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I Shall Not Be Moved
By David A. DePra
Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved…. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Ps. 62:1-2, 5-8)
In a very real sense, this Psalm is a song of victory. It is the proclamation of one who has come to the place where he will not be moved from faith in God – no matter what the circumstances may be.
Herein we see an immensely practical Truth. It is one that strikes at the heart and core of our personal relationship with God. Notice: Either my circumstances are going to move me from faith in God, or I am going to stand by faith regardless of the circumstances. Sure. In the end, much of the fight of faith comes down to that simple choice. And really, it is a choice that determines so much that governs us.
For example, suppose a series of negative circumstances begins to unfold in my life, and I cannot reconcile them to a faithful God. Perhaps I lose my job, incur an illness, lose a loved one, or see a relationship go bad. Or maybe my circumstance happens to be spiritual – I cannot seem to overcome a problem, maybe I feel condemned, or sense that my spiritual life is in shambles. And I don’t know any way out. Such trials can be crushing and heavy upon us emotionally, mentally, and even physically.
It is at these points in our lives that we must choose. Will we view all of these things as, "proof," that God has forsaken us, or that we have forsaken God? Will we begin to allow such thinking to come between ourselves and God? Will we become angry at Him? Afraid of Him? Or perhaps fearful and depressed at what has happened?
If we take that route, we are going to let in a whole bunch of terrible things. We will begin to doubt God, and then begin to condemn ourselves for doubting, and then begin to doubt God because we condemn ourselves – it is just a vicious cycle that cannot be resolved. Why? Because it all began with a lie – one we believed. We allowed our circumstances to overcome us. And we went down the wrong road. And until we STOP on this path we have taken, and cut through all of the bad feelings and through the spiritual atmosphere created by unbelief – until we cut through this with FAITH and TRUTH -- we cannot resolve it.
What we have here is really what it means for circumstances – and more importantly, our REACTION to circumstances – to overcome us. At this point, we are defeated. We cannot function in a relationship of faith in Christ because we have allowed what has happened to come in and move us from faith. Instead of victory over the circumstances, the circumstances have victory over us.
It is important for us to see the problem here – and the solution. Some today teach that victory in such a trial would be to GET OUT of the trial. They suggest that if you really have the, "authority of the believer," that you would be able to rebuke Satan, or even confess away the trial. Even others on Christian television today preach that the way to get out of some of these terrible things in life is to send them money. Unfortunately, to some people, victory is the result of overcoming the trial by GETTING OUT of it through some miraculous way. This is, of course, error, and is never what the Bible means by victory.
According to the Bible, victory is not that I GET OUT of a trial. Rather, victory is when I stand by faith in my personal relationship with God despite the trial. I refuse to allow anything to come between myself and God – not even what might otherwise seem to, "prove," God has forsaken me, or been indifferent to me. Victory is achieved when I have overcome the trial by faith in God.
We see this Truth all through the NT. For example, the apostle John wrote:
For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."(1 John 5:4)
Here we see a great Truth. Faith IS the victory. Why? Because through faith we stand fast in, and depend upon, the victory Christ has already won. Sure. The source of the victory is not US. It is HIM. But through faith, we are enter into His victory and are able to benefit from it as if it were ours.
John is really addressing the victory of faith on two levels. First, He is saying that if we absolutely will not be moved from faith in Christ by anything, then our faith is evidence that there has been a victory IN US. Can we see this? It is only if Jesus Christ has gotten a measure of victory over me – and brought me to a surrender to Himself – that I am going to be in a spiritual relationship with Him wherein I can stand by faith. Sure. Otherwise I won’t. Thus, my faith in Christ is the OUTCOME of His victory over me. But it is because Christ has victory over me that I will then be able to stand by faith IN HIS VICTORY, and will not be moved from it by anything.
If you are able to stand by faith IN a trial, and OVER a trial – without responding to the trial with unbelief, fear, and condemnation – then you have victory. You have victory over the trial because Christ first has victory IN YOU. This is the song of Psalm 62, and one that God wants to build in each Christian.
When we speak of living a victorious Christian life, it is impossible to divorce it from our personal relationship with Christ. The life of victory is not a THING we possess apart from that relationship. It is not a frame of mind, or self-help, or the result of wrapping our mind around a bunch of teachings and doctrines about victory. No. The fact is, victory is the OUTCOME of a personal relationship with Christ. It is not victory otherwise.
But what do I mean, specifically, when I say that victory is the outcome of our personal relationship with Christ? I have already said it: You can have NO victory in Christ, until Christ has victory over you. We might say this same thing a number of ways: We have no authority over anything, until Jesus has authority as Lord over us. We can overcome nothing except where Jesus has overcome us. In effect, the Christian has NO AUTHORITY at all, other than the authority that has already been established in them through their own personal relationship, indeed, surrender, to Jesus Christ.
There is no possible way in which you and I are able to muster up faith, or are able to believe and trust God – indeed, able to overcome – WITHOUT first surrendering ourselves to God. Faith is not a force, as false teachers like Kenneth Copeland teach, that we generate up to God, in order to get Him to move on our behalf. Neither is faith is an intellectual conclusion at which we arrive after studying real hard – and concluding that God must be faithful. Neither is faith a frame of mind we create by confessing and repeating the same phrases over and over again. No. Faith is a RELATIONSHIP word. It expresses my dependence, trust, devotion, and surrender to God through Christ. And it is simply not possible to have faith in God without surrendering to Him.
Think about it. Am I going to believe and trust God, but tell Him I will not surrender to Him? This would be contradictory. If you believe and trust God, you WILL surrender to Him. And if you do, you will find Him wholly faithful, and it will result in even deeper surrenders. Surrender isn’t something we are to do once in awhile, whether we like it or not. Surrender is to characterize our relationship with God – we LIVE surrendered, dependent, and reliant upon Him.
But having said that, do we actually think that if we surrender to God, that He is simply going to HAND US authority to do whatever we want to do – all in His name? Utter nonsense. If we surrender to God, we are surrendering for HIS WILL, not ours. What? Do we think we are surrendering to God to get OUR WILL? Again – this would be a total contradiction. No. God doesn’t hand over authority as a THING, or a POWER, to people, that they have a right to use as they see fit – not even if they are sincere about it, or even if they want to do the will of God. Rather, God calls us to come under HIS authority, and HIS Lordship – and then as we do, He will have a measure of victory over us, and in us. His authority can then operate THROUGH us – but only for HIS WILL. Not ours.
Spiritual authority is LIFE – it is the LIFE of Christ working through us unto the will and glory of God. This LIFE doesn’t function in any other way, or along any other line. And that life won’t be there where there hasn’t come a death to our will, our kingdom, and our way – so that HIS will, and His kingdom, and His way, might be brought to pass.
This cannot be understated, or said too many times: The victory of Jesus only operates in people, and through people, over whom Jesus has victory. You can have no spiritual authority unless Jesus has won authority over you. And if He has, then the outcome of His victory over you will be faith – faith that will grip you, and enable you to stand against all enemies. For you will be standing, not in your strength, but in His strength and victory – which He has anchored in you.
Whatever It Takes
When God is free to do with me, and in me, whatever He pleases, then this is FREEDOM for me. Sure. Because God will then be free to reveal Himself to me, and glorify Himself through me. And I’m not sure there could be a more sound definition of freedom in Christ.
If we would just open ourselves to God and surrender to Him in that way! "God, I know you already have a purpose that you want to bring to pass in my life. Do whatever it takes IN ME to make that possible. Override all of my misgivings, all of my unbelief, and bring me to where I can choose to get free. Do whatever it takes to get Yourself glory in me, and to bring your will and kingdom to pass." This is a prayer God will always answer. But understand: Despite the fact that the end of it all is a relationship with God based in Truth – Truth that will set you free – it may take some tough times to get there. If I want God’s will, my will must go – indeed, the desire in me to have my will must go. If I want God’s kingdom in me in fullness, then MY kingdom must go. If I want God to do whatever it takes to get Himself glory, then God is going to DO whatever it takes – and what DOES it take? Well, death to me via the Cross. Only then can I be raised.
So if you don’t think you have the kind of faith described in our Psalm, the solution is simple: Hand yourself over to God so that He can build it in you. That is surrender. That is, in itself FAITH. It is true freedom because it is giving God freedom to do whatever it takes to glorify Himself in me.
But you see, if I am able to surrender to God like that, I am already operating in VICTORY. Sure. Why? Because I am surrendering to HIM and He therefore has victory over me! Absolutely. And what God will do is undertake a work wherein this can be lived out to His glory. As this unfolds, I will be able to overcome and stand by faith against all that would come between myself and God.
The Psalmist makes it clear that GOD ALONE is his salvation, and his Rock, and his defense. It is quite a reduction to come to the place where you know – and rejoice in – the fact that GOD ALONE is all of these things to you. We all have so many other sources of strength, and things in which we trust. But here we see someone who has NOTHING and NO ONE but God.
We might think this is a scary position to be in – to have GOD ALONE and nothing else. Well, it is scary to our natural thinking, isn’t it? To have no proof at all, in the way of circumstances, or even in our own emotions, to the effect that God is there for us! To have nothing upon which to base our faith except the faithfulness of God! Perhaps we cannot presently see evidence of His faithfulness, or evidence that He is with us. And yet we KNOW.
According to this Psalm, and many other places in the Bible, to be in such a position might be scary to our natural thinking, and senses, but it is actually the most SECURE place to be. And it is where God wants to bring us – to where we are reduced to having HIM ALONE as our object of faith.
Through the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit, God is able to bring us to the place where despite the fact that we have NO EVIDENCE of God outside of us that we can see, and perhaps even NO EVIDENCE of God in us that we can naturally sense – that despite the lack of this kind of evidence – the Holy Spirit is able to build an evidence in us of GOD that will carry us through any trial:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)
Notice carefully the wording of this verse. It does NOT say that our faith is IN evidence that is not seen. Nope. Rather, it says that our faith IS the evidence! Just as our faith IS the victory, so it is the evidence – the faith we have in God is, of itself, the evidence that God is faithful, and will keep His Word to us.
How can this be? Again, because faith is a relationship word. And because Christianity is CHRIST IN US. If Christianity were no more than a belief system, or a religion we adopt, or a philosophical argument, or a list of teachings, then faith could not be evidence of anything. All it would be is our state of mind. It would, in that case, be the product of our natural mind creating a faith in us so that we might be comfortable with ourselves and with life. Nope. Faith is evidence because faith is a oneness with Christ Himself. And that is the supposed to be the most real and substantial relationship possible – it is LIFE eternal, and eternal Truth.
John says that Christ in us is THE greatest evidence of all:
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. For this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son: He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself. (1 John 5:9-11)
Christ in us is the witness of God; He is the evidence of God. And therefore, our faith in Christ is as real as Christ Himself – our faith is the evidence of things not seen. And it is a great thing if the Holy Spirit is able to so anchor us in the reality of Christ that NOTHING on the outside of us can more us from this relationship.
When the Psalmist says, "He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved," he is alluding to a counterpart relationship that we have today in Christ Jesus. We are able to say, "I have Christ in me. And because Jesus has gotten victory over me, by stripping me of all other objects of my faith, I have a victory in me from which I cannot be moved -- by anything outside of me. And not even by anything of my natural man. I cannot be greatly moved."
You will notice that I said that if we stand by faith that we cannot be moved by anything outside of us, or by anything in our natural man. This is an important point, because really, if you think about it, outward things cannot move us unless they find an ally IN US – in our natural man. For example, if we respond emotionally to an outward circumstance with fear or anger, is it not because we have chosen to believe INWARDLY that it merits such a response? Sure. And then once we do that, it is easy to assume that because we are afraid, it is proof that we ought to be. What escapes us is that the problem here is that we are not meeting life with FAITH in God. He is not, at that point, our only Rock, and our only salvation. Rather, there is something else we trust in, want, or desire. This always opens the door for fear, because when our faith is in anything but God, it is in something that we know can fail us.
One common fear among Christians is one where we are afraid that we have gotten out of the will of God, or have misunderstood God, or have become deceived – and that because we don’t know it, are so far off the track that God isn’t hearing us, or there for us. But this is silly. Do we think God has never accounted for this possibility? No. If we remain open to God for whatever it takes for Him to get His will in us, He is going to see to it that we have the chance to get back on track, if we are out of His will. The Psalmist knows that even if we don’t understand God’s will in a matter, or wonder whether we have strayed off the path of His will – the Psalmist knows that God is faithful to do whatever it takes to get us back on track. This is all part of God being our salvation and Rock and defense.
To trust in God alone is only made possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. It requires that all other trusts in our lives be exposed for what they are: Untrustworthy. And it requires that we be brought to the place of utter reliance upon the Lord. But what is so bad about that? Faith in God alone is VICTORY. Faith in God alone is EVIDENCE. Faith in God alone is an absolute guarantee that God is going to get His will in us. You cannot lose with faith in God alone.
Not Greatly Moved
I like it when the Psalmist says that he will not be GREATLY moved, because it leaves room for being human – we will continue to be shaky from time to time. But in the end, we cannot be moved from our relationship of faith in Christ. We will not allow anything to come in and disrupt that – and separate us from Him.
Of course, nothing I am talking about has to do with the issue of salvation. I am talking about faith in Christ after salvation, for walking and growing in Him. This is really what the NT talks about continually. It is our relationship with Christ that is at issue here – by faith we stand in Him.
Notice also that the issue is whether WE will be moved. God never moves. If I don’t think I am as close to God as I used to be, who moved? God didn’t. In fact, He is always trying to draw me near to Him all the more.
The Psalmist declares that despite everything that might be happening TO him, and on the OUTSIDE of him – he declares that he is not going to allow that to get INSIDE of him – and cause him to embrace unbelief. Rather, he is going to BELIEVE God – because he knows that God cannot fail.
So we see the contrast, the battle, and the choice: Believe what I see, sense, and feel, or believe God. The Psalmists says he believes God – for God is his ONLY object of faith.
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