Friday, November 11, 2011

Let God Be Your Shield

While I was driving my daughters to the dentist this past week a huge rock flew into my windshield. It caused all three of us to flinch and my youngest to say “Whoa Daddy, what was that?” I explained that it must have been a rock from the big truck in front of us. My oldest said, “That was close. Good thing we have that windshield. That could have been my head!” She was right. I realized this was a teaching moment about the Lord. I said, “Yes, that windshield protected us. It allows us to drive unafraid of whatever may be thrown at us because it will deflect and protect. God is our shield.” I quoted Psalm 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

The word “shield” appears over forty times in the Bible but only once in the New Testament. It is first mentioned in Genesis 15:1, “The word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." It is an amazing thing that God is our shield. When the world around us throws evil our way, the Lord envelops us. He will protect us.

We must use Him as our shield. What good is a shield lying on the ground? We must hold Him high and, like the windshield in our vehicles, He must go before us. A shield will do you no good behind you. When you go in reverse you are only trying to look out for yourself. He must come before our preferences in life. He must precede our desires and passions. His presence and truth must introduce and lead every area of our lives. We must trust Him because not only is He our shield as we go forward in faith, He is also our rear guard. Isaiah 52:12 says, “For the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Stop worrying about yourself, trying to save your own rear. God will protect you!

In another sense, the word “shield” refers to our faith in God in Ephesians 6:16. Shield, here, means “an oblong door that is wide in width and long in length”. A shield could cover an entire soldier. God has given us enough faith to ensure we are completely covered for every situation. A Roman soldier’s shield was made of many layers of thick animal hide, making it strong as steel. But over time a shield would crack and become vulnerable. Failure to care for your shield was inviting the loss of one’s life. We must maintain our faith in Christ by being refreshed and maintained on a consistent basis. Our faith must be developed, nurtured, and enriched in Him.

In Psalm 3, David assures us of the Lord’s protection. While some were saying God would not deliver David, he believed the Lord was a shield around him. He lifts our heads high. We can call out to him and he answers us. We can have rest, endurance, and peace even in the presence of many foes. God will deliver and bless those who trust in Him. What an amazing Bible passage! Even when you are having “one of those days” you can count on God because He is your shield. That is such a blessing and encouragement!

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