“A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD”
July 1st, 2001
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change. And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
The battle was growing hot and heavy as Martin Luther sat down and penned the words, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.” Then in verse 7, “The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
The battle we in the Christian church face today is not unlike the battle the great reformer faced. Circumstances may be different, but the source is the same and the cause is the same. Satan has attempted to dethrone God in the lives of His people from day one.
Luther’s battle was quite up front and personal with certain high members of the Roman Catholic Church. He was given an ultimatum: give up or go down. Luther did neither - because he was a fighter. He took his licks and continued to preach the Word of God - more specifically, justification by faith. His persistence won out. We have his great song stating his philosophy of life.
What an encouragement he is to the church. When he was challenged to recant his stand, he boldly declared, “Here I stand. I can do no other.”
I’m wondering if we found ourselves in the same predicament as the reformer, could we say with conviction, “Here we stand. We can do no other.”
Our Christian young people face the same battle in public schools today. Let me challenge you, guys and gals, take your stand because God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Let’s take that stand in our neighborhoods and in our churches. Make this next week a week of standing up to be counted. God bless.Love to you all.
--Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2006