January 6

chariots and computers 

I stared at the blank screen on my computer. It wasn’t a white page beckoning me to fill it with words—it was totally dark. I jiggled the mouse. Nothing. I removed the battery and tried to start it with just the power cord plugged in. Still nothing. Finally, the screen blinked to life. Back in business, I thought. Then, the machine blacked out again, and I knew a new computer was in my future.

With a writing deadline just a few days away, I tried not to worry. Some words to a song came to mind . . . Some trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7). Each challenge we face leads us to question: Will we trust in our own resources and strength, or will we rely on God for the outcome?

It’s God who gives victory, and the Israelites had many chances to experience this as they battled with the nations that inhabited Canaan. Some of these nations were more powerful than the Israelites (Deuteronomy 7:1). But, in the end, God’s people correctly credited Him for their victories.

Generations later, they remembered that their forefathers didn’t win battles because of their own strategies or weapons. They sang to God, “You drove out the pagan nations by your power,” and “It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:2-3).

As God’s children, we have the assurance that God loves us, helps us, and is responsible for any success in our lives. These truths can strengthen us when we face challenges of many kinds. Yes, computers may break down, chariots may lose their wheels, but God can still enable us to “do mighty things” for His glory (60:12). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

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Psalm 44:1-8

It was your right hand and strong arm . . . that helped them (v.3). more›

Read Jeremiah 9:23-24 to see what kind of boasting God accepts. Look up Psalm 33:16-19 to see why trusting in God is superior to trusting in anything else.

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What happens to your relationship with God when you take the credit for the success He’s given? How might a person balance confidence in a God-given skill with confidence in God? 

Nicole.C.Mullen -My Redeemer Lives-music video from stacymichelle on GodTube.