You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. Psalm 3:3
When the apostle Paul told us to take up the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16), he was harkening back to the Psalms, where God is likened to a shield around us. Psalm 5:12 says that God surrounds us with favor as with a shield. Psalm 18:30 says, “The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.”
Satan’s destructive missiles cannot penetrate the presence of God around us or the promises of God available to us. When you acknowledge Christ as your Lord and become a recipient of His grace, Satan cannot gain the victory over you. The darts of Satan cannot pierce our protective shield of faith.
If you feel under attack, remember the truth of verses like Psalm 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
The Lord God is to me both a Sun and a Shield; a sun to enlighten and comfort me, a shield to protect and defend me. Matthew Henry
Sun and Shield
Who hasn’t listened to the news and wondered, What’s going on in the world? The evil and social decline in our present culture is something we couldn’t imagine even a few decades ago. What we are seeing today is the inevitable result of a society that has denied the existence of God. As a result, many have been given over to a depraved mind and sinful pursuits.
As our Creator, God is the only one who can truly satisfy our heart. When people reject Him, they will seek alternative ways to fill the emptiness within them. But when they turn to something or someone other than God to give meaning to their life, the result is idolatry. From there, they quickly step into immorality in an attempt to gratify their desires but eventually discover that they still feel empty.
Scripture clearly warns that idolatry and immorality incur divine wrath. God’s punishment of those who suppress the truth and reject Him is accomplished through His withdrawal. He turns them over to be guided and ruled by a depraved mind and degrading passions. Basically, He pulls away and lets their sin control them. There is no worse penalty than to have the Creator turn away.
Knowing what awaits those who reject God should cause us who know and love Him to respond with wholehearted devotion, faithful obedience, and overwhelming gratitude for our salvation. Sometimes we can’t truly appreciate what we have until we see the horror of the alternative. Our loving God and Savior is truly worthy of all our worship.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
This modern age of terrorism, drugs, sexual license, rampant crime, and worldwide unbelief is surely an evil day; and each Christian urgently needs “the whole armour of God” to stand against the devil’s wiles today. This armor is clearly described in Ephesians 6:14-18, but it seems that Satan’s wiles have confused it in the minds of many Christian educators. Paraphrasing this passage, their view might be expressed somewhat as follows: “Gird your loins with an open-ended search for truth, and have on the breastplate of value sensitivity, your feet shod with the gospel of academic tolerance; above all, taking the shield of accreditation and legal protection, with the helmet of economic security and the sword of evolutionary thought, praying always to the Department of Education and your academic peers.” Such Christian compromise is no armor at all.
How much better to be undergirded with revealed truth, founded on creation and biblical inerrancy, than by a “search” for truth! The true breastplate is righteousness, both imputed and practiced, and the true peace of God through Christ adorns the beautiful feet of those who carry the gospel. The shield is faith, which must be exercised first of all in special creation (Hebrews 11:3). The helmet, protecting the mind, is the genuine hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8). With no armor for the back, since the Christian is “to stand,” not to retreat, the chief offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God that meets each particular need. Finally, insistent prayer is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. The “weapons of our warfare” are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). HMM
1 Corinthians 12
“‘What think you of Christ’ is the test
To try both your state and your scheme
You cannot be right in the rest
Unless you think rightly of him.”
1 Corinthians 12:7
We are neither born nor born again for ourselves. Like bees, we must all bring honey to the common hive.
1 Corinthians 12:8-12
Meaning thereby, Christ mystical, or the church.
1 Corinthians 12:14-16
None of us, therefore, may despise another, because he does not happen to have our gifts. Variety in each is necessary to the completeness of the whole.
1 Corinthians 12:17-23
We cover with great care those parts of the body which are either tender or unsightly, and so those Christians who are feeble and faulty should receive the more of our kind care, lest the whole body should be injured through their means.
1 Corinthians 12:24-31
What was that which was better than the best? Love to God and man. Graces are better than gifts. A heart full of holy love is a far better endowment than a head full of the clearest knowledge, or a tongue overflowing with utterance. Whatever way we cannot run in, let us make sure walking in the “more excellent way” of love.
Charity suffereth, long, and is hind. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
A person once called me to ask this question: “Mr. Tozer, do you think a person who is really a Christian can hurt another Christian?”
There is no easy answer—but I had to reply: “Yes, I think so.”
Why is it that a man can be on his knees one day, praying earnestly, and the next day be guilty of offending or injuring another Christian? I think it is because we are halfway between heaven and hell. It is because the light—and the shadows—fall upon us.
The best answer is that we are being saved out of all these contradictions we find in our lifetime. Perhaps on this earth we will never be able to comprehend fully the awful, terrible price the Lord of all beauty paid to gain our redemption; to save His people from the ugliness of sin.
If you do not know Him and worship Him, if you do not long to reside where He is, if you have never known wonder and ecstasy in your soul because of His crucifixion and resurrection, your claim of Christianity has little foundation!
“And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” Deut. 30:6
Here we read of the true circumcision.
Note the author of it: “The Lord thy God.” He alone can deal effectually with our heart, and take away its carnality and pollution. To make us love God with all our heart and soul is a miracle of grace which only the Holy Ghost can work. We must look to the Lord alone for this and never be satisfied with anything short of it.
Note where this circumcision is wrought. It is not of the flesh, but of the spirit. It is the essential mark of the covenant of grace. Love to God is the indelible token of the chosen seed; by this secret seal the election of grace is certified to the believer. We must see to it that we trust in no outward ritual, but are sealed in heart by the operation of the Holy Ghost.
Note what the result is — “that thou mayest live.” To be carnally minded is death. In the overcoming of the flesh we find life and peace. If we mind the things of the Spirit, we shall live. Oh, that Jehovah, our God, may complete His gracious work upon our inner natures, that in the fullest and highest sense we may live unto the Lord.