Recently as I stood worshiping in church, the Lord showed me a vision. I saw a large crowd of people standing to the right in my vision and they were raising their hands high in worship, singing to the Lord and praising Him. At the front of this crowd several people held a banner high. I knew that these people were standing their ground but I wondered why they were not moving. No sooner had I thought this, when He expanded my vision and I saw the hordes of hell on my left, and they were shooting flaming arrows at the people praising God. Then something amazing happened; the arrows hit an invisible barrier, like a force field, and fell to the ground. The people of God were protected.
The next morning as I sat reading the Bible, I starting reading Psalm 47 and I realized that the whole psalm literally described what I had seen in the vision. The psalm is only 9 verses long so I highly recommend that you read the whole thing yourself, but let me give you just a small sample of what I read. Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth…God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!…The princes of the people have gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted. Psalm 47:1,2,5,6, and 9. What really caught my eye in this psalm is the word “shields” in verse 9. This word in the Hebrew literally means defense, a protector, a small shield or buckler. God is indeed our shield of protection.
When I look around me however, I see very little evidence of this. I see fear in the news, fear in sermons, fear in conversations, and I see a lot of people who do not believe that God is protecting them. There is a great deal of fear over what is coming onto this earth in these end times. There is so much fear, that at times, we could easily be led to believe that the enemy is stronger than God; that the enemy is in control, not God, and that God is simply reacting to the enemy’s power and strength. It is a constant battle of the mind, to take God at His word and trust Him that He will protect those that are His. So how do we overcome this battle? How do we walk in His protection, and how do we overcome this fear?
If you look up the word shield as used in this psalm, you’ll notice that it is used 60 times in the Old Testament, and in over 20 of those references, it is talking about God being our shield. As I read through each of the more than twenty verses, I began to see a pattern and I thought I would share that pattern with you.
God is a shield to those who walk uprightly, and have an upright heart. (Proverbs 2:7, Psalm 7:10 and Psalm 84:9-12)
God is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm115:9-11, Psalm 18:2 and Psalm 28:7)
God is a shield to those who hope in His Word, and trust in His promises. (Psalm 119:114)
God is a shield to those who allow Him to train them and believe that He is their refuge. (Psalm 144:1-2)
God is a shield to those who believe that He saves them. (Psalm 18:35)
God is a shield to those who wait for the Lord. (Psalm 33:20)
God is a shield to those who allow Him to comfort them. (Psalm 3:3)
God is a shield to those who walk in the light of His countenance and who rejoice in His name. (Psalm 89:15-18)
If we go to the New Testament Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11-17 to put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. But he also tells us to take up the whole armor (vs 13). What he is saying here is that you can’t just put it on, you have to actually use it! So let’s break it down into something manageable and easier to understand.
The first weapon is truth. He tells us to wrap truth like a belt around our waist. The belt holds things up. Who is the truth? Jesus! We are to wrap Jesus around ourselves like a shield of protection. He will hold everything up for us, and He will keep everything together for us.
The second weapon is the breastplate of righteousness. Who is our righteousness? Again, Jesus! His blood covers our sins and pays the price for our iniquities and trespasses. Have you repented and trusted that you are covered and protected with His righteousness, not your own?
Next, put on your feet the preparation and the knowledge that God wants to be at peace with His children, through Christ. He wants to be reconciled to us. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) We must believe that God loves us and wants to be reconciled not just with us, but with those around us.
The shield of faith is next. The interesting thing about this word shield is that although the word shield which I used earlier from the Old Testament is a small one, or a buckler, the shield that Paul talks about in this verse is a large one. It comes from the root word door. It is a large, door shaped shield. Full body protection! When we put our trust, our faith in Jesus, He is like a shield of protection for us. We can hide behind His blood. He is our righteousness. He is our truth. He is our peace. He is our salvation. But we must have understanding about this. David tells us in Psalm 47:7 that we are to sing praises to God with understanding! God does not cover our sins, He washes our sins in the Blood of Jesus through our repentance.
Finally, Paul tells us to put on the helmet of salvation. A helmet protects our head, our brain. It is our mind that the enemy loves to attack. There is good reason why Paul tells us that the only way we can be transformed is through renovation of our mind. (Romans 12:2) Yes, I said renovation. The word renewing comes from the Greek word renovation. We have to tear down the old beliefs, the old strongholds that the enemy has used to put us into bondage before we came to Christ, and renew our thinking. Our trust must be in Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
I couldn’t help but notice that the armor of God in Ephesians and all those verses about God being our shield of protection in the Old Testament, are talking about the same thing. Nothing has changed except this: we now have the knowledge of Christ our Righteousness, which they did not have. But it is still our faith in God, our trust that Jesus died for our sins on the cross, and then rose from the dead, and our obedience to His word, that prompts Him to be our shield of protection. Psalm 91:1-2 tells us that “He who dwells (remains or sits down) in the secret place of the Most High shall abide (stay or live) under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust”. This Psalm goes on and on about God’s protection. Truly, nothing has changed.
Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.”
What door is Jesus standing at? He is talking in this verse to the lukewarm church of Laodicea. This is a church that thinks it is rich and wealthy, and needs nothing. Yet Jesus is ready to spew them out of his mouth because He thinks they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked (vs. 17) Why is Jesus standing at the door of a church? What door are they using to protect themselves? What is their shield of protection? It certainly cannot be Jesus, or He wouldn’t be knocking at their door and telling them this.
Jesus tells us in John 10 that He is the door of the sheep. He is the door to heaven. He is the door for our salvation. He is the door of protection. So if He is the door, then I ask again, what door of protection is He standing at and knocking?
Is it their money? Pride? Denial that He will judge us? A mental graven image of who they think He is? A belief system that has worked for them in the past? Denominational glasses? Jesus is standing in front of that door they are using to protect themselves with, and He is knocking.
What are you using to protect yourself with in this life? Is He standing at your door and knocking? Will you open up and let Him become your shield of protection?