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Letting God Shield You

Consider our shield, God; look on the face of Your anointed one.
-Psalm 84:9

Are you letting God be your shield?  The Israelites were taught that God was their shield (Deut. 33:29), and the teaching goes back to Abraham (Gen. 15:1), and the shield metaphor is used by Paul (Eph. 6:16).

The revelation to Abraham was, "I am your shield", to Moses and David it was, "God is our shield", and to Paul comes, "Take up the shield of faith".  And it is notable that the word for shield that Paul uses is the large shield, that the whole body of the warrior could get behind, and not the pizza sized shield, like Captain America's, that was swiftly moved.

If your Bible is the New Living Translation, you will read that the king is "our shield".  Some commentators interpret the text this way, as to the author asking God to strengthen the king (perhaps David) for the sake of the people.  I think that this language is not a problem for God or us.  The Psalmist may have been referring to David, but we can interpret it as referring to God or Christ, because both David and Christ are God's anointed, David at that time and Christ for eternity.  And we are anointed in Christ. 

The Biblical idea is that there is a shield and it is true that God worked through the kings of Israel as shields.  When Abram, later to be called Abraham, was afraid, God said, "Don't be afraid, I am your shield".  Later, the children of Israel learned to make God their shield, because there are enemies of God out there.  After Christ had come, Paul enjoins Christians to "take up the shield".

My point is that if we do not keep this in mind, that we need shielding from attack, then we will be open to attack and get wounded.  We need to live in consideration of the shield of God.  We need to have a shielding relationship with God.

And the context of Psalm 84 is that God is our dwelling place, our house:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord of heavenly forces!
My very being longs, even yearns,
for the Lord’s courtyards.
My heart and my body
will rejoice out loud to the living God!
Better is a single day in your courtyards
than a thousand days anywhere else!
I would prefer to stand outside the entrance of my God’s house
than live comfortably in the tents of the wicked!
-Psalm 84:1-2, 10
What if we made it our practice to dwell in God's presence as a lifestyle and saw that as our number one defense against the attacks of the enemy?  When we step out from under the shadow of God's wings (Ps. 91:4), we get hit over and over and wonder "what?" and "why?", and we look for God and perhaps pray, but we kvetch and complain.  All the while, God is available to shield us, but it was we who walked out from under his protection.

As the psalmist said or sings, "Consider our shield", we also must have a working relationship - a relationship that works, is functional, with God; where we are shielded by God.  Getting constantly hit by the enemy and taking up offenses, being anxious, worried, depressed, angry: having all those buttons constantly pushed so much that we are just out of it and sidelined as warriors, is not our destiny or inheritance - it is not God's plan for our lives.

God's plan is that we would be people that walk with him and talk to him and listen to him and have his heart imparted to us, because we are walking in his love, being loved and then loving others.  Dwelling with God, in his presence, following the Romans 12:1 lifestyle of worshiping always, being always thankful (1 Thess. 5:18); and remembering that the gateway to God is thanksgiving (Ps. 100:4).

There is no other Christian life outside the life of walking with God and dwelling in God's presence.  When Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life" (Jn. 14:6), he was serious.  The only way and the only life and all truth is in him.  And getting saved or becoming saved, having salvation through him is not just an intellectual decision, like deciding what color to paint your house or who you will vote for; but becoming a Christian is about receiving his life for you and giving your life to him.

And giving your life to him (he is your whole and only way and your whole and only truth and your whole and only life) means that he now has you and you now have him.  He is your shield, but you have to make a habit of coming under that shielding by dwelling in his presence.

You have to let God shield you. If you are un-shielded or outside the shield, it means you need to take steps, step into, being shielded again.  Inside the shield there is protection.  Inside the shield, I have God's perfect love and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 13:4-7 & Gal. 5:22-23).

Let God shield you. Consider the shield and cultivate an active relationship with God where you ask God to shield you and you come into his presence for shielding.
To live the life in God, we must learn to come under and live in God's defenses.   The consideration of the defensive shield of God goes both ways - God provides for it, but we take the step to live under and in it.  It is provided, but we must go there.

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