You gave me victory over my accusers. Psalm 18:43 NLT

Accusations can sting—especially the false ones.

Norris couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Didn’t you know she was ____?” “Couldn’t you smell ____ on her breath?” It was bad enough that he’d just had his wife confess unfaithfulness and tell him she didn’t love him anymore. Now the spiritual leaders of the church he pastored were accusing him of a cover-up. But he didn’t know she was ___. And he had not smelled _____ on her breath. He had his suspicions—but no solid proof. There was nothing he could do but resign.

I’ve experienced a little of what Norris tasted. I, too, remember a time when a comment I made was taken out of context, and it almost cost me my job. Being falsely accused hurts—and can bring with it a high cost.

What the psalmist was accused of, we aren’t told. The missing information isn’t important though. He trusted God to give him victory over his accusers.

Jesus was familiar with false accusations too. When He cast out demons, the religious authorities said He was empowered by the prince of demons. False accusations eventually led Him to the cross.

Early Christians also knew about false accusations. Ironically, they were accused of being atheists. Not because they didn’t worship or believe in any god but because they would not acknowledge the Roman Caesar as a god nor believe in the Roman pantheon of gods.

False accusations are a part of life at some moment during the journey. They may or may not have anything to do with my faith, but more than likely they will. Those who accuse have ulterior motives. Perhaps they want my job. Maybe they hate the morality that comes along with my belief system.

Jesus responded to false accusations by making Himself as a sheep going to slaughter: silence. Reacting with anger, cursing, or other forms of violent behavior won’t do the trick. Nor will appealing to my legal rights. These things will only serve to damage my witness before others.

The best course of action is to turn the matter over to God. He said vengeance belonged to Him—not me. Praying over the matter and praying for the person making the false accusations will bring peace to my soul and keep me from doing something that will hinder the cause of God.

Let God handle false accusations made against you.


When the Battles Come

You have armed me with strength for the battle. Psalm 18:39 NLT

Some battles have nothing to do with wielding a weapon.

Military blood runs through my family veins. My father did a stint in the National Guard and then the Army, serving overseas in the Formosa Crisis. My father-in-law retired from the Army, doing time in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. A brother-in-law served in the Air Force, and a nephew did time in Iraq. Even both of my children did short stints.

When I entered my teenage years, the Vietnam War was nearing an end—at least America’s involvement in it. The military draft was still in force, and I feared I would end up in a war that seemed to have no end. But it did end—along with the draft.

Though I’ve never served in the military, I admire those who have and do. And although I’ve never fought in a military battle, I’ve fought a number of other battles: Are my parenting skills up to par? On what grounds do I make this decision? How will I care for my aging parents and in-laws? Should I keep this job or look for another? How will I pay for the move? Why am I depressed? Can I get through this divorce? Will I ever find someone to love me?

The psalmist was familiar with military battles, but he was also familiar with other battles that didn’t require picking up a weapon. Regardless of what type of battle he fought, God armed him with the necessary means to fight it.

God gives all the armor I need to fight my battles with the enemy of my soul—and also the battles I sometimes fight with God. He gives me the helmet of salvation. Thoughts determine actions. I have the power to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. I have a breastplate of righteousness, given when I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is my shield, and I take the gospel of peace wherever I go. My clothes are girded with the belt of truth—which determines everything I say and do. And I have God’s Word to guide every decision I make and action I take.

When the battles come, victory is certain if we adorn ourselves with the full armor of God. Don’t let the battles of life defeat you. Claim the victory that can be yours.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us the weapons we need to be victorious over every one of life’s battles.

Traveling with Firm Footing

He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. Psalm 18:33 NLT

Where I walk determines how I travel.

I learned the art of careful walking when I backpacked in the mountains. Trails were littered with rocks, roots, and dead leaves, making paths uneven and slippery. If I wasn’t careful, I could twist my ankle, catch my foot on a root, or slip on wet leaves. More than once, my feet magically disappeared from under me. Having to watch my step while hiking made me wish I was like a deer.

While visiting our friends in Henderson, Colorado, we traveled to the Rocky Mountain State Park. The mountains are aptly named and peered at us through the car window as we wound around the curves. Suddenly, mountain goats appeared. We pulled to the side of the road for a better view. They were surefooted like deer and scaled the rocky surfaces—never slipping, as I would have.

I doubt the psalmist referred to God giving him the ability to climb a mountain without falling, although he was familiar with mountains. The mountains he needed help climbing were similar to mine: financial, spiritual, emotional, relational, educational, and parental. I’ve discovered life is filled with such mountains. The psalmist scaled them because God sured up his feet.

Slipping on the mountains I climb is inevitable if I don’t let God help me scale the heights. Through prayer, meditation on His Word, and wise counsel, God gives me wisdom to know the right steps to take. Even when I neglect these things and fall, He’s more than happy to pick me up, steady my feet, and nudge me along.

Although I sometimes fall out of neglect, I periodically fall because God lets me. Falls teach me important lessons. I need to pray before I make decisions. When I make decisions that take me out of God’s will, He will discipline me because He loves me. Occasionally, God leads me over rocky slippery paths to prepare me for an upcoming assignment.

While it’s my responsibility to watch the path I’m traveling, God will give me sure footing so I can travel it.

Travel your life paths with confidence. God will give you sure footing to walk down each one.

Doing Anything with God

In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.
Psalm 18:29 NLT

As Stephen Winter said, “Life is not ‘Hollywood’ perfect.”

Nathan found that out too. For fifteen years, he ambled in the wilderness, leaving God on the back burner. His marriage to his high school sweetheart was marred from the beginning when on their honeymoon night she said, “I miss my momma.” Six months later, she was leaving him for one of his work cohorts. After a short fling with him, she moved in with another man.

For three years, Nathan left women alone. Then he decided to make a fresh start in a new town where he met a young lady, fell in love, and married two years later. He finally made his way back to God, but watched this wife go through a mid-life crisis and leave him and their two children sixteen years later.

Once again, Nathan wondered how God could have allowed such a thing to happen and how he would ever get through the mess he was in. But he did, and four years later God sent him a wonderful woman who pulled him out of his depression and repaired his broken life. He discovered he could do anything with God, but nothing without Him.

David the psalmist was a military man and a king, but he had passed through his share of hardships on the way to his present position—and still faced them. When the time came for the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king for Israel, David’s father didn’t even invite David to the selection party but left him in the field tending sheep. Later, after becoming king, one of David’s sons led a rebellion, ran him out of town, and then topped off his insolence by sleeping with his father’s concubines in public view. But David made it through each of his tumultuous episodes because he discovered he could do anything with God.

I’ve discovered what Stephen, Nathan, David, and many others, have: life isn’t perfect just because I have chosen to follow God. God doesn’t promise it will be; He simply promises that with His strength I’ll get through, that the trial will contain a seed from which I can learn valuable lessons, and that I’ll grow spiritually if I’ll respond with trust instead of bitterness.

With God’s strength, you can face whatever life throws your way. Trust Him when the trials come.

Prayer: Father, enable us to meet life’s trials in Your strength, rather than in our own.