I was startled yesterday when I opened up my news feeds and read how there were two parking lot purse snatching attempts in shopping centers near my house. I was reminded once again that we live with an illusion of safety. It’s not something we like to hear, but it’s the truth. At any moment, wherever we are, things can go drastically wrong (in our view). Whether this be something like a purse snatching or something catastrophic like a natural disaster, there will always be things that could happen which we aren’t or can’t be prepared for. While this doesn’t excuse us if we are unprepared and we could have taken reasonable steps, still we should realize that unexpected things happen for which there is no preparation.
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” – Genesis 15:1, ESV
Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
– Psalm 30:20-22, ESV
The Lord told Abram how He was Abram’s shield. Later, the psalmist declared the same idea. As much as we try to pretend to control life, we don’t. However, the God whom we love does. He has utter and complete control over everything. Nothing happens outside of His will. Therefore, the only one capable of shielding us is God. The only one capable of providing us the protection we desire is the Lord. We tend to be quick to forget that. Now, if the Lord appeared visibly as some heavily muscled 7′ tall man with the earpiece and the mirror shades like he was a member of the Secret Service, we likely wouldn’t forget. That’s because we could see Him visibly. But even though we can’t see Him with our eyes, that doesn’t lessen His protection over us. He stands a vigilant guard. If He did not, could we really trust His salvation? If we can trust Him for that, why do we hesitate when less it at stake?
But here’s the thing about a shield: you actually have to put it between you and the danger. As far as the Christian life is concerned, we can charge ahead and expect God to follow or we can allow God to lead and then follow. If we’re charging ahead, God isn’t between us and danger. We’ve intentionally put ourselves in that situation. However, if we’re following Christ, then He will be the first to hit the problem. He’ll be the first to face the risk. Then He can be our shield. But only if we are following. If we are doing it our way, there’s no guarantee that God will get between us and the threat. In fact, He may allow us to deal with the threat as a reminder we can’t do it alone. We need Him. Oh, do we need Him!
Is the Lord your shield today? Are you putting yourself in a position where He can be such for you? Or are you charging ahead, thinking you’ve got everything covered? Are you running blind instead of following faithfully? Let God be your shield. Follow His lead. Let Him be between you and danger. You can count on Him. He will come through. Your eternal destination is only secured by Him. Can bad things still happen in this life to someone who is devoted to Chris? Absolutely, and that’s why we have martyrs. That’s why folks lose their jobs standing up for what they know is God’s position. That’s why a lot of things happen. But the real danger, damnation, He protects us from. The real danger, being left to Satan without hope, He covers. He is our shield for when it matters most and for most things besides. Let Him be your shield. Only He will do.