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I AM YOUR SHIELD

(Friday, May 1, 2020)

There are times in our lives that we flounder in our prayers. We may not know how to address our loving heavenly Father. We may misunderstand His timing and desire immediate answers; His apparent delays and silence seem bewildering. We cry, “God, what am I to do? Show me the next step I am to take.” Yet all we encounter is silence, dead silence. Because our faith is weak, we forget to seek God and God alone — not answers, not “feel-good” emotions. And He, in His loving time and way, will reveal Himself to us. His greatest desire is that we trust Him when it doesn’t make sense, when His voice isn’t heard, and when He seems far away yet remains closer than ever. It’s precisely during those times that we need a Shield and a Deliverer.

1.0 IMPORTANCE OF THE BIBLE VERSES

When is the last time that you memorised a Bible verse? I know there are people who are really good memorising Bible verses. I myself am not particularly good in learning a Bible verse by heart. But it is most helpful to have a Bible verse in times of need, especially, in times of trouble. It is most helpful to have a Bible verse for situations, in which we are trying to come to terms with the world around or within us. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. It is most helpful to have a Bible verse for situations, in which we do not find any words on our own. In Matthew 22:29, Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God”; and in Matthew 4:1-11 gave us practical example when he had fasted forty days and forty nights in wilderness and devil tried to tempt him.

2.0 GOD IS MY SHIELD

Perhaps the Bible verse for today will become one of those verses that we – you and I – will learn by heart in due course of time. The Bible verse for today is from Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” Perhaps you have heard other Bible verses speaking about God as a shield or referring to God as the Shield. There are a number of verses from the Psalm, especially: Psalm 3:3: “You, Lord, are a shield around me.” Psalm 5:12: “Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as with a shield.” Psalm 18: 2-3, 30: “The Lord is my shieldhe shields all who take refuge in him.”  Other verses of Psalm are Psalm 7:10 and Psalm 33:20. In Genesis 15:1, God revealed Himself to Abraham in a vision saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward”. Proverbs 30:5-6 articulates, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” The purity of His words does not need anything added to it. God warns us not to misrepresent His scripture.Therefore, if all we have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We come across the word “shield” also in the New Testament, for example, Ephesians 6:10-20: “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” 1 Peter 1:5: “through faith we are shielded by God’s power.” 2 Samuel 22:3, 31: My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour.

3.0 MEANING OF THE SHIELD

In the ancient times, a shield was common for soldiers, it was part of the military equipment. A shield was a board of wood or metal which served as a protection from the weapons of the enemy. For the Israelites, a king was referred to as a shield, a protector. For Abraham and the Psalmist, God was compared with a shield. Paul and Peter mentioned also the “shield of faith” as part of the armour of God, which helps to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”. According to the Word of God, we may direct our thoughts, for example, to Abraham and his understanding of God as the Shield, of the One surrounding and protecting us. As mentioned, in Genesis 15:1, God revealed Himself to Abraham in a vision saying, “I am your shield.” And so we may acknowledge and come to the same understanding together with the Psalmist, who says in Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” Do we – you and I – really believe that God is our shield, as we are reading or saying these words? We must believe these words, that God is our – your and my – Shield. The Bible says that God is a shield for those who love and follow Him, and everyday there are things He blocks from coming your way because He loves you and cares about everything in your life. God is your shield and your helper, and He is always there. (Psalm 33:20) God is always there for you! And if Jesus is #1 in your life and you’re walking with Him, nothing will ever come your way unless it first comes through Him. He is your shield.

4.0 RESPONSE FROM GOD

In Psalm 91:14–15, God calms us with words of promise and hope. As you read these words, personalize them. I will use my name and matching pronoun as an example.

“Because [Samir Stephan Kujur] hath set [his] love upon me, therefore will I deliver [him]: I will set [him] on high, because [he] hath known my name. When [He] shall call upon me, and I will answer [him]: I will be with [him] in trouble; I will deliver [him], and honour [him].”

The amazing beauty of this section is the realization that we are not the rescuer. Our precious Saviour is our deliverer and our power source. HE will answer and intercede. HE will deliver us.

5.0 JESUS, OUR SHIELD AND DELIVERER

In Hebrews 7:24–25 and Romans 8:31–39, we read the Christ’s role in the rescuing and interceding process. Describe the comfort this brings as you imagine Jesus sitting at God’s right-hand pleading for you in prayer.

In Jesus [I] trust. [I] love, because He first loved [me]. He does the work. He grants [me] the Holy Spirit, who does the inner work desired as [I] learn what He has done for [me].

He places His shield of faith on us, protecting us from the doubts, the fears, and the impatience in our times of waiting. When we are weak, we are strong in Him. We find and the comfort we discover in the Psalm 3:3–4 Psalm 84:10–12 Psalm 91:4–5 Psalm 144:2. Our troubles turn our eyes to Him. In Galatians 3:26–27; Ephesians 2:4–7; Titus 3:4–7; and Zechariah 4:6 we read how do these references illustrate God’s strength and power in our battles as we walk on the paths opened before us? The actions against the promises, the comfort, and the assurances of God’s shield and protection, God performs in Psalm 18:28–36.

What do you believe is God’s ultimate purpose in allowing His silence to be experienced? Jesus, our Shield and Deliverer, delivers us daily from Satan’s power. We read the power from Christ revealed in the Ephesians 6:13–17 and 1 Peter 1:3–5 Our shield — Jesus Christ — protects us through His cross and resurrection. Though fearful and discouraged at times, we remain in Christ. In Gethsemane, Jesus experienced our heaviness of heart. On the cross, He took on all our fears, tears … and our sins. His love took them to the grave and swallowed them. His resurrection power is now ours. The shield of faith, given by the Holy Spirit, covers us with the grace, mercy, and peace only Christ can give. No matter how Satan attacks or tries to discourage us, that shield will prevent the fiery darts from penetrating our souls. He may weaken our emotions and our lives for a time, but nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39b). It is in Christ that we are privileged to receive His joy. It is through Christ that we find the strength to move forward. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we rejoice in Him and Him alone.

6.0 CONCLUSION

Lord we praise and trust in You — no matter how long the waiting process be…because we read and know:

  1. Psalm 73:23–26 says:

“Nevertheless, I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

  • Psalm 5:11–12 says:

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”

  • Psalm 28:7 says:

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

Dear Jesus, although I don’t see Your shield of faith, it is there. Though I may not recognize the deliverance You give to me, it is active and sustaining. Jesus, My Shield and Deliverer, I say to You: from You and through You and to You are all things. To You be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

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