Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Importance of a Shield..

I have been asked on numerous occasions why I close most of my notes to the church with the phrase “Never yield your shield, stay in the battle.” My answer is multifaceted. First, I am convinced that Christians in America have been lulled to sleep by Satan and have forgotten a battle rages all around them. Their shield has been laid aside. They are not fitted for war. They are easy prey for the enemy who is ever-vigilant in his evil practices against them. Second, few have a full understanding of the purpose of a shield as noted in Scripture. God told Abram in Genesis 15:1, “I am your shield” for the purpose of calming his fears. God revealed to David that He was his shield of protection. One verse confirming this truth is Psalm 3:3, “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” David knew that God was who protected Him from the lion as a shepherd, from Goliath as a young warrior, as an anointed servant of God on the run from jealous Saul, and as a King when forced to flee due to a coup attempt from his own son Absalom. David rested in the protection of God. He treasured the rock-solid belief that God had him enclosed from his enemies and that nothing could touch him apart from God removing His shield of protection. It works the same way in every believer’s life. We are encircled by God and protected on all sides. Nothing can harm us apart from God deliberately lowering the shield of His protection - which He sometimes does for His divine reasons. We’ll discuss this in a future note.

Solomon, King David’s son, understood the role of God as the shield of the faithful also. Proverbs 30:5 states, “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” This verse transcends time, applying just as perfectly today as it did thousands of years ago when Solomon penned these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Every believer can stand upon this truth that regardless of what is coming their way in life, God is their shield. He is their refuge. What a truth for living in 2009 with financial crisis, terrorism threats, apostasy rising, and morality plummeting. God is our refuge. He is our shield!

But finally, in the New Testament the Christ follower is told that “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). As stated above, the enemy is vigilant as he continues to fire his flaming darts our way intent upon destruction. He does not stop. He attacks continually with no regard for rules of war. No Christian can stand against the attack when he yields his shield of faith. We do not stand in our own strength, we stand in God’s. We do not endure with our own intestinal fortitude; we endure by faith in God. We are only able to stand firm when we take up the shield of faith, appropriate the Word of God, and stand believing God will deliver us.

So today, how are you being attacked? What are you facing right now in your life where you need to cling tightly to your shield of faith with full assurance that God will not let you down? What area of life are you waiting for an answer from God and it appears the heavens are brass and God’s not listening? Whatever you are facing, both known and unknown, take up your shield of faith and refuse to yield that which is part of your Christian armor. Stand firm Christian soldier God will not fail you!

Take a moment and read the words of this anonymous poem (my favorite by the way) and decide today to never yield your shield!

I want to let go, but I won’t let go.
There are battles to fight,
By day and by night,
For God and the right –
And I’ll never let go.

I want to let go, but I won’t let go.
I’m sick, ‘tis true,
Worried and blue,
And worn through and through,
But I won’t let go.

I want to let go, but I won’t let go.
I will never yield!
What! Lie down on the field
And surrender my shield?
No, I’ll never let go!

I want to let go, but I won’t let go.
May this be my song,
“Mid legions of wrong –
Oh, God, keep me strong
That I may never let go!”

Remember… Never yield your shield, stay in the battle!

In Christ alone,