Stepping Behind the Shield, On Our Own Volition

We don’t like to be seen as weak. We like to know that we can take care of ourselves and give off the impression that we’ve got it all together. I’ve been in that place a million times and I will a million times more. But that, my friends, is the biggest mistake man can make, because that line of thinking will push us away from the most important thing we can have.

Proverbs 30:5 says,

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

In times of distress or anxiety, we like to turn to a hundred different things to find some kind of peace or security. In times when nothing’s going on, we want to find things that make us happy or satisfied.

God offers peace, security, joy and satisfaction. But we reject it.

Sometimes I feel depressed about situations, whether it’s a social situation or dealing with schoolwork or besetting sin. One of those things. And I don’t seek after the Lord as I should. I’m a Christian, saved by grace, made new by Christ, but in those times, I don’t take that as my identity. I do one of two things: 1) try to work harder to be seen as a better person by God because my sin seems too great, or 2) I turn to more sin to find some kind of happiness or satisfaction.

But God has been gracious to show me yet another way.

Agur, the son of Jakeh, the state author of Proverbs 30 in the first verse of the chapter, proposes that other way. He writes that God “is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Two questions: 1) Why should we trust God to take refuge in Him?, and 2) If indeed He is trustworthy, how do we find our way behind His shield?

Let’s tackle question 1.

I have been watching the TV show Prison Break with my roommates over the past couple weeks. We actually just finished it a couple nights ago. Well-done show, quite entertaining. But there was one facet of the show that I noticed throughout: nobody seemed to trust anyone. The main characters were always asking, “Can we trust him/her?,” and the answer was often “I’m not sure” or “No.” It was a sad picture of human depravity because their fears were often confirmed, as there was a lot of back-stabbing and two-facedness among the characters on the show.

God will never do that.

In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses is speaking to the Israelites. He’s getting kind of old, and he wants to speak some final words of wisdom to the people. He says,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of (your enemies), for the LORD your God does with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The latter phrase is quoted again in Hebrews 13:5,

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God has promised to be with His children, to never leave them nor forsake them, to never dump them when they’re being disobedient, to never leave them behind after a bad battle with sin. That doesn’t mean He won’t discipline us, but He does it for our good and His glory, that we may grow to know Him better.

We may trust God because, as the first part of Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God proves true.” If you are a Christian, God has proven Himself in your life by forgiving you of your sin, providing every need we have. Because God is ultimately trustworthy, we can throw everything we’ve got behind Him and trust His plan and protection for our lives. That doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen, that just means that we will have a strong tower to stand in when the trials come.

Question 2, how in the world do we put ourselves in this protection?

Trust Him. Give your life up to Him. Seek salvation.

Jeremiah the prophet sent a letter from Jerusalem to the “surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon” (Jeremiah 29:1). As part of that letter in Jeremiah 29, verse 13, he inserts God’s words.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

God’s promise to His people is that they will find Him when they put their entire being into seeking Him. We must dedicate our lives to knowing and trusting God. Then, we will be safe and secure, wrapped in His love and protection.

We’ve just got to step behind the shield. It’s a much sturdier, much more reliable protection from life’s trials and tribulations than any worldly satisfaction, any self-righteous “perfection.” We got to give up the idea that we can fix it on our own and throw ourselves behind the reliable shield of our Savior. We’ve got to make that decision.

So step behind the shield of God, and find true peace, true satisfaction and true security in Him in light of life’s tribulations and the temptations of sin. He’s truly worthy.

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