Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shield, Savior, Safety

Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.  He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  Psalm 18:2 (NLT)
The Psalmist uses three images to describe how protected and secure he is in God’s hands. 
My Rock is the immovable, omnipotent power of God to overcome any obstacle the child of God encounters.
My Fortress is the place of retreat.  Even the strongest army must rest and regroup in a safe place, and the safest place around is behind the shield of God’s protection. 
My Savior is the arms of safety, where, even when I mess up and wander, the Shepherd will find me and bring me back home.
King David often found himself engaged in bloody warfare; the culture back then was as out of its mind over conquest and power as ours is today.  The Bible’s account of rampant lawlessness and bloodshed throughout Israel’s struggle to become God’s messenger is frighteningly similar to the culture in which we now live. 
But, for followers of Jesus Christ there is another dimension to the wars we face; we must always remember that our lives are framed by the reality of spiritual warfare. 
Paul has this chilling reminder:
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
In 35 years of ministry I have both experienced this battle with the unseen, and known plenty of believers going through the fires of spiritual warfare. 
What does this spiritual oppression by the enemy, and the battle lines look like?  You might be surprised, but it often looks like just normal stuff – financial burdens, a doctor’s report, court ruling, daily newspaper crime report.  It may be the breakup of a marriage, or the teenager who falls in with the wrong crowd; it may be news of your employer starting to cut back on the workforce.
These are like the spots that tell you a person has leprosy; the spots aren’t the disease, they are merely indicators that you have something wrong on the inside.
And that’s the way sin works!
Spiritual warfare may be the most neglected form of Christian living these days.  We spend so much time praying for the healing of our hangnails and other minor hurts, and beseeching God for an easier life, that we fail to engage in the real game – the war to which we’ve all been called – praying-up a hedge of protection for the next generation.
In a very engaging inaugural address, which everyone my age remembers, President John F. Kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what YOU can do for your country.  That 17-word call to unity and unselfishness drew the citizens of this country into the kind of national pride and enthusiasm which spawned decades of involvement and unselfish investment of their lives for the preservation of the world and its resources.  And that by a generation of so-called “hippies” as a response to the call of Camelot
How I wish we could see that kind of passion to serve Christ in the citizens of our churches. 
Somehow, we have lost the focus on the battle which rages before us.  As a nation, and in churches (as the Body of `Christ), we don’t pray, seek the face of God, humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, as 2 Chronicles 7:14 lays-out for the kind of revival we should be seeking.
May God forgive us and draw us back to Him.

For You Today

Two simple questions: 

1.  Will you pray today?

2.  If you do pray, will it be for your benefit…or the sake of His Kingdom?

[1] Title Image: By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia, via Wikimedia Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment