If the LORD had not been on our side - let Israel say - if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept us away. Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124: 1-8)
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Today's Psalm calls us to do something strange... To recognize God's awesome deliverance through comparing what has happened to what would have happened if we would have never known Him.
"If the LORD had not been on [my] side when..." I think back on my story and am overwhelmed with thanksgiving.
Without the Lord, I would have remained bitter.
...I would have stayed lonely.
...I would be a man defined by my actions and desires.
...I would have never experienced peace with my mom's death.
...I would be addicted.
...I would not have never grasped - and felt - love.
...I would never have met my closest friends.
...And I would be swallowed by the world, engulfed in darkness, and without hope.
But what are your "would have"s? Where would you be? Who would you be? What would be controlled by? What would you be consumed by? Who would you be known as?
Our answers are shocking. For life without God would be completely different. All hope would be lost. All freedom would be unknown. And all of life would be tainted.
If we open our eyes, we would start to realize that life without God is like one sadly rigged game of rock, paper, scissors. Though the man plays with determination, the world always wins out.
The world beats the man, the man tries again, yet the man never can. (rhyme alert)
But the game changer - the divine and Holy Game Changer - is when a man is eternally and redemptively connected with the Winner.
You see, I am who I am because God has been on my side.
He has taken the trap - the rigged game - that we were born into, and has demolished it. He's broken down its rules and redefined all of it's standards.
Because of Him, our "would have"s have been dramatically transformed. His connection with us has enabled us to escape the game's previous outcome. Unlike ever before, we - being forever united with the one, Living God - can try again and always win.
I love the ending of this Psalm: "Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
It's as if the psalmist is saying, "That would have been me. I would have been there. But not anymore! All glory and praise be to God. He has saved me. He has helped me."
And this is the exact response that we must have today.
Open your eyes and realize how dramatically different your life is because of God "being on your side." Literally, the Maker of heaven and earth is on board with you. Recognize the game changing reality that you live in, for He has made you an overcomer; a winner.
With that said, I want you to take time and personalize this passage. Praise God for who He has made you to be - who He is making you to be. And celebrate all of the escapes that He has given you.
Like a bird, flying free from a snare, is the life that you now experience in Christ. Let us know what "would have"s that we can praise God for alongside of you! Feel free to comment them in today's Instagram post! (Find it at Instagram.com/declareglory)
Greg from Declare Glory