“Contending for what you believe in is harder than conceding to what you’re afraid of, but it’s the only option if you want to live by faith.”- Mark Batterson
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”- Psalm 32:7 (NIV)
As Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 11 of Whisper, he exhorts you to contend for what you believe. Hence, when adversity strikes, you have choices to make. Thus, Pastor Batterson stresses that you can:
- stand down – or – stand on the promises of God
- give up as you give in to guilt, fear or anger – or – contend through prayer as though it depends completely on God, yet work as if it depends completely on you
According to the psalmist, God continuously sings songs of deliverance around us. As a result, Mark observes, God provides three lines of defense
- First line of defense = God’s surround-sound songs
- Second line of defense = the intercession of the Holy Spirit
- Third line of defense = Jesus seated at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf
Therefore, Pastor Batterson exhorts us to quit living as if Jesus is still nailed to the cross. Consequently, the author considers three words in Psalm 5:1 among the most comforting in all Scripture: “Consider my sighing.” God’s so intimately tuned to us He hears our wordless sighs in our most profound pain.
In conclusion, Mark states, we must give God the sacrifice of praise to make it through the tough times. Mark shares a mantra often repeated at National Community Church – don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.
Finally, Mark offers three thoughts about worship:
- The hardest praise is the highest praise. When you learn to praise God in really tough times, the best is yet to come. You’re God’s joy. Is He yours?
- Whatever you don’t turn into praise turns into pain. Verbalize your pain to the Lord. Sing over and through your pain.
- Sing like you believe it. If you truly believe what you’re singing, notify your face. Then add your hands and feet. And don’t just sing it. Declare it!
Today’s question: Are you contending for what you believe or conceding to your fears? Please share.
Coming Monday, March 12th: the annotated bibliography of Whisper
Tomorrow’s blog: “Part Chicken Little, part Eeyore”