July 2, 2010

my shield

This morning I spent my time in God's Word reading from the Psalms. So many verses jumped out at me. I took the time to write each of them down in my journal, cross-reference them and write the cross references down as well. Here is one theme that the Lord lovingly spoke into my life today.

The Lord is my shield.

Psalm 36:7 How precious is Thy lovingkindness O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.

Psalm 18: 30 As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 91: 4 He will cover you with His pinion, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

Psalm 57: 1 Be gracious to Me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in Thee; and in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge, until destruction passes by.

These truths were such a sweet reminder to me. I dwelt on the truth that the Lord is my shield. I often think of the Lord as being my strength, which He is, but I don't always think of Him as my shield.

Of course I am reminded of Ephesians 6 and the passage that talks about the Armor of God. Ephesians 6:16 says, "in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one."

I Peter 5:8 says, " Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

I think that in my life, it is not always evident to me that the evil one is prowling around and throwing flaming missiles my way. Because I don't face persecution, because I have a job, a roof over my head and food on my table, I become ignorant to the missiles that are coming my way. I'm not on the alert to the sly ways of the evil one.

These missiles, left unshielded will pierce me and root themselves in my life slowly, yet deadly in the form of pride, jealously, bitterness, anger, arrogance, and so many more. Before I know it, instead of being a vessel fit for the Lord's purpose, I have become half devoured by the evil one, paralyzed, and what's worse, because of my ignorance I don't even know that it is happening.

Earlier in chapter 6 of Ephesians, Paul warns us about these struggles that we will face in verse 12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but again the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, again the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

I Corinthians 10: 12 warns, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" This is referring to temptation from the evil one. If you think that you're ready, your probably not. If you think you can resist the temptation, whatever it might be, you probably can't.

This is where the "faith" part comes in. Ephesians says it is a "shield of faith" and I Thessalonians calls it "the breastplate of faith". Jesus. Jesus is the object of my faith, my shield. I'm constantly in awe of the simplicity of the Gospel and how complicated we as humans at times can make it.

If Jesus is the object of my faith, and my faith is my shield, how important is it for me to spend time with my Jesus. To me the answer is clear, but I know how unclear it can seem when you have been enslaved to the missiles the evil one has attempted to throw your way and paralyze you with in an attempt to make you useless for the kingdom of God, but not only that, making your life here on earth, painful and miserable. Know that this is from the evil one and not from the Lord, for Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." You can claim the abundant life. You don't have to be enslaved to the schemes of the evil one.

Paul's answer to this is in Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."

Do you have flaming missiles from the evil one in you life that you need to crucify? I know that I do. The abundant life is yours to claim. I am going to close with my favorite verse.

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me."

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