When my children were smaller, they would play games where they chased each other around the house with nerf guns, bean bags, balls, and any other thing that could be held or thrown…trying desperately not to get caught or hit with anything that would take them out of the game, or make them lose.
And you know what would often happen? The circus would come to wherever I was – in the kitchen, on the couch, in the bedroom, out in the yard – and within moments, I would quickly become a barrier for the one being chased. They’d run and get behind me, putting me in between them and the oncoming assault from their brother or sister, laughing feverishly as they held me and circled around me, using my bigger body as their shield of protection.
Life brings us much bigger forms of conflict than nerf guns and bean bags, playing chase or hide and seek. There’s something much larger at play here and at stake here in our lives, a battle in the spiritual realms, an all-out assault by the enemy whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy the things that matter most to us – especially those things that God wants to use to impact His Kingdom and whom He has entrusted us to impact for Him.
Too often, we operate on our own, trying desperately and ineffectively to ‘shield’ ourselves from the attacks of the enemy, an activity and responsibility we are not equipped to do on our own.
The Psalmist understood this, likely through a failure of doing things on his own or perhaps just from knowing the heart and purpose of God over the course of many years of trusting in Him, and he proclaims the benefits of using the Lord his God for exactly Who He is at certain times in his life – a shield. A place of refuge, rest, and protection. A Shield that gave him time to gather himself, regain strength, gain perspective, a time to process, to plan, to believe, to trust, and to be helped.
God is your shield as well, and He offers you the same things as your Shield that He offered and gave the Psalmist – a place of refuge from life’s storms.
Rest from your weary journey.
Protection from the enemy’s attacks.
Time…to evaluate, to process, to pray, and gain perspective.
Space to see how He has been trustworthy and faithful all throughout your life.
Help, especially how…and when..we need it the most.
Where did this lead the Psalmist? It led him to a place of praise and worship, into a deeply profound position of gratitude.
God stood in between him and the enemy, shielding him from ultimate defeat. And therefore, his heart exalted and with his song, He praised and thanked God.
And if I’m being transparent, I felt really challenged by the Psalmist’s response to God in this verse and chapter. God deserves my (and your) exaltation, praise, and gratitude for His protection – both when we realize it, and when we don’t. God stands between us and the enemy, shielding us from the attacks that could ultimately derail and defeat us. We can trust Him to be Who He is – our Shield, our Protector, our Savior.
Have you stopped and exalted God, praised God, thanked God, and even sang out to God – for being your shield – both when you realize it and when you don’t? If not, take some time right now, find a quiet place, and pray. For, as the Psalmist realized, the Lord is your strength, your shield. Trusting in Him brings you help and a thankful heart.
Don’t know what to pray? Pray this!
God, you are my Shield.
I know you protect me even when I don’t see what is going on around me. Thank you for being faithful and for helping me. The enemy is at work around me. Help me be faithful to You and help me overcome the things that try to lead me away from You. I commit my day to trusting in You, following You, and living for You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
A weekly devotional to encourage, uplift, inspire, and turn your eyes to Jesus.