Recognizing Reality

“People do not learn from mistakes,” said the professor. The class was confused. Most of them had been taught all of their lives that the best way to learn was from one’s mistakes.

As he looked into their puzzled faces, he continued his lecture by asking a question, “How many of you have made the same mistake twice?” Hands went up all over the classroom. “That is precisely my point. If we learned from our mistakes, we would never make the same mistake twice. We seem to learn best when someone provides us feedback. We are not honest enough with ourselves to point out our own mistakes or failures. We do not want to admit them – especially to ourselves even if we recognize them.”

The author of this Psalm recalled two important facts: When the Israelites acknowledged God as their leader and followed Him, they were victorious. “Our fathers advised us,” they said, “that it was not our swords or plans that brought victory.” God spoke to them and they realized what brought about their defeat: they trusted in their own strength! It was their defeat that caused them to be open to God’s “feedback.”

When “we pushed back our enemies in Your name,” he continued, “we trampled on our foes!” What a testimony to the power and victory that is available to us through our God!

Like Israel, we must come to the same conclusion and make the same confession with the same amount of conviction: “In Your name, Heavenly Father, we can trample on our foes.” When we read God’s Word and use it as the standard for our lives, He will give us His “feedback” and provide a path for us to renew our relationship with Him. If we allow His Word to do its work, we will discover our failings and can call on Him for His grace and forgiveness, courage and restoration.

Prayer: We pray, Almighty Lord, for a willingness to realize that apart from You there is no victory over our foes. Lead us in Your strength! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. Psalm 44:5 

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