“God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever” (Psalm 73:26, AMPC)

THE STRENGTH AND BEAUTY OF GOD’S PROTECTION

 

“He [or she] who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide 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.’” (Ps. 91: 1-2)

In the last article, we saw that the “secret place of the Most High” in Psalm 91 is a place which enfolds us in the love of God.  It is also the place where we are enveloped in the shield of God’s protection. It is the “shadow” of the Almighty (the Hebrew concept of shadow is protection).  Isaiah refers to the “shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isa 32:2) and this points to Jesus Christ.  Christ is our spiritual rock (1 Cor. 10:4) and the “Rock and firm Strength of my heart” – utterly unshakeable.

When the world is shaking around us, as well as perhaps within us, it is hugely encouraging and strengthening to contemplate, more and more deeply, the nature of the Spirit of Christ who indwells us, and who never leaves us nor forsakes us.

This Spirit of Christ is our sanctuary (Isa 8:14) and our peace (Eph. 2:14).  In Isaiah