Matt Hagee - My Rock, My Sword, My Shield
Read with me Psalm 18:30 and following. If you're there, say, amen. "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is proven: he is a shield to all who trust in him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and he sets me on high places. He teaches my hands to make war", say that again, "He teaches my hands to make war so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation".
Heavenly Father, today in the mighty name of Jesus, I ask that your presence saturate this sanctuary and touch every life that's joining us no matter where they're from. I ask you, Heavenly Father, that the way that you empowered David, you would also share your strength and your might with us: that regardless of the challenges we face and the battles that we're fighting, we would recognize that the battle belongs to you and the victory is ours through Christ our Savior. It's in your name that we pray these things. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. David is reminding us of something that we should remember on a daily basis, and that is that the nature of the warfare that we are fighting is not natural: it's supernatural. David says in Psalm 18:34, "The Lord teaches my hands to make war". Say that with me. "The Lord teaches my hands to make war". Now of all the things that you can draw truth from in this statement, one of the main ideas that should come away with is that God is not a pacifist. People think if they meet a Christian who wants to confront an issue, that they're not acting very Christlike. Wrong. David said, "It is the Lord who teaches my hands to make war".
God wants you to confront the things in this world that do not reflect his goodness and his glory. And the problem is, most of us don't understand that the battle is not natural but it's supernatural. If David had to be taught by God, then the things that God is teaching him aren't anything he could come to on his own natural way. David's statement in Psalm 18 agrees with exactly what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3. "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they're mighty in God", mighty in who? God. "For the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God".
In this life, when you come to a hard place, it might feel like it's a problem in your natural world. But you need to realize there's a supernatural solution that can help you solve it. It may seem like a giant problem when you're sitting in the doctor's office and he gives you a diagnosis that you never wanted to hear. But what you need to know is that heaven has a second opinion on the natural diagnosis of the doctor. And what heaven has to say is that by his stripes, I am healed. "I shall live and not die," and, "I shall dwell in the land of the living". It may look like an overwhelming assault on your life, on your business, on your family.
You may not be able to find peace of mind. You may not be able to find joy that comes from the presence of the Lord. Every place you sit, you might not be able to find rest. And you begin to wonder, why me? Why now? Why here? What you need to know is that God has said, "Cast all of your cares upon me," for, "Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world". "If God is for you, who can be against you"? He's given his angels charge over you. "No weapon formed against you should prosper". Child of God, what you need to know today is that the way of the Lord is perfect. His word is proven. He is a sword and he is a shield. He is a shelter, and in him you can trust! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Your warfare is not natural but supernatural. We have a God who has every answer to every need that you'll ever face. Whatever it is you're searching for today, God can do it. He is the God who heals those who are sick. He is the God who forgives those who are willing to confess and forsake their sin. He is the God of all hope to those who feel like life is hopeless. He is a God of peace to those who are tormented. He's a God of joy. For the Bible says, "In his presence is the fullness of joy". But you have to be taught how to make this warfare. David says, "It is the Lord who teaches my hands to make war". And if that's not proof enough that it's supernatural, the next thing he says seals the deal. He says, "So that I can bend a bow of bronze".
Now, no natural man in his natural strength can bend bronze. But what David says is, when God's power is on me, I can do what no natural man can do. 2 Corinthians 10:4, "Our weapons are not carnal but they are mighty". They're what? Mighty. They're what? Mighty, "Mighty in God". Now if you have the strength to bend a bow of bronze and your weapon is mighty in God, why are you afraid to use it? Why are you afraid to use it? Paul told the church at Ephesus that the word of the Lord was a sword. He said, "Take up the sword of the spirit," Ephesians 6:17, "Which is the Word of God". David says here in Psalm 18, "The word is proven and the word is a shield to those who put their trust in him".
So David says, I have a rock, I have a fortress, I have a shelter, I have a deliverer. And not only is he a place where I can find refuge in my day of trouble, but he is the weapons that I get to use when I go into battle. He's a sword, which means he's offensive. We're not just going to take blows from the enemy. We're going to fight the enemy and we're going win. And he's a shield, which is defensive, meaning no weapon formed against me is going to prosper.
Now the good news is that the place where you find all of this, the rock, the sword and the shield is where? The word. It's in the word. Not on the web, in the word. God is not a Google search engine where you go looking for answers whenever you have a problem. God is God. That's what David said. "For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God"? Most of the time, when it comes to this issue of spiritual warfare, we want to pretend like we're noncombatants, like we're conscientious objectors, as if to opt out means we don't have a role to play. That's not what the Bible the Bible says that we engage in this battle.
