There was a time, when I was a pastor in Brazil, that I made some small changes in the liturgy of my church. We decided to have a guitar player, we bought a drum set, and we added some praise and worship songs in our liturgy. People could raise their hands during the service and we would clap our hands during the songs, things like this. I never thought that this would create a huge commotion in our presbytery and synod.
Because of that I started facing a strong opposition. People would come to record my services, gossip was spread all over the town, and I even received anonymous letters condemning me. Of course those things were aggravated by my preaching style, even though at the time I did not use it inside the church, only in youth events.
It was a tough time, not only for my church, and myself, but also for other churches that started doing the same thing. I wrote a book telling that story, “A Doutrina da Gravata” (The Doctrine of the Tie). It got to the point that there was no place for me to develop my ministry. This was the main reason why I left Brazil.
We all face opposition in our lives. If you believe in Christ and follow Him, you will face opposition. In Psalm 120, the psalmist is telling that they were living with opposition on a daily basis. That is the second lesson that we learn here. They had to live and travel among people who would oppose them and their faith. Those people were pagans, they did not have the same spiritual background, which meant, they did not have the same beliefs, the same doctrines, and they did not have the same values that the people of God had.
The psalmist tells us that the most powerful weapon of these enemies was their tongue. These are the terms that the psalmist uses to describe them: Lying lips, Deceitful tongues, and False tongues.
The question is: what the enemies will try to do with their tongues and lies? What are their goals and their purposes? Let me share a few of them with you.
A – The enemy wants to convince us that we are not God’s children, nor good enough. That is the first thing that the enemy will try to do. They will say, “why do you have to go to the presence of God, if you are not His child? You are not good enough. Why should God accept you?”
B – The enemy wants to convince us that coming to church is useless. They will try to convince us that church and service has no value in times like this. It is simply not practical. They will say, “Why would you waste your precious time with church? It is useless. There are many other better things to do on Sunday morning.”
C – The enemy wants to convince us that the best way to solve a problem is through the use of power. Finally, the enemy would try to convince us that we should use our own strength, ability, and power, to solve our problems. “You are on your own. Spiritual life and church involvement will not do anything to help you to solve your problems.”
As you can see, those lies have the ability to weaken our resolve to follow Christ and serve Him. Little by little we will listen to them and finally we will start believing in them. Probably this is the reason that this psalm is the first one that people would sing when they started their journey to worship God.
Have a blessed week,