Feeling undefended in the middle of personal crisis can make for a tough season. When our faith is stretched beyond what we think is even possible, feeling that someone has our back is a gift. I have found myself in that place many times. I remember once feeling caught off guard as I labored over why I felt so unprotected in a situation that was not my fault. The Lord spoke very clearly to me and told me that I had been too offended by the situation and my offense held off His defense. I remember feeling stunned by that truth and reflected on its accuracy in that situation. My hurt had created an offense, which had become the reason I could not feel God defending me.
I love Psalm 18 because the entire song is about God coming to our rescue! David cried out for the defending action of God, but he began the psalm by describing the Lord’s power. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2 NKJV). I love that this psalm begins with establishing who God is. I know that it is a practice of faith to settle into a knowing that God has my back. There are daily struggles that only God can fight. Yet, in how many of them do we not allow Him to be our defender because we have grown offended? He establishes Himself as a rock, a fortress. I also love that it says, “From his temple he heard my voice, my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6 NIV).
When we struggle to feel heard by God, this psalm clearly encourages us to know that even from a faraway places, our cries reach God’s ears. Then David says, “He parted the heavens and came down…” (Psalm 18:9 NIV). The defense of God operates as a verb. It will always require movement and action. He hears. He comes. He shoots arrows at our enemy and scatters our foes. I realized that my own offense toward my accusers hindered God from being able to bring about Psalm 18 in my situation. I accused God of not using His power to defend me. I had to resubmit the issue and lay down my sword. We cannot escape circumstances, but we can embrace certainty and dare it to raise the bar of our faith. David sums up God’s defense of us: “He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies” (Psalm 18:47 NIV).
If you are struggling in a fight and feel alone, ask the Lord if you have yet to forgive someone and lay down the offense. Maybe today you simply need to shout out Psalm 18 and begin to believe that God is your defense and the lifter of your head. Remember, He does see you. He does hear you. He is parting the heavens to come to your rescue.