God does not owe us His presence. He does not have to march with us just because we declare war and go out to battle. It was David who wrote the sixtieth psalm, evidently after a terrible defeat. He was very distressed and disturbed and began to write to God about all the things that he could do and that he could accomplish.
By Jerry Jones
Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, 0’ God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, 0 God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies (Psalm 60:9-12).
I have never been more optimistic about the future of the church. I have never been more thrilled to be part of what God is doing in our world. I believe we are living in the days of the greatest opportunity we have ever known to make a difference in our world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am excited about what God is going to do.
In the midst of the greatest sense of optimism that I have ever had, I have never felt more of a need of God in my own life than I have in the past several months. Never before have I felt my own lack of ability or talent. Never before have I felt inadequate to make a difference in this world. I have never sensed in the church a more desperate need to understand how dependent we are on the presence of God. “Except the LORD build the house, the laborers labor in vain.” I do not care how slick we get, how good we can do it, how well we can organize, or how much talent we can display. Unless we have God, we will never survive. We cannot accomplish what God has for us to do without Him. I need Him more tonight than I have ever needed Him before. The church is in a desperate condition. We have more than ever. But never have we been more destitute. We are enjoying more than ever, but feel empty. We need God, now, more than ever before.
We do not need “more or less” organization. We do not need “more or fewer” issues. We do not need “more or fewer” programs, fellowship, talent, or money. I said “more or less” because I am not against any of those things. All of them have their place. Even things that are normally thought of as being negative, like issues, are healthy sometimes. But we do not need those things; we need God. Sure, I would like to have a few millionaires, more money, more fellowship, and more organization in areas where we need it. We do need more pulling together, more patting each other on the back, and more standing with each other. We can have all of those things, but if we do not have God, we are still going to fail. With Him, all things are possible. Therefore, if we have more issues, programs, and fellowship, and if we gain more talent, get more money, build greater buildings, all of those things are okay. But in all of our “getting” and in all of our “doing,” let us be certain that when we go to war, we are not marching alone. We must have the Almighty marching along with us.
I am weary of shining up my armor, getting all the specks of dust and tarnish off, and buckling it on. I march to war, my flag unfurled, snapping in the breeze, my spear sparkling in the sunshine. I am ready in my ranks—organized and prepared, plotted and positioned. I draw my sword to fight, but I am not winning like God designed me to do. In all of my doing and in all of my preparing, organizing, and working, I suddenly discover that I am marching by myself. God refused to march with me.