences of our actions. The Bible warns us this isn’t so. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
We know this is true in the natural realm. We know that if we plant an orange pip an apple will never grow. We know that if we sow maize, barley will never grow. What we sow is what’s going to come up out of it. So many, however, that see this in the natural don’t realize it’s equally true in the spiritual.
God has made the whole universe with the same principle – that what we sow we reap. If we sow unkindness, we’ll reap unkindness. If we sow selfishness, we’ll reap selfishness. If we sow bitter words, we’ll reap bitter words. But if we sow peace, we’ll reap peace. If we sow love, we’ll reap love. If we sow joy, we’ll reap joy.
Are you dissatisfied with your life? Are you dissatisfied with the way things are? Remember that what you are reaping is the result of what you have sown. If you want to reap differently, you’ll have to begin to sow differently. God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows.