Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1
Psalm 144 was written by King David, a mighty warrior who fought battles and won victories as often as he ate his morning breakfast. His whole survival depended on his ability to outlast and outsmart the enemy. David wrote this Psalm as celebration of his God because he knew that all his victory came from God. Any strength or courage he possessed was a gift. David’s perseverance and endurance marked him as someone favored by God. He spent his life practicing how to live in the present with its struggles, pain, and problems while staying attentive to the joyful presence of God in his life.
The secret to David’s victory lay not in his physique, military prowess, reputation, size of the army, or the enemy’s fear of him. Rather, David enjoyed victory because he chose to submit.
Submission. A posture that lets go of our own abilities and desires to control the outcome turns out to be his greatest source of strength.
Submission says, “I want Jesus as the master of my life all the time.” When we choose submission to God, we seek after him instead of needing to be the one with all the power or all the answers. We listen to what God has to say. We take him seriously, and then act on what he says.
The person who submits to God is willing to take correction, to learn, and to admit mistakes. This believer is the person living the strong, victorious life because they understand that when we let go of our need to be right, to be in control, and to think we already know everything, we create room for Jesus in all his power and wisdom to move in. Once he does, he lives through us freeing us to serve, love, forgive, and become the person he creates and calls us to be.
Practically, how do we celebrate in the midst of battle? We choose God’s ways and we trust his knowledge of what is best. This leads to victory, and victory leads to joy. The kind of joy that comes from the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts and sustaining us to the end.