"In the Presence Of Mine Enemies"
Other than the sand, sun, and salt water, I love everything about the beach (!). Give me a moment, and I'll think of something that might be left regarding these God-forsaken plac…. (just kidding!). Of course, I know the Lord made beaches for some reason I have yet to discover, and I am perfectly fine with other folks - most folks, in fact - who enjoy the sand, sea, and surf that fail to offer any appeal to me. I am far more a forest and mountain fellow, places where the sun filters through beautiful trees, cool rather than warm breezes gently waft through leaves (no leaves at the beach!), and where high peaks offer scenic vistas of something other than a flat horizon. So, enjoy your cherished venues, beachcombers, and after you recover from your sunburn, the wooded mountains beckon!
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof… The whole earth is full of His glory" (Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 6:3).
Seriously, I am aware that beaches are no less our Lord's possession than forested mountains. God's presence and involvement fill a sin-damaged earth, just as His presence and involvement fill sin-damaged people who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are, of course. Sin-damaged, that is. Born again believers have yet to experience Christ's full redemption (Romans 8:23). Despite the presence of the Holy Spirit in our grace-enlivened spirits, a "law of sin" remains in our earthly faculties and members (Romans 7:22-25). Moreover, salvation in Christ does not completely erase the influence of past or even present difficulties and disappointments. Thus, we remain susceptible to temptation. Emotional and physical scars also remain with us despite our being the sons and daughters of God in Christ. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels" declared the Apostle Paul, "that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us" (II Corinthians 4:7). The power to overcome our liabilities dwells within us through Christ, and sometimes the challenges dissipate or even disappear. Some remain, however, thus providing opportunity to know the presence and power of the Lord Jesus in overcoming rather than His merely obliterating enemies. Just as thirty one pagan kings awaited Israel in the promised land, so our Heavenly Father does not drive away every enemy in our lives (Joshua 12:24). Indeed, of infirmities and troubles, Paul affirmed, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that lived us" (Romans 8:37).
The day will come when God completely delivers us from this present life wherein we must overcome susceptibility to temptation, hurts, and hindrances. Until then, we expect challenges and even more, we expect the grace to meet them in the triumph of the Lord Jesus. The beaches belong to our Lord no less than the mountains. All is His. But nothing in this life is as yet fully redeemed. The pagan kings await us, as it were, providing opportunity to discover the overcoming ability of Christ "according to the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). We also realize the faithfulness of our Father, who goes with us to meet the challenges that we never face alone. All is His. We go forth in this assurance, realizing that the foes of a fallen world ultimately serve rather than destroy us.
"Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies."
Weekly Memory Verse
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.