In yesterday’s blog I started sharing the verse God most impressed upon my heart this trip to India, Genesis 15:1. “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’” God Himself is speaking out loud to Abraham. He calls him by name and assures him there is nothing which he should fear. Then He makes his twofold promise:
“I am your shield” is God’s first statement. It has accurately been pointed out that God’s “I am’s” are more than adequate for our “I am nots.” I am not in control. I am not adequate. I am not able. I am not. I am not. I am not. All these are very true. Yet over above them is God’s more than adequacy to control, provide and protect – “I Am.” “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11). “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
God first promises Abraham “I am your shield.” A shield provided protection. Perhaps Abraham was concerned that the kings he defeated would regroup and come back to destroy him. He was no match for them and without God’s supernatural help would never have defeated them in the first place. God promises him that if this, or anything else, happens that He will protect Abraham. Notice what God does NOT promise – He doesn’t promise they won’t come back and attack! God never promises to change circumstances so we don’t have to fear, but He always promises help when those things happen to us. I’ve had all kinds of things happen to me traveling and ministering in India. I wish God would have prevented every one, and He could have. He was not unable to do so. But His greater plan was to stretch my faith and show His ability to protect and provide. He was always with me whatever happened, and nothing was ever nearly as bad as it could have been! The problem is I’d rather not have to go through anything at all! We are all babies when it comes to pain and stretching, aren’t we? But at least I have His promise I won’t be going through them alone.
A shield comes between the person and the enemy. It is an analogy of battle, warfare. We are in a war (Ephesians 6:10-20). The shield protects us against that while would seek to destroy us. We have many substitute, man-made shields: money, weapons, alcohol, friends, education, insurance, etc. They all fail, though. We’ve all tired them and found them inadequate. Only God can shield us.
But here’s the best part so far. God doesn’t just promise to provide a shield; He promises that He Himself will be our shield! Think about that, make sure you realize the difference. God doesn’t promise to provide a shield for us; He promises that He Himself is our shield!!!
Imagine going into battle carrying a shield for protection, and when you look carefully you see that the shield is God Himself! This is true all the time. The Hebrew grammar shows it is continually present, all the time. Every once in a while I have to stop, sit back, and take time for something new to sink in. Realizing this was such a time for me. God doesn’t just send angels to protect me. He doesn’t just manipulate things from afar. He Himself comes to stand between me and what is threatening to destroy me! How comforting is that! I don’t know how I overlooked this before, for it is often stated in the Bible (Psalm 18:2; 119:144; etc.).
Think of an astronaut who lands on the moon. He is from a different planet and cannot survive on the moon without a shield which protects him. All the needed life-giving substance is provided within the shield – his air, his water and his food. He survives on a foreign planet because of the shield which contains his protection and life-supply and which is compatible with his own planet. The moon cannot provide him any of this and therefore without the shield (space suit), he will die. Now he does not belong there, he belongs on the earth. But he is able to do things as long as his shield is in place. He is sustained by means of a foreign life supply – not from the moon but from the earth. If the shield were to break, or were to be removed, it would mean certain death. That’s certainly what would have happened to us with all the spiritual warfare teaching and praying we have been doing! God didn’t just put a shield around us, He Himself became that shield. No wonder we were so safe!
As a born again believer filled with God’s Spirit, we are foreigners in this present world. We are in the world but not of the world. The only way to survive, therefore, is to have the shield of God from which all the supernatural supply is provided. If there is no shield then there is no life-giving substance. The only way to survive is to have the shield of God in place. You are sustained by a foreign supply – supernatural provision and protection by God Himself. This is vital for your spiritual survival
By now you should have gathered that God’s shield is not just something on one side of you. It is a total protection – front, back, over your head, on your sides and under your feet. Perhaps we can deduce from this teaching that when God says “I am your shield,” that you are protected in a “cocoon” type enclosure. Because when God protects you, the devil cannot get at you, no matter at what angle he tries to attack you.
Think about this concept for a while. Maybe it isn’t new to you like it is to me, but if it is new meditate on it a bit. Its great God promises to protect us, as God He is able to do that. But that He Himself would commit to coming between us and all we face is even more special. Thank Him for it. Think of all He has protected you from in the past. Thank Him that at this very moment He is between you and that which would destroy you today.