God Is Our Stronghold
"Blessed be the LORD my strength...my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust." (Psalm 144:1-2)
There is a place in Israel near the Dead Sea called Masada (muh-SAH-duh). It looks like a mountain with a flat, square top. Masada was once a huge getaway palace for Herod the Great. In the first century after the time of Christ, Jewish people used it as a fortress. Men, women, and children lived there for three years, hiding from the Romans who had attacked and destroyed their cities. "The Romans cannot get to us here," they thought. "We are safe in Masada."
But they were not safe. The Roman army built a siege ramp all the way up the side of the mountain. Day after day, the Jews saw the Romans working on the ramp, and they knew that they had only a little time.
When the Romans finally stormed up the siege ramp to take the fortress, they found all of the Jewish people dead. The Jews had decided to kill themselves rather than lose their freedom. Their Masada had not protected them after all.
The word "Masada" comes from a Hebrew word that is often translated "fortress," "defence," or "stronghold." This word is used in the Psalms to describe God. God is a stronghold for people who put their trust in Him. Because believers belong to God, they have a natural enemy, Satan, who is the enemy of God. Satan would like us to turn away from God and live in sin, doubt, and defeat.
But when Satan and his forces attack our minds and hearts, God is a safe fortress where we can hide. When we believe God's Word and depend on His help to obey it, He will keep us from sin. God is stronger than Masada. He will never fail or be taken by the enemy. Satan can never defeat us when we make God our stronghold.
God is a stronghold for us when Satan tempts us to sin.
» Am I abiding in God as my stronghold?
» Is there something or someone less than God that I've been trusting to take care of me?
» Am I struggling with something right now that I could ask God to help me with?
Truth In Real Life
"I have been asked the question: 'Has God always given you just what you have asked for?' Oh no! For Him to have done so would have been great unkindness.”
Born May 6, 1864, near Kensington Gardens, London, Florence Rosalind Bell-Smith was considered talented even as a child. In 1885, she graduated from the Toronto School of Art and prepared to be a well-respected artist.
But God had other plans for Rosalind’s life. When she was twelve years old, she attended a revival meeting and heard the preacher preach from John 3:16. About that meeting, she wrote:
As he presented with great intensity and fervour the picture of the love of God, I yielded myself absolutely to the Lord Jesus Christ and stood up among others, publicly confessing Him as my Master.
From the time she was saved, Rosalind felt a strong tug-of-war between her love of art and her desire to serve God full-time with her life. She told the Lord that she wanted to get married someday, but only if the man was completely sold out to Christ. When she met Jonathan Goforth and saw how completely worn out his Bible was from being read so often, she thought this could very well be God’s choice for her husband.
Her love of art was overcome over time with a love for serving Christ. On February 4, 1888, the Goforths set sail for China, where they had great plans to spread the Gospel. Two weeks after they settled into their new home, it burned to the ground; and during their years in ministry, they lost five of their eleven children. But in the midst of all their trials and changes in plans, they found God completely sufficient.
Do you really believe that God is wise enough to plan your life? Do you believe His will is best, that it is definitely better than yours? Anything you plan for yourself is bound to be less wonderful than what God has in mind for His higher, better plans. God wants what will be ultimately best for your life, even more than you do!
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.