A Stronghold in Times of Trouble!

“The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:7-10 NIV).

If the Lord reigns–not just in the atmosphere–but in our hearts, the world will know peace. Where there is no peace, we do not acknowledge who He is and do not allow Him to govern our lives. If He is not governing our lives–we fall prey to the influence of the enemy and allow his influence to reign in our lives.

But we don’t have to. The Word tells us to “give no place for the devil” and we should heed the Word. But what does that mean?

It means that when we know certain situations or people can open the door for the devil to step in–we should avoid them. Now, there The Word tells us there is no temptation that can confront us that He has not made a way of escape. The escape route that many ignore–is the wisdom to avoid the situation in the first place. If we do not place ourselves or allow others to put us in a position where we can be tempted, we effectively keep the devil’s influence out of our lives.

But when we don’t–heed wise instruction and warnings–the devil’s influence does not creep in–it walks into a situation because we have opened the door. When the devil does what the devil does–influencing others to do what is wrong–who is the guilty party? Is it the one who succumbed to the influence or the one who created the situation by opening the door?

People who have overcome addictions of all types, have nothing to prove to others and especially those who are trying to influence their judgment and behavior. It is not all right for anyone who suffers from addiction to put themselves in harm’s way, nor should they put themselves into a position to be influenced by others to do so. When we do things that we know are contrary to Holy Spirit’s influence, we cannot say, “this is just a test.” No, that is just foolishness.

We would not put a known thief in a room full of valuables and leave them alone, expecting them not to take anything. That’s not faith, it’s foolishness. The same is true of anything we value–respect, integrity, honor–all should be more valuable than things, and yet we risk allowing the enemy to influence what we do, when we think we know more than God.

The Bible tells us that no one should say when they are tempted, they are tempted by God, but understand we are tempted by our own lusts. We are tempted because of pride and egos and when we allow pride and ego to get in the way of wisdom and making wise decisions, we have no one to blame, but ourselves.

And when temptation wins–the least we can do is to acknowledge how wrong we were in allowing the situation to exist in the first place and not blame others. This is not to say we should condone wrong, but we must accept responsibility for any wrong that occurs and set things right.

Human beings are not God and cannot know everything, but when we allow Holy Spirit to lead us in all things, we limit the opportunities for the devil’s influence to operate and manage to maintain peace in our lives. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble and when we see trouble coming–we must cry out a warning and seek the refuge of God. If we don’t heed the warnings–the stain of guilt is on us–and we need to get right with God while we have the opportunity to do so.

No Holy Spirit guidance–no peace in homes or lives or nations. With Him–as our counselor and comforter–allowing Him to speak into our lives–we have peace with all we meet.

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