Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

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Psalm 18:28

For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Behind the Scenes

King David was in a season of victory when he wrote Psalm 18; it’s poetic and filled with bold imagery. What stands out most is the certainty and hope that God delivers the ones who are faithful, devout, and virtuous. God has sustained David in recent struggle and now receives David’s worship.

In this song, David reflects upon his own integrity and finds himself to have been faithful. He praises God for enabling him to avoid the traps of human wisdom and demonstrates gratitude for his rescue. God receives all praise for delivering him and sustaining him from the hand of his enemies and the hand of Saul - who were all out to kill him. David did right, but it was God who secured the victory.

Make it Real

That sounds like the kind of sustaining power I want in my life! I want God to fight and win my battles for me; I think we all do. But how does God do that? It is a popular misconception that “God helps those who help themselves,” and passages like this can seemingly add support to that idea if we don’t look closely enough. But pay attention — that isn’t what happened here!

Yes, David certainly did things to help himself…but what were they? First, he kept firmly to his duty to God and did not allow the army pursuing him to distract him from that duty (v. 21). He fulfilled that which God called him to and didn’t waste time with other stuff. Second, he faithfully followed the commands of God without fail (v. 22). He didn’t try to make things the way he might want them to be but did what God laid before him. Third, he aggressively avoided sin (v. 23). I don’t think this was his effort to not make a bad situation worse, but he truly loved God and desired to commune with Him.

You see, it wasn’t that David was sustained because he did the right thing, but God sustained David as he deliberately did what he knew was right. It’s nuanced, but such an important difference. The truth of God illumines the darkness, helping us to see things as they really are so we can act accordingly. When we exercise spiritual disciplines, we place ourselves in alignment with God’s plan and purpose in this world and we experience His grace, mercy, and ultimate victory. It isn’t a formula for personal success, but a paradigm for worship within God’s created world. This is how He sustains.

End in Prayer

Lord, your ways are true. When I walk in your light, you help me see where to stand. Your Truth sustains this life you’ve given me. May your Spirit enable me to live a life of faith and stay focused on your plan for me in this world. Be my strength as I follow your precepts. The victory belongs to you. Amen.

Written by

Drew Ames

ACF Devo Team