Article of the week: Shielded by God

23 May 2020

REFLECTION

Territorial Envoy Alice Swain (Mold) explores the Bible’s promise that God will protect us

A FEW weeks ago we received a letter that I had been dreading. It said our little daughter needed to be shielded from Covid-19 for a minimum of 12 weeks.

We had already been isolating for five weeks, and in many ways life would continue much the same but, as is often the case, the enemy seemed to enter my mind with words of fear, anxiety and worry.

Looking to the news for reassurance did little to help so I turned to Scripture, which overflows with words of comfort. Psalm 28:7 says: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.’ God will shield us in every situation. What a promise!

This short verse mentions ‘my heart’ twice. It is clear that our protection is linked with what our heart has faith in. If our heart trusts in God and not the world, then we will be protected by his shield. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to follow government measures, but we can be assured that when our heart is faithful to him we will have divine protection. What’s more, in a world full of fear, a heart full of trust that can leap for joy is something the world will crave.

This idea that a trusting heart helps us to be protected physically, spiritually and emotionally is also found in Psalm 3:3: ‘But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you, Yahweh, have become my shield; you take me and surround me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually’ (The Passion Translation). This quickly became my prayer as we started to look at how we could protect the life that has been entrusted to us. Sometimes I need to remind myself exactly what I believe so that, when
the enemy tries to tell me something different, I know the truth.

The promise of God to be our shield in times of difficulty is also found in Genesis 15 where God makes a covenant with Abraham that he will have descendants as numerous as the stars. The conversation starter is: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward’ (v1). This promise isn’t exclusive to Abraham. Paul explains that we are heirs to that promise: ‘Abraham, our father of faith, led the way as our pioneering example... Those who are the true children of Abraham will have the same faith as their father... And so the blessing of Abraham’s faith is now our blessing too!’ (Galatians 3:6–9 TPT).

Proverbs 30:5 says God’s promises are true because he is faithful, with The Passion Translation describing his protection as a ‘wrap-around shield’; it doesn’t leave a single place exposed or vulnerable. Interestingly, the concept is found a couple of times in this translation. In Ephesians 6:16, the passage about putting on the full armour of God, we are to ‘take faith as your wrap-around shield’. And Psalm 144:2 says God is ‘my shelter of love and my fortress of faith, who wraps himself around me as a secure shield’.

As I continued to study Scripture about God being our shield and protection, I found a final piece to the puzzle: ‘You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance’ (Psalm 32:7 New King James Version). God will sing over
us songs that will deliver us and bring us to breakthrough. Songs of worship are important when it comes to protection.

This led me back to Psalm 28:7, which talks about us singing songs of thanks to God for his protection. Worship secures our position and helps change our mindset to one of joy and thanksgiving. This doesn’t mean it will always be easy, that we will always feel confident or that there won’t be times when we actively have to battle the enemy.

Some days shielding our daughter doesn’t seem too bad, especially when we are enjoying good weather in the garden, but there are other days when it all seems too hard. However, we can rest assured that God is protecting us, and in worshipping him we are reminded of the refuge and hiding place we can find in Jesus.

 

In the love of Jesus I have found a refuge,

Though the winds may blow, this one thing I know,

He who never faileth is my shield and shelter,

And he leads me where still waters flow;

He leads me where still waters flow.

 

O what a hiding place,

What a precious hiding place,

In the love of Jesus!

In the love of Jesus!

O what a hiding place,

What a precious hiding place,

In the love of Jesus!

(SASB 864)

 

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