Jesus said, "You're either for me or you're", what? "Against me". Paul said that it is our responsibility to put on the whole armor of God and take a stand. The problem with most churches is rather than take a stand, we're in the stands. Not only is this war supernatural but you need to understand that the outcome of this fight has already been decided. God is not trying to defeat our enemy. He's already conquered him. He's already destroyed him. He's already defeated him.
Go read what Colossians 2:15 says. It says that there, at a place called Calvary where Jesus died, "He made a public spectacle". He didn't win by a close margin. He absolutely stomped the devil and every power and principality of hell. "He made a public spectacle of them," when he triumphed over them at the cross. That triumph belongs to you. That triumph belongs to you. What would you do if you knew the outcome of the game before the ball was kicked off? I mean you might listen to the other team talk as they go up in the first quarter. You might listen to them cheer as they go in ahead by the half. But you'd be sitting back and smiling, and say, "Just wait till the end". "Just wait till the end". "I know you guys think you've got this all wrapped up, but just wait till the fourth quarter".
Well this is what Jesus did on our behalf. Before the game even started, before the battle even began, he went to a place called Calvary, and he defeated the enemy. He gave you the victory. And most of us are forfeiting what he has given, because we refuse to engage. You're not trying to win. All you're trying to do is remind the enemy, you're defeated.
Sickness comes my way. Sickness, you're defeated, because by his stripes I'm healed. Need comes my way. Need, you're defeated, because my God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory. Fear comes my way. Fear, you're defeated, because God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. Shame comes my way. Surely he has borne my shame, because he was bruised for my iniquities. He was wounded that I might be set free. He wore a crown of thorns that i, who was a prisoner, could become a Son of God and a prince in heaven. And I'm here to remind the world, the flesh and the devil today that whom the son sets free is free indeed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
When we refuse to engage in spiritual warfare, when we sit out the battle that we're supposed to stand in, we forfeit to the devil what God has already given us. You need to remember what the Bible says. "Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he'll flee from you". Not only is this battle not natural, but supernatural: not only is the victory already won, but you need to understand God knows the fight you're in. Oftentimes, we become discouraged in difficult times of our life in the hard places, because we pretend like God's taken by surprise. You didn't see it but he did. You didn't know about it but he did. You wouldn't have wished for it, but here's something that you're not going to like: he allowed it. He's sovereign. He's all powerful.
If he didn't allow it, then he can't be all powerful and he can't be sovereign. And what you have to do is trust that he knows exactly what you're going to need in order, not only to get through it, but come out of it. This is what the Psalmist meant when he said, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning". This is what we have to remember in every hard season of life: God saw it and God allowed it and God knows what's best for us. Last week, I said that we have to trust in him and not lean on our own understanding.
James, in James 1 says, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And patience, when it has had its perfect work, you will be complete, and lacking nothing". It's one thing to agree to be patient. But agreeing to be patient in a time of trouble? You mean God's going to use trouble to teach me something? You mean God's going to make me uncomfortable in order for me to grow? You mean God is going to give me the desires of my heart but I'm going to have to hurt before I get there?
James says, "Count it all joy". You might be shocked but God's not. Let God work. Let him move. Let him show you what he has intended for you. Because he's the God who sees the end from the beginning. Most people don't want to believe that God would let them go through anything unpleasant. But you cannot read the Bible and believe that. Just consider The Book of Job. Job 2:6, it says, "The Lord said to Satan". Who's God talking to? Satan. It says, the Lord said to Satan, "He (job) is in your hands, but you cannot touch his life".
God gave the devil permission to turn job's life upside down. Why? Why would God do that? That's the question everybody wants to know. Why would God do that? Because the battle that we're in is about one thing and one thing only, who gets the glory. Who gets the glory? This battle is not about you. This battle started long before you got here. This battle goes all the way back to Genesis. And it's going to keep going all the way to Revelation 21 when Jesus Christ says, "It is done". So what you need to understand...It ain't about you. It's about who gets the glory. One of the problems that we have is we ant to make everything about us. Why me, Lord?
Sometimes I think God looks down and says, "Why me, matt"? Because it's not about me. It's about who gets the glory in my life. When you read the account in job, Satan himself was in front of the throne of God. And Satan says to God, I think job only gives you glory because you're good to him. I think if we took everything that you've given to job away from him, he'd denounce you. He'd deny you. He'd quit glorifying you. And God says to Satan, "You can touch his life but you can't take it". "You can hurt him but you can't kill him". And the reason you can't kill him is not because you don't want to, Satan.
Remember, he wants to kill, steal and destroy. The reason you can't kill him is because if you kill him, we're not going to find out who gets the glory. So read on in the account and you understand very quickly how bad things got for job. Job loses his business. Job loses his family. Job buries his children. In one day, job has had a complete reversal of everything that he woke up with in that morning. And then at the end of that day, his wife comes to him and she gives him this advice, "Curse God and die"!
How many of you know that's not good advice? And job looks at her, and he says, "Am I only to take good? Am I only to take good when God is good to me? I'm I only to receive that and give him glory? Or if even when bad comes, and I don't understand what's going on, doesn't he deserve glory then too? If I'm going to praise him in the good times, I'm going to have to be faithful and praise him in the hard times".
Because it doesn't matter what kind of time I'm having in my life, God is still God, and God is still greatly to be praised. Job said it this way: he said, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. But blessed be the name of the Lord". God gets the glory. God gets the glory. You say, "Well, that was a one and done. That was just job. That's just an example". I've actually sat and listened to theologians say, "Well, we're not even sure job existed". Because you're afraid that you might sign up for his kind of situation.
Go look at what happened with Peter. The night that Jesus is arrested, Jesus comes to Peter in Luke 22, and here's what he says. He says, "Simon, Simon, indeed Satan..." who? Satan, not your mother-in-law, Satan. Not your arch nemesis in life, not your boss, not the irs. Who? Satan. Satan has asked me if he could sift you as wheat, if he could take your life and trouble it and throw it around and beat on it and hurt it, and make everything seem like it's out of control. He asked me if he could do it.
Now if Jesus was saying that to us, we'd say, "You said, 'no,' right"? He said, he asked me if he could and I prayed for you. I prayed for you. He's going to do it, man. He's going to tear you up. "But I prayed for you. And when you return to me..." he already told him the end of the game before the kickoff. "It's going to get tough. It's going to hurt. You're going to think it's all going south. But when you return to me, when you come out of this, do me a favor, encourage your brethren".
When you come out of this, Peter, I want you to tell the world what a mighty God you serve. When you come out of this, Peter, I want you to tell everybody that you see who Jesus is and what he's done in your life. Hebrews 7 says that Jesus Christ lives to make intercession on our behalf. Just the same way that he was praying for Peter before the devil sifted him as wheat, he's praying for you, and he's praying for you, and he's praying for you. He's talking to God about you. He says, I know right where they're at today. I've been tempted like they've been tempted. I know exactly the weight that they're carrying today. And we need to send them some strength. We need to send them some hope. We need to send them some joy. We need to send them some encouragement. He's pulling for you in heavenly places today.
And he's already won the victory on your behalf. He's saying to you, when you come out of this, I want you to tell everybody you know. When you come out of this season of sickness, I want you to tell them about a God who's a healer. When you come out of this time of sorrow, I want you to tell them about a God in whose presence is the fullness of joy. When you come through this storm that you're in, I want you to tell them about a God who can calm the winds and calm the waves.
When these chains of addiction get broken and these shackles that you can't shake disappear, I want you to tell them about a God who sets people free. Because whom the son sets free is free indeed. Is there anybody in this house today that's got something to say about a God who's pulled you through? Because this battle is not about you. It's about who gets the glory. And I say this in closing. When you give God the glory, it doesn't matter good or bad, he giveth, he taketh away, on the beach or in the parking lot.
When you give God the glory, you disqualify yourself from being a target for the enemy. Why? Because he can't bother you. Every time he bothers you, you start giving God glory, and he loses ground. Let's afflict this one. They afflict you, and you say, "Glory to God". They go, "No, no, no, no. Leave him alone. Leave... Leave... Leave that one alone. He knows the right thing to say. We don't want that". When you make it about you, let's afflict this one. Oh, poor me. Why me? It always happens to me. Boo-hoo, me. You're singing the devil's song. You're taking the affliction and internalizing it and pretending like God doesn't love you. And you're playing the devil's fool. Stop throwing yourself a pity party.
And put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, knowing that the Lord, your rock, he lives. And the Lord, your sword, he is sharp, and he's going to defend you. And the Lord, your shield, he's big enough to protect you. And let the God of your salvation be exalted. Would you stand in this sanctuary? I don't know what burden you're carrying today and I don't know what battle you're fighting today. But I can tell you this with confidence: if you give God glory, if you magnify him in this moment, no matter what enemy you're facing, no matter the size of the issue you need to solve, if you give God glory, God will make a way. God will move a mountain. God will heal a broken place in your life.
And I know it's not the easiest thing to do. That's why it's called a sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice has to cost you something. But I believe that there's people in this room and there's those who are watching today, that you know that the only way through the battle you're in is you've just got to give God thanks and praise for right where you are. You don't know how you got here. You don't know how long you're staying here. You don't know when you're leaving here. But you know he deserves the glory right here and right now.