(October 22, 2014)
I loved the psalmist’s language of not prevailing with our lips. Sometimes we see challenges in our lives (or opportunities, for that matter) as things to be seized by our own mortal, temporal capacities. While it is true that we are to use our mortal means to accomplish these tasks whenever possible, we are not to rely on these means – we fight the battle the Lord asks us to fight and He wins the war.
When we achieve some temporal goal (even a worthy one that appears spiritual) through temporal means, that success is false. It is wrong, twisted in some way, and in my experience will always fall apart in the end. It is like the missionary who converts through the force of personality or the temporal skills of persuasion rather than introducing his investigators to a genuine spiritual conversion. Such a missionary might have success, but their converts more often than not fall away, lose touch, and are in a worse position than before because they now know the Gospel and are judged accordingly. Far better to do the work, serve with your might, and let the Lord accomplish His own work such that the fruits of that work are the fruits that the Lord intends.