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Singing Psalm 18 to the object of your affection

“I love You, LORD! You are my strength:    The LORD, my rock, my fort, my pow’r,My God, my hiding place, my shield,    My horn of safety, and my tow’r.” ~  Psalm 18:1-2

Singing Psalm 18 to the object of your affection whose protection secures you

“With men of kindness, You are kind;    To blameless ones You’re blameless, too.And with the pure You, too, are pure;    But with the crooked You are shrewd.” ~ Psalm 18:25–26

The Lord protects his sheep by keeping them from and then destroying wolves that seek to harm them by whatever means he chooses. 

You ask that he slay them in Christ as he slayed you. This way, they turn from wolves to sheep following after their good shepherd, who gives good gifts of repentance, faith, and love. He is willing to take his enemies who were dead in their sins, forgive them, make them friends, and give them life everlasting. If they will not turn, singing Psalm 18 brings to bear this truth:

 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” ~Hebrews 10:31.

What is certain is that God makes a clear distinction between the sheep and the wolves. The object of your affection has perfect discernment. He never makes a mistake about who is who.

“How perfect is the way of God!    The LORD’s word has been proven sound;He is a shield to everyone    Who has in Him a refuge found.

You gave me Your salvation’s shield;    I am upheld by Your right hand.Your gentleness has made me great;    You clear my way, secure I stand.” ~ Psalm 18:30,35-36

The weapons the Lord uses to defend you and to destroy his and your enemies are unavailable to anyone else. He uses hailstones, lightning and thunder, earthquakes, and even darkness itself against those who oppress you and oppose him. He uses these when necessary, but the essence of his heart is in his soft whisper.

When you are tempted to believe that God does not care for you, come to Jesus, who is gentle and humble in heart. He gives the gift of faith that helps you wait out the time of temptation and neutralize the enemy’s ammunition coming at you so that they cannot harm you.

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;” ~ Ephesians 6:16

Singing Psalm 18 to the object of your affection whose presence empowers you

You, like David, are righteous by your faith in him who is righteous. You are also a descendent of David by your common faith in God. You trust the only one who can save you from your enemies, from yourself. He is not far off, but near. He makes his home with you. He indwells you. He enables you to do all that he sets out for you to do at the exact times that he determines. You cannot fail in his presence. You cannot succeed apart from it. 

This is why you must take your eyes off of whatever it is they are on that is not the wonderful, triune God and fix them firmly on the Lord Jesus who made you and who saves you. If the object of your affection is anything but him, singing Psalm 18 will help you transfer the object of your affection to the one whose presence empowers you and helps you believe that he will indeed strengthen you, keep you from stumbling, uphold you, “present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,” and bring you safely all the way home.

You are beside yourself with love toward the object of your affection as Jude rhapsodizes without reservation “to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

“With help from You I can advance    Against a troop, and rout them all;And with the help my God will give,    I have the strength to leap a wall.

For who is God except the LORD?    Besides, our God, who is a Rock?The God who arms me with all strength,    He makes me perfect in my walk.

He makes my feet as swift is deer’s,    And sets me on the heights to stand.My arms can bend a bow of bronze;    In skills of war He trains my hand.” ~ Psalm 18:29, 31-34

Singing Psalm 18 to the object of your affection whose pleasure rewards you

“They came at me in my distress;    The LORD was my security.To liberty He brought me forth,    Because He took delight in me.” ~ Psalm 18:18-19

The Lord is the first object of your affection, perhaps not first chronologically, but first in your heart before or more than all others.

The Lord is the deepest object of your affection because he knows you so deeply, that even before you speak a word, he knows it. He knows your heart. He knows when you are giving him lip service and he knows when your heart is with him. He can’t be fooled. He truly is the object of your affection who trains your heart not to want to even try to fool him. He builds sincerity within you and woos you so that you love to love him.

He is pleased to give you contraconditional love that is far better than unconditional love. He sees you not as you are but as you will be. He is delighted to bring you there because he chooses to take delight in you. He doesn’t stop and leave you wallowing where you are. He gives you strength to demolish strongholds that set themselves up against the knowledge of God and the self-control to take every thought captive to obey Christ beginning with your thoughts, what you say, all of your plans, and what you actually do.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

Since God is the amazing object of your affection, you deeply desire to fulfill the purpose he has for you. The best part is, he helps you do that every step of the way.

He also takes great care to remove obstacles that would hinder you from drawing near to him. Singing Psalm 18, his anger burns against those who would entangle you, ensnare you, destroy you. This psalm graphically depicts how the Lord bent the heavens to break into history when he came to defend his people.

David was a shepherd.

God called him to a new career.

God gave him relational suffering to prepare his heart for it. 

Amazingly, you learn like David did, to thankfully receive whatever suffering the Lord your God brings you from his hand of love. The great physician cares for you enough to use his scalpel to heal you of wounds and scars you are not even aware of. With this kind of care, deeper care than anyone else could ever have for you, infinitely deeper, he is the sole object of your affection.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God made David a king in whose line would come the King of kings, his Lord, the Lord Jesus.

And what was his distinguishing feature?

He loved the Lord.

Although you might not even be a leader of anything, you, like David, are called to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

What would be your greatest demise?

If you were ever to lose your first love, the matchless object of your affection.

Lose all else, but hold on tight to your first love, the one who first loved you.

Blessed be my Rock, the LORD who lives!    My Savior, God, exalted be!” ~ Psalm 18:46

I learned about God’s contraconditional love from David Powlison.

September 10 – 22, 2023


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