The Shield - Just A Minute #151

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1) . . . The LORD is my strength and my shield. (Psalm 28:7)

God does not hand out shields to His children nor distribute them as prizes to favorite servants. He never offers any kind of visual or physical device to guard us from Satan or adverse circumstances. His plan for our safety and well being is much more personal, and infinitely more reliable.

He wants to BE our shield.

That is so radically different than what we often believe.

We have drunk deeply from the world's wells. The idea of actually trusting God for our basic, everyday, protection is almost a foreign concept. We may pray before a trip or job project, but generally we feel naked and vulnerable if we do not have everything our culture says we need to safeguard ourselves from evil situations or people. So, we surround our bodies and goods with the latest in electronic devices, full guarantees, and water tight contracts, hoping to then walk through life undisturbed.

But down inside we know that there is always somebody nearby who is figuring out a way to get around our shields.

All the while, God is telling us in the plain text of Scripture, "There is a much better way."

King David learned about God's shield early on, fighting lions, bears, and giants. He found out that being where his Master wanted him to be and doing what he was supposed to do were the main conditions for divine protection. This truth became so foundational for him that he repeated it almost a dozen times in his songs.

These became valuable instruction for his physical and spiritual descendants, including Hezekiah who lived three hundred years later. In answer this king's faith, 185,000 Assyrian corpses were the silent witnesses to Jehovah's ability to shield Israel from it's enemies.

Flipping over to the New Testament we find the theme restated or illustrated in every major character and book. Why even the Great Commission contains the message! It begins and ends with Christ's absolute authority and His everlasting presence promised to every child who preaches the Gospel.

Then again, to Paul, facing fierce opposition and ever present physical danger in Corinth, the Master broke into his sleep one night with this message: "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee . . . " With that assurance he continued on for 18 very fruitful months of ministry.

Why then do we find it so hard to apply this truth in our ordinary walk?

There can only be one answer. It is the simple and embarrassing sin of unbelief. But for the Lord's grace, it taints our every thought.

God says, "Let ME be your shield!", to which we often respond, "Ok. But just in case..."

Ironically, If we would take Him at His Word we would learn that the reward for trusting Him as our shield ends up being much more than just protection.

Dear Father, help me believe. At times I get the idea that this age is different and somehow Your principles don't apply. Give me the simple faith to take You at Your Word. Amen.