Now, let's go back to our main text in psalm 23. this is a psalm of David. Who is David? He was the king of Israel. A great man and a renowned warrior. He was the person that God said was a man after His heart. David from his tender age knew what battle, trouble, sell-out, danger, disappointment, betrayal, ambush meant. From his childhood he fought until old age. He had met death face to face on many occasions, and God helped him to overcome. So, David is qualified by any standards to talk about fear, courage and deliverance, hence, his telling us in this psalm that even if he walks through the valley of death, he would not fear any evil. He has seen valleys of death. He had seen great dangers and evils. He had also seen afflictions and the LORD delivered him from all of them. In his own words, he said it is "walking through the valley of death." Yes, there could be valley of death. But you will walk through it. It does not stay permanently, and it will not consume you. Hard situations will always come and go. They can never remain forever.
How did David come about this courage and faith in the power of God? When he was still a youth, he killed lions and bears that came to attack the sheep he was taking care of. In fact, on some occasions, the wild beasts running away with the sheep, David runs after them, snatches the sheep and tears the animals into pieces. After these encounters, he challenged and killed the great Goliath who kept Israel trembling in fear and humiliation for 40 days. When he eventually became the king of Israel, he also led the people of God to numerous victorious wars. With the help of God, he also defeated the various attempts to destroy him by king Saul and even his own son- Absalom. This same David survived the treachery of some of his former close allies including the great Ahithophel. In all these, David came out alive and victorious. So, when such a man talks about not being afraid of evil and enemies, he sure knows what he is saying. He is not saying that fearful situations, perilous times and dangerous enemies will not confront us, but that we should not be overtaken by fear; because the Lord is always by our side to protect and comfort us. He said his confidence is that God's protective power (rod and staff) is always there to save him from any danger. Not just protecting him, but also prepares a feast for him in the presence of his enemies. It is only a man who has total confidence in the power of God that can make such bold statements. Yes, David was right and we must learn from him.
If you want to be successful as a Christian, you must be fearless and courageous. God said that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power. God does not walk with the fearful. In fact, in the book of Revelation, He even said that the fearful will go to hell. God wants us to operate on the same plain with Him. The plain of the supernatural. On this plain, you operate by faith. You believe all things, even when available natural facts are saying the contrary. You see beyond the human senses. At the supernatural plain you rule over the natural or physical situations. You operate as a lord. Lord over natural Circumstances. This is not to say that things that should ordinary make you to be afraid will not come, they will. But you will refuse to succumb. Why? Because you always have the assurance that His "rod and staff" will protect you. And that they will never fail. This is the level that God wants Christians to operate. Nothing, no situation in this life should intimidate you.
You must always know that every situation you pass through in this life is temporal. No matter how terrible it might look. Maybe you're presently going through ill-health, unemployment, childlessness, disappointment, lack, or problem in your relationship. They are all temporal. The only thing that is permanent is the words (promises) of God. For they remain from generations to generations. When you realize this, nothing will make you afraid again. In your present situation God is not just coming to save you, but will also promote you. Look at what He said in Psalm 91:14-15, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call me, I will answer, I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them."
Rev Gabriel Agbo is of the Assemblies of God and the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer. Tel: 08037113283. E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.authorsden.com/pastorgabrielnagbo
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