UNDER HIS SHIELD, 03.12.18
2 Thess. 2:3
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
We long for God’s protection. We all, as believers, run to Him when we are afraid, hurting, or in trouble. Many, unfortunately, only reach out to Him when they are in crisis.
What is most effective is to abide under His shield, fully covered at all times. When we abide in Him 24/7, then we have His covering 24/7. Just as Yahweh said to Abraham, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield” (Gen.15:1), He is our shield when we are walking in surrender, when we are living in the midst of His will, dwelling in that secret place of intimacy and oneness:
PSALM 91 (NKJV):
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
We walk in freedom from fear when we dwell in the midst of His will. We automatically qualify for His protection when we are walking in obedience, faithfulness, surrender.
God has always provided special protection for His people: “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. So there will be no plague among you to destroy you” (Ex.12:13); “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb . . . did not love their lives even in the face of death” (Rev.12:11). The blood of the Lamb covers us as a form of protection (as well as salvation). The full surrender of being willing to sacrifice self for the sake of the Kingdom may not prevent a martyr’s death; however, often, it is because of that extent of surrender that one may be spared from such ultimate sacrifice, just as when Abraham, upon being willing to sacrifice Isaac, trusting God to make a way out, was spared from actually having to carry it out.
“Have you not made a hedge around him, his household, and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands and his possessions have increased in the land” (Job 1:10), Satan said to God, in regards to Job. God has His hedge of protection around faithful obedient servants who walk in righteousness; and the Enemy cannot touch that individual without God’s permission, and within clearly defined limits; so we know that God is always on our side.
“The angel of Adonai encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps.37:19). God our Father does assign His angels to guard, watch, protect: “For He will give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will lift you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (Ps.91:11,12). Although we must not pray to angels, we can request from the Father that He dispatch His angels in times of fear, threat: “I sought Adonai, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps.34:5). God’s angels serve as His special messengers; they also serve to do battle against the Enemy, and to ward and fend off Enemy attacks. “Then Adonai sent an angel who annihilated every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria” (2 Chron.32:21). He can dispatch His warrior angels to do battle for us as He sees fit.
“I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst” (Zech.2:5, NKJV). Pray that firewall around your household, your family, and use in intercession for those to whom the Lord has assigned you. “But the Lord is trustworthy—and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess.2:3). Although God does put us through storms, wilderness, and various forms of trials and tribulations to test our faith, and mature us, we need not fear, for He is with us through those times; He does not expect us to go through them on our own. “Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you” (Deut.31:6). “Fear not, . . . When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you” (Isa.43:1,2). And He will give us only as much as we are equipped to endure: “God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor.10:13).
Without trials and tribulations, however, there would be no growth. Throughout life, even from our earliest years, we face problems. We begin to learn how to do simple problem-solving at a very young age, and as we progress through the various stages of development, we encounter situations requiring more complex skills; only by experience can we develop the skills needed to handle life’s situations. Likewise, spiritually, if we are to progress and mature, we must face more challenging situations which push us to continued growth. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).
“I have chosen . . . I have chosen you, not rejected you. Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa.41:8-10).
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit” (John 15:16). We should take comfort in knowing that the God of the Universe actually hand-picked us. The fact that we are chosen should in itself lay to rest all fears of being abandoned, rejected, or unloved, for surely, if He chose us, He has made a commitment to us, and will not just give up on us because we make mistakes. We can be reassured: “The righteous cry out and Adonai hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. Adonai is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those crushed in spirit. Many are the distresses of the righteous, but Adonai delivers him out of them all” (Ps.34:18-20).
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