Is There a Devil?

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Reading: Psalm 18:30-36
As for God, his way is perfect:
The L
ORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the L
ORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way
(NIV). *

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Across my path — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
There’s a principle of biblical interpretation that goes something like this: The natural comes first, and then comes the spiritual. We can see this illustrated in Paul’s comparison of the first man, Adam, with the new man, Christ, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. Similarly, the natural Kingdom of Israel is replaced in the New Testament by the spiritual Kingdom of God, which has no physical or geographic boundaries.

In David’s time natural Israel had borders, which needed to be defended from attack by flesh and blood enemies only too eager to take advantage of any perceived weakness. In the same way today, the church and every born-again believer must be on guard, because Satan and his demons are lying in wait, ready to attack.

Yes, Virginia, there is a devil. And he has marked you as his target. He has spiritual murder as his top priority—your murder. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

But God did not leave David or natural Israel defenseless. The LORD provided His matchless word and His impenetrable shield of faith against the foes attack. Furthermore, there was strength for the battle. David declares, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure… He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

This portion of Psalm 18 has its New Testament spiritual counterpart in Ephesians 6:10-17, where Paul the apostle, calls us as spiritual warriors to put on the armor of God. Like David, we are in a battle.

Response: Heavenly Father, help me to fight the good fight. Today, I put on the armor of God to fight the attacks of the enemy. Give me your strength in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Your Turn: How does Satan try to bring you down? What weapons are you using to counter his attacks?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for peace to return to Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

In the Realm of the Spirit

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 18_28
Reading: Psalm 18:25-29

Heavenly Father,
give me a pure heart.
I want to see you.
I want to see you, Lord Jesus,
alive and active all around me today.
Give me eyes that see beyond the natural
and into the realm of the spirit where you are at work.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start your day with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

Our Perception of God

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Reading: Psalm 18:25-29
To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, L
ORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall
(NIV). *

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Fresh snow — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
How do you see God? How do you perceive Him to be? The opening lines of today’s psalm reading tell us plainly the state of our heart determines our perception of God. God reveals Himself to us according to the condition of our soul. Therefore, David makes this observation: To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.

The truth expressed in this straightforward observation has enormous implications for every human on the planet. Our relationship with God is shaped by our perception of Him, and our perception of Him is reflective of the state of our heart. For example, one person goes through a period of hardship and loss and becomes bitter and angry toward others and God. Another person goes through a similar period of hardship and loss but emerges passionately in love with his Creator. How can this be?

The answer can be found in David’s observation: To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. The blameless assign no blame to God, but the sin-darkened soul blames Him for even the slightest adversity.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). Do you want to see God at work in your life? Then ask the Lord Jesus to give you a pure heart. God shows Himself—becomes visible—to those with a pure heart. The pure in heart see God in the glory of the sunset, in the face of a child, in kindness of a stranger. The sin-polluted soul can view the same scene—experience the same events—and sees God in none of it. He is blind to God.

Our eyes open the moment we humble ourselves before God. David’s words ring true today. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Response: Heavenly Father, give me a pure heart. I want to see you. I want to see you, Lord Jesus, alive and active all around me today. Give me eyes that see beyond the natural and into the realm of the spirit where you are at work. Amen.

Your Turn: Did you see God today? How did He show Himself to you?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start your day with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

He Brought Me Out

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 18_19
Reading: Psalm 18:16-24

LORD God,
I want clean hands and a pure heart before you.
I put my trust in you.
You reward those who diligently seek you.
Jesus, wash me clean.
I put my faith in you.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start your day with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

The Cleanness of My Hands

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Reading: Psalm 18:16-24
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the L
ORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the L
ORD;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
The L
ORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight
(NIV). *

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Clean as fresh snow — Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
In the previous reading, David depicted the LORD as riding the wings of the wind on a thunderstorm to rescue him from his enemies. In this portion of Psalm 18, the enemy is routed, and David is rescued. In triumph David declares, “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

David then goes on to assert the reason why he believes the LORD did not allow him to perish at the hands of his mortal enemies. Twice he makes this claim, “The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.”

Why were clean hands so important in David’s ultimate victory? Why are clean hands so important to the LORD? Twice when David had the opportunity to cut down his enemies—the enemies who were in pursuit to kill him—David kept his hands clean. When the opportunity arose, David refused to kill jealous King Saul despite the urging of the men who were with him. He attempted reconciliation with the enemy who sought his life. See 1 Samuel 24. That takes courage and conviction.

Sometimes it takes more courage to hold your fire than press your advantage. It takes a godly conviction that God is keeping score, and He will reward the man with a clean heart and clean hands. That takes faith—faith in the unseen hand of God at work in the affairs of men. David had that kind of faith.

How about you? Are your hands clean? Are you trusting in the LORD or settling accounts your way? Faith in God calls us to a higher standard.

Response: LORD, I want clean hands and a pure heart before you. I put my trust in you. You reward those who diligently seek you. Jesus, wash me clean. I put my faith in you. Amen.

Your Turn: Does God always reward those with clean hands? How do you keep your hands clean?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start your day with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Let Us Go to the House of the LORD

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I will praise the LORD!

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Landestreu Church — photo by Donald Adam

Reading: Psalm 122

A song of ascents. Of David.

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
Our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built like a city
    that is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up—
    the tribes of the LORD
to praise the name of the LORD
    according to the statute given to Israel.
There stand the thrones for judgment,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
    I will seek your prosperity.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for peace to return to Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

He Will Watch over Your Life

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I will praise the LORD!

lake surrounded with mountains

Moraine Lake, AB, Canada, Photo by vishal amin on Pexels.com

Reading: Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
    the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for peace to return to Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

He Heard My Voice

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 18_6
Reading: Psalm 18:6-15

Heavenly Father,
may I always see you as my helper.
Ride to my rescue when times are tough,
and I am in need.
You are my help and defender.
You are worthy of my praise.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start your day with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

A Life Built on the Rock

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 18_2
Reading: Psalm 18:1-5

Heavenly Father,
help me daily to build my life on the rock, Christ Jesus.
Lord Jesus,
you are my fortress, my salvation, and my stronghold.
I put my full trust in you.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM