The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:7-8)!
There is a connection between Rest and Spiritual Warfare – both connect in the fear of the Lord.
If we don’t learn spiritual warfare how can we rest? Our primary foe isn’t overwork or weariness but the principalities of evil. How can we rest without victory in this area?
But if we don’t rest, learning to be still, how can we sense the devil’s schemes?
Psalm 34 describes the angel of the Lord bringing protection (spiritual warfare), which is preliminary before tasting and experiencing the goodness of G0d (rest).
Let’s consider what “rest” is not. Then let’s consider what “spiritual warfare” is not.
Rest is not absence of thought. The Bible doesn’t teach mysticism, with techniques of mantras to eliminate stress. The Bible teaches to “taste and see” that God is good – the ultimate conclusion of rest.
Spiritual warfare is not girding your loins with Spiderman powers and conquering Green Goblins. It is learning to understand that Jesus is greater than your adversaries. Combine all your adversity and realize He has conquered all of it – that is rest.
Okay, one more “is not” and then concluding steps for both rest and victory.
Fear of the Lord is not overboard groveling or walking in constant expectation of divine judgment. Psalm 34:9 gets it right:
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
Fear is loving God so much that we avoid actions and attitudes that destroy His presence in our lives. The Biblical motive for fear is love! We love God so much that we fear temptation will destroy our relationship with Him.
The side effects of fearing God? His presence brings peace, power, and provision. Then we walk in both rest and victory.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalm 34:17).
Steps to rest in victory!
- Discern fear. Ask the Lord to reveal root causes.
- Cast your anxieties upon the Lord.
- Proclaim rest and victory in all areas of your life.
There is growing evidence that if you say these statements often – “I am content” or “I am happy” or “I have peace” or “I have victory” – that by merely speaking these words, you become more content, happy, peaceful, and victorious.
The ultimate lesson of Psalm 34 is a reality achieved by faith, not what we are experiencing now.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry (Psalm 34:15).