Do You Have The Shield at Your Side?

2 Samuel 22- And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies… He said, “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 and my refuge, my savior… I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From his temple, he heard my voice… … … He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me… but the Lord was my support… You are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God- his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

 

Just a couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with my mom regarding those seasons of life that keep surprising you with left hooks, if you know what I mean. I found myself feeling weak and weary, and honestly, I started questioning God’s faithfulness to me. I was feeling overwhelmed with unexpected bills, health issues, and family crises that all showed up on my doorstep just days apart. But, as I was listening to a song, this phrase stood out to me, “You walk on the water. You speak to the sea. You stand in the fire beside me.” I pondered on that line for a moment and my thoughts went to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Daniel 3) I felt so ashamed for believing God abandoned me even for a split second, just because things weren’t flowing as I thought they should. I mean, if God always did things in a way that we could think up, the three Hebrew boys would have never entered that furnace. Nebuchadnezzar would have changed his mind, the fire would have gone out… something! But… they DID have to enter that fire… still, they weren’t in there alone and they came out without even the smell of smoke on their clothes!

Reading over the life of David, you quickly realize that he didn’t get much of break from “life” either. Still, he knew where his help came from, and he had learned that God would always equip him with the strength and resources to make it through any trial… through any trial.

Our Christian walk is referenced as a battle or war on several occasions. We’re being fought on every side by the enemy. Satan comes at us hard to make us weary. Principalities and powers use all their energy on us in the hopes that we’ll give in. War is not easy. Battles require some kind of fight. But, when we carry Him with us… He is our shield.

Shield- “used as protection against blows or missiles…”

A shield protects you from fatal blows, right? But, you still feel a kick or a jolt when the object aimed in your direction hits that shield. You will feel exhausted at times. Weariness and pain may even affect you. But, you are not defeated!

David never said that God kept him from having to wade through deep waters. But, he drew me out of many waters… Not everyone agreed with David or wanted the best for him, but because he relied on God, he could say, I am saved from my enemies.  He didn’t deny that he would face obstacles standing in his way. Still, by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. David knew that the world in which he lived would get dark at times, but You are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. 

David looked death in the face on many occasions, but even then, he knew that God was with him. No matter what David encountered, he understood that God would be there. Just as He is with us. Being His child does not mean we won’t ever face hardships. They’re going to come… and they might come in multitudes. But don’t lose faith or heart. Remember Who shields you. Because of sin, everyone will face things they don’t necessarily want to. It’s inevitable. But, as a child of God, we have THE SHIELD. He’s given us the material we need to overcome, we just have to utilize it! You might start to feel weak, but He is your strength, your deliverer, your refuge.

did i miss one

I may be the only one that gets in this selfish zone thinking He owes me an “easier” life, but I’m probably not. He reminded me over the last couple of weeks that He owes me nothing. I owe Him my life, my trust, and my praise. Still, He chooses to walk with me and keep me safe… When we allow the flesh to overrule our spirit, we notice everything that hits us… but we have no idea about everything He protects us from on a daily basis. We don’t have to know… We just have to trust. Hold Him close and let Him be our shield.

 

Prayer: Lord, increase my trust in You. Forgive me for my doubt. Remind me daily of Your faithfulness. You are my shield and my refuge and I thank You for Your protection. Amen.

 

 

Who Are You Leaning On?

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(Isaiah 10:20 ESV) 20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine, Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, Leaning on the everlasting arms;

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

It is a sad reality when people find themselves in bondage to their abusers. As a young pastor, I was called to the aid of a woman who was lying in the hospital having been attacked and beaten by her husband. The police report indicated he had used his fist to punch holes in the walls of their home. The bedroom doors had been destroyed as he violantly pursued his intended victim. The wife suffered broken bones, some of her hair had been pulled out in clumps, and her face was bruised and swollen from the beating. It was a terrible sight to behold. Even worse, was the sense of helplessness that she felt. When I recommended she seek shelter and protection, she indicated her intention was to return home and hope it wouldn’t happen again. After all, she said, “Where would I go? How would I live? I don’t even have a job. I’m totally dependant upon him.”

The Lord told Isaiah, “the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD…” 

Consider…

  • The survivors – God assured Isaiah there would be a remnant of people to escape and survive. They would live another day! Listen, sometimes we have to push up our sleeves, dig in our feet, and fight for survival. There is no value in suffering without reason. It is one thing to suffer for the sake of Christ; it is another matter altogether to consistantly suffer at the hand of an abuser when freedom is available. Laws have been written that can and should be used when protection is needed.
  • The leaners – Don’t be ashamed to lean! We all finding ourselves leaning at times. The important question is, “Who or what are you leaning on?” In this passage of scripture, God said, the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them…” In other words, the survivors would be liberated from their abusers. No longer would they be in bondage to those who had taken advantage of them. Freedom would be theirs!
  • The trusters –  While the english translation uses “lean” twice, the Hebrew language uses two words; one word describes “leaning” (le·hi·sha·’en) on the abuser and another word describes “leaning” (ve·nish·’an) on the Lord. The individual who leans on an abuser is depicted in a weakened state; unable to stand alone they develop an unstable dependency on an abuser, which ultimately produces negative consequences. The individual who leans on the Lord is strong even in their weakness; resting in a relationship with the deliverer that produces a positive resolution to a negative situation.

One closing thought. God told Isaiah that the basis for this hope is “truth.” One can never be free until they analyze their circumstances in the light of God’s word. He will never lead you astray. But, will always reveal everything necessary to guide you to victory! Who are you leaning on today?

PRAYER: I’m leaning upon you today, Lord. Thank You for being a deliverer I can count on. When I am weak, You are strong! Amen.

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