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Oct 2013

A Bulwark Never Failing

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: for still our ancient foe does seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal – Verse 1 of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

This Sunday is Reformation Sunday. In honor of this day, we will be re-posting a series of reflections by Rayshawn Graves on the individual verses of Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:

If our hope is in Jesus, we have a Mighty Fortress in our God who is to us a refuge, and a never failing wall of protection and support. Our God, who is our Great Helper, will always prevail over all physical and spiritual forces that seek to oppose those who trust in Him. The opening words of this hymn communicate the security that Luther found in the words of Psalm 46:1 that says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We have a mighty fortress to run to when our ancient foe, Satan and the powers of darkness, try to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. Our enemy is very real, roaming the earth like a lion, to and fro, seeking whom he may devour, and although we know that our Lord is Sovereign and in control over all, this does not stop the enemy from taking every opportunity to harass and persecute those who have been redeemed by Christ’s blood.

From the beginning, that old serpent has been craftily working to deceive and to demolish what God has made good, and with great hatred towards God, and power over men in their sins; the god of this world has blinded the minds of mankind, actively working through temptation, deception, and condemnation to promote the suppressing of the truth, and the trampling of God’s glory. With even more fervency he persecutes the people of God, knowing that his time is short. In times where his attacks against the Church are the most overwhelming, it would seem that his power is unmatched on the earth – but our fortress isn’t earthly. Our never failing bulwark is not subjected to, or dualistically equal in power with, our enemy. Rather, along with the apostle John, we can say in the face of Satan’s greatest harassments that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” God is our fortress and therefore we can have confidence and shelter in the times of peril. His might and power are far greater than any enemy we face, and because of Jesus we are more than conquerors – God not only protects us as a refuge, but He also works to conform Satan’s devices against us to serve His holy purposes, for His glory and our joy. Truly, no weapon that is formed against us will prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment shall be condemned. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing!




October 25 2013 Reply

thanks for posting this! a great reminder

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