Psalm 3 tells the story of real spiritual warfare. It is a fight for the truth against the lies the enemy sends against us.
The enemy has one objective – to make us believe the lie. He does not care which lie but only that we give our faith and trust to the lie rather than the truth of God.
We find this at the very beginning in Genesis 3 when the serpent tempted Adam and Eve in the garden. Notice the attempts and intents of the enemy in those pivotal seven verses of Genesis 3:1-7:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
God did not say that. God said they could eat of any tree in the garden of Eden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
God did not say anything about touching the tree. This confusion or misrepresentation of the truth of God appears to have opened the door for the enemy to leverage what he is really after.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
God gave His command to protect the man and the woman from death. The serpent framed God’s command as something He issued because He was insecure. It was a lie, but enough to lead the man and the woman astray.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And in this way, sin entered the world and clobbered mankind through the ages with shame, guilt, and the prevailing wickedness we live in today. There was nothing magical about the forbidden fruit. What changed was when the man and the woman believed the lie rather than the truth of God.
Fast forward to the end of the story, and we find the enemy’s tactics the same. He is, and always has been, trying to get us to believe the lies. He stands before God, accusing us of sins. He whispers in our ears untruths and tries to lead us astray. Ultimately, he is cast down, and the power of his lies neutralized.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)
In between the beginning and the end, is our lives. We live in the tension where the victory of God has been secured, but its promises are still unfolding into our lives. Satan uses the same tactics he has always used to halt the progress of the Kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven into our lives. He tries to convince us of lies regarding the truth of God.
LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.”
Psalms 3:1-2 (NKJV)
In the face of hardships, persecution, and the general struggle of life, the questions pop into our heads and seek to gain fertile ground in our hearts. Is there no help from God? Has God abandoned me? Where is God? Why is God letting this happen? The enemy does not care what we believe. He only cares that we do not believe the truth of God.
Our hope is rooted to faith. We believe in a truth that we cannot see. The greater the struggle, the louder the accusations against God and us, then the more determined our faith must be to believe the truth over the lie.
But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.
Psalms 3:3-4 (NKJV)
This is the standard David modeled for us in Psalm 3. David wrote the Psalm at a time when his own son enacted a coup against him. Friends turned to enemies. Glory turned to shame. The once great king was on the run, and his humiliation came at the hands of his son Absalom. In the face of such overwhelming mental, emotional, and spiritual opposition, David turned his heart toward an invisible truth. The pressures all about him were founded upon a lie. God was true, and the king would not stop believing that.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
Psalms 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Yes, real events and crises unfolded, but the crux of the situation was David’s heart. What would he believe amid all the chaos and tragedy? Would he believe the truth of God or the lies of the enemy? The real story was not the coup. The real story was not the fact that David and his family had to take flight from his home. The real story was where his heart went in this once-in-a-lifetime tragedy. Would he believe the lies tempting him at the door of his heart, or would he believe the truth of God?
Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the LORD.
Your blessing is upon Your people.
Psalms 3:7-8 (NKJV)
This is where spiritual warfare takes shape. It is in the heart of the crisis when everything about us whispers, “Turn from God, doubt Him, don’t believe Him any longer.” That is where we take our stand against the accuser, against the lies of the enemy and say, “God, I may not understand everything in this situation but one thing I know – You are true, and everything else is a lie. Fight against my enemies who have slandered Your Name!”