In Psalm 46, we encounter a more popular writing that should be a comfort to us because it reminds us of the awesome power of Almighty God. The main point is echoed in Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Yet very quickly we can cheapen the message. In Romans 8, Paul outlines God’s love for us and how he has saved us from our bondage to sin, as set us free in Christ, and now has given us the victory over life and death. How often, though, do we actually live out that victory? Do we view these victories as a trophy we put on the shelf only to dust off and take down on the day of judgement to remind God of His love for us? May it never be! This is why Paul wrote in Philippians 2:
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God is the Living God and therefore if He lives in us then we live with Him and so shall we live. This is a verb, an action word that doesn’t cease to be. We tend to view our salvation as a destination, a starting point, a “from here on out…” event and we are continually missing out! If you take a few moments to read through Ezekiel 47, you will see the same river of life flowing in the vision God gave him. A river of flowing water by its very definition is never stagnant. It is always flowing, always producing, always new and fresh. So too is God’s presence with us! If you read through Psalm 46 again, take note of how many action words there are. They are not written in past tense but present tense. It is not referring to how God savED us, but how He savES us.
Verses 4 and 5 are very key to understanding the point of this passage. The river whose streams make the city of God (i.e. His saved children) is the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God. We are the city and His presence flows among us. How often do we recognize God’s presence with us? Too often we think it’s God’s fault that we can’t sense Him with us or that we are alone but we are never alone. He is always with us. How often do we “stop to smell the roses” or maybe in a more applicable sense “stop to sense the flow” of God’s river? Jesus offers us streams of Living Water by which if we drink we will never thirst again. Do you understand what that means???
If you never thirsted again, you would never want for water. You would never have to think about the need for water. You would never have to seek for water and do whatever it takes to obtain it. Some people have to turn on a faucet. Others pay for a bottle. Some might need to work hard to afford water service to their house. Others still might need to walk miles to the well to draw water and carry it home. Some might actually have to seek and drill a well. God says, “Be still. Cease striving. I have what you need. I AM what you need. Just know who I am.”
The psalmist writes about the world falling apart, armies coming against us, and the end of time. He reminds us that God holds us in the balance of His hand. Safely, securely, assuredly, and eternally. Rest in Him today. Trust Him to care for you. Remember that working out your salvation means taking of the stream of living water and resting in His love for us.