True confession: I worry when I should trust. I fret when I should hope. I fear when I should rest. What’s a girl to do?
The last few days of our prayer journey, as we have thanked God for WHO He is and WHAT He does, and have focused on the protection He gives us, I have been struck that if I REALLY BELIEVED that my Lord was my Rescuer, my Rock, and my Refuge, I would live with much more stability, because I don’t need to fear the future. I have a REALLY STRONG Lord who loves me and offers me a place to run. Always.
Psalm 18:2 has appeared in several of the devotions because of how it lists many of the protections God provides. The last one from that verse that we have to look at is this: The Lord is our shield.
- The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2 ESV)
Our saving God is represented by all those protective locations. He is where we can run to and into, stand, and be sheltered. But He is also our SHIELD. While also defensive, a shield differs from the previous metaphors in that it is personal, individual, and held intimately close in order to work. Even if I can’t see a fortress to run to, or even a rock to stand on, I can hold up my Shield and be protected. My Shield gives me confidence.
- You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. (Psalm 115:11 ESV)
From the beginning of His personal relationship with His people, The Lord has placed Himself around us as a Shield. The eternal God acts as much as our Shield for us as He did for Abram (which He proclaimed He was even before He had even changed Abram’s name to Abraham.)
- After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." (Genesis 15:1 ESV)
Our salvation is our Shield. It is not something we have to earn. Rather the Shield is a natural result of our relationship with the Lord when we place our lives in His hands. It was over thirty years ago that I bent my knee to Jesus and gave Him my life. At that moment His Shield encompassed me, and it has never left.
- You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. (Psalm 18:35 ESV)
When I gave my life to Jesus, I chose a side in the epoch spiritual battle in the heavenlies. I gained a Savior, and also an enemy who wants to do all that he can to discourage me. He flaming darts fly at me from all possible directions, which is why God’s protection is so vital. My Shield of faith protects me. All darts are deflected as they bounce off the Shield.
- In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (Ephesians 6:16 ESV)
The battle is exhausting, That is why I need a Refuge so desperately. I am grateful that God’s Shield covers my vulnerability and keeps my heart safe when I am pursued. The Lord NEVER leaves me defenseless.
- O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, ... My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. (Psalm 7:1, 10 ESV)
As I walk with Him, the Lord surrounds me. As I take refuge in Him, He encompasses me.
- he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, (Proverbs 2:7 ESV)
- Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Proverbs 30:5 ESV)
I quickly admit that when I wander away from my Shield, even for a short time, I am prone to be hit by those flaming darts. They hurt! But worse they discourage me, and whisper lies that I am not good enough, that God must love everyone else more, that I am too weak, too dumb, too insignificant to count. But when I crouch behind my Shield, I realize I am a happy child of the King who is beloved. I remember I am saved, not because I deserve it, but because Jesus died for me. My Shield, who gave Himself up for me now surrounds me.
- Of Benjamin he said, "The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders … Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs." (Deuteronomy 33:12, 29 ESV)
My friend, are you tired today? Are you battle weary? Would you like to hang your head and cry? None of that surprises our Lord. He knows every part of our hearts and our struggles don’t disappoint Him. But He offers a solution. The best place to fall down and rest is in His sustaining arms. Let His shield surround you and in time He will even lift your head and dry your tears. I know. He has done such for me time and time again. How grateful I am for my shield!
- But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (Psalm 3:3 ESV)
Hallelujah- we don’t have to be strong enough! Let’s trust in the Lord who is our strength AND our Shield! His desire is to help us. So join me in exulting and thanking Him for all He does.
- The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. (Psalm 28:7 ESV)
Thank You Lord that You have been Your people’s Shield from the beginning! I trust in Your covering love to protect my heart for You.
Thank You for saving me. Your salvation provides the strongest shield I could imagine. But I want to walk out the assignments You give me with my Shield of faith covering from the front and the rear. I know my enemy wants to discourage me. Please forgive me for focusing more on the incoming darts than the Shield that surrounds me. I don’t ever want to walk away from that Shield, but rather stay squarely and safely behind it.
Lord, You know I am tired. There are so many life demands. Plus, the enemy is unrelenting. I need and want to walk so closely with You that I am surrounded by Your shield and the enemy’s lies never reach my ears. Please help me to walk in integrity and in Your truth as I take refuge in You and Your Shield.
Thank You Lord for being the lifter of my head. Even that You do for me. You don’t require me to get happy enough in order for You to help me. You do the lifting when my head hangs low with burdens and sorrows. Please help me remember You, my Savior and my Forgiver and then rest in Your Refuge. Thank You for the personal care You provide as my Shield.
I pray you experience in a new way the refreshment ad confidence that comes as we walk in communion with our Shield. What a loving God we serve!
- But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12 ESV)
Some more Scripture if you would to study more: (Psalm 33:20 ESV)(Psalm 18:30 ESV)(2 Samuel 22:36) (Psalm 125:2) (Psalm 91:4) (Psalm 144:2)
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