I was awakened from a deep sleep feeling terrified! It was not because of a bad dream. I was startled awake, and I felt the cold, clammy, heart-racing feeling of fear. It surrounded me. It was the kind of fear that made the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand up. I saw nothing, and heard nothing. It was simply an overwhelming feeling of impending doom.
The Lord had been healing me from traumatic abuse which occurred in my early childhood. Although healing and breakthrough had begun, this was a long journey of faith and forgiveness. I was beginning to experience victory over certain fears. In the process, however, the enemy kept challenging me to see if I believed I had the authority in Christ Jesus to not only obtain my full freedom, but to maintain it over time. One of my greatest battles involved my having been victimized, which caused me to grow up feeling fearful and insecure.
I arose out of bed, walked into the family room, and immediately began praying. I felt fear and oppression surrounding me, and I knew I had to break through this spiritual attack. The Bible teaches that fear is a spirit. My mind was reeling from being suddenly awakened and disoriented. I knew what I was feeling, but I was not aware if I was battling a specific kind of fear. Confusion is not of God, therefore, I began to pray for wisdom and direction for my victory over this cruel and unseen enemy.
The words of an old hymn quickly came to mind. It was one that I had sung for many years growing up. I still remembered the verses and chorus. “My Hope Is Built” by William Bradbury and Edward Mote was written during the mid- 1800’s. I ran to my library and pulled out a hymnal from the shelves. Trembling, I began to sing its powerful verses…
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
“His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
“When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found! Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!
“On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” (Chorus)
I laid prostrate on the floor, placing my cheek on the cold, hard tile. The firm tile glued to its cement foundation represented the solid rock upon which I was trusting. I pictured myself supported by the Lord, Who is my Rock and my Redeemer. As I repeated the words of the chorus over and over again, I began to feel the peace of God break through the storm which had overtaken me. I felt secure and stable. It was enough to bring me the peace I needed that night.
William Bradbury, who penned those powerful words, had experienced a night like I was having. His poem was his anointed testimony of deliverance. When I identified with his resolve of faith, God began delivering me from the spiritual attack. I owe Mr. Bradbury a debt I cannot pay, because we were born over a century apart, but I pray I meet him in heaven one day.
King David had nights like the one I experienced. He wrote many Psalms that encourage and strengthen, which reflect the challenges he faced. “Hear my cry, God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth, with fainting heart, I call out to you. Set me down on a rock far above where I am now. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the foe. I will live in your tent forever and find refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” Psalm 61:1-5. (Complete Jewish Bible).
David had learned to trust the Lord as he guarded his father’s sheep, before he became the king of Israel. He turned lonely days and nights in the pasture into a tabernacle of worship, which developed his faith in God. His heart was full of faith in God’s power, love, mercy, and faithfulness. By trusting God, David was able to overcome a lion, bear, and the giant Goliath, all at a young age.
Once living in the palace of king Saul, David had to flee for his life because of Saul’s jealousy of David’s strength and wisdom. For 11 years, David hid in caves often among Israel’s enemies, while trying to avoid Saul’s wrath. God protected David by warning him before Saul and his men discovered his hiding place.
In 2 Samuel 22:2-4 David sang to the Lord, “The Lord is my Rock [of escape from Saul] and my Fortress [in the wilderness] and my Deliverer; My God, my Rock, in Him will I take refuge; my Shield and the Horn of my salvation; my Stronghold and my Refuge, my Savior—You save me from violence. I call on the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Amplified Version).
In the 2 Samuel passage, David called the Lord the Horn of his salvation. The “Horn”, according to the Hebrew definition, was a symbol of strength. Moose, elk, mountain goats, and other horned animals would battle by locking horns with their challengers. The term “Horn” also represented status, position, or prominence. The strongest adversary in a contest gained the right to dominate and reproduce the herd. David was declaring the Lord was strong enough to deliver him from any foe, and had the status or prominence to enforce his salvation. The meaning of “Salvation” (Hebrew/Old Testament) included deliverance and protection; often implying that victory was at hand. (The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).
Arlene, my spiritual mother and dear friend, taught me to magnify the Lord instead of magnifying my problems. That is exactly what David did when he had trouble. When devastation came, David encouraged himself in the Lord by meditating on His greatness, His goodness, and His willingness to deliver His children from danger.
Isaiah knew this truth also. “So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].” Isaiah 59:19.
The Lord has taught me to prepare for the storms that will come by daily Bible reading/study, worship, and prayer. Through that discipline, I am regularly reminded of who God is, how powerful He is, and how willing He is to intervene in my life. Memorizing scripture has locked His word in my heart, just as “My Hope Is Built” was hidden inside from years of singing its powerful declarations.
The book of Hebrews teaches us our faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The more we read and study the Word of God the greater our faith becomes, because the Word of God is alive and active. The Lord intervenes on our behalf when we pray the Word of God in faith. The Book of Psalms is filled with David’s testimonies of God’s faithfulness to His people. “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:6-7.
Jesus is the Rock. We will be transformed and raised up by the Rock of our Salvation, or unbelief will make Him our stumbling stone. “And He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred and indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him]; but He shall be a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Isaiah 8:14.
The Lord has given me a new victorious acronym for FEAR: Failure of the Enemy to Affect my Resolve (in Christ Jesus)! When we put our faith in the Rock of our Salvation, we will not be disappointed. When we cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the enemy’s oppression, we will see the Lord rush to our defense. When we trust in the nature and character of God, we will live in peace. When we are able to rest in what He has already done, we will abide in joy.
Jesus Rocked my world. I pray you will allow Him to Rock yours!