God Is Our Stronghold
Psalm 144:1-2 "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."
God is a stronghold for us when Satan tempts us to sin.
There is a place in Israel near the Dead Sea called Masada. 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 often used in the Psalms to describe God. God is a stronghold for us as believers. Because we belong to God, we have an 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 for us to hide in. When we believe His 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?
Truth In Real Life
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Many thought it was a waste of a good life when Jim Elliot announced he was going to spend his life on a foreign mission field. His life and death, however, encouraged thousands to follow his example. Was his life a waste? You decide….
Philip James Elliot was born on October 8, 1927, in Portland, Oregon. His father was an evangelist, and his mother was a chiropractor. Growing up, Jim and his three siblings were introduced to countless missionaries who visited in their home and told them exciting stories about Gospel work.
In 1945, Jim went to Wheaton College. He became a star on the wrestling team, and roomed with Pete Fleming. Together, these two friends dedicated their lives to whatever Christ had for them.
During his junior year of college, he met a godly girl named Elisabeth Howard. They had a long courtship, and then were married on his 26th birthday. Following their marriage, the Elliots continued to form detailed plans on how they could best reach the most unreached Ecuadorian natives with the Gospel. They knew the Aucas were a hostile tribe in Ecuador, but the added risk did not matter to them. They enlisted the help of four other men – including Elliot’s old college roommate, Pete Fleming – and made plans to take the good news specifically to the Aucas.
Little did these five men and their families know that their mission to the Aucas would be the last thing they ever did. On January 8, 1956, some misunderstandings and hostility came to a head, and the Aucas turned against their would-be friends and evangelists. All five of the missionary men were speared to death by those whom they had endeavored to reach.
Through their own family members and those back home who heard about their testimonies, though, the men’s mission to reach the Aucas eventually came to pass. Elisabeth Elliot stayed on and Nate Saint’s sister Rachel came to help. Many more young workers were inspired to give their lives to missionary endeavors worldwide as a result of the Ecuador martyrs’ sold-out dedication to spreading God’s Gospel.
As Jim Elliot wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
What are you doing for God right now? Are you doing your best in the responsibilities God has given you right now? Your school work? Being in your family and in your church family what you ought to be? Do you take your work and your studies seriously? Wherever you are right now (by God’s grace), “be there” with your whole heart!
1 Corinthians 10:31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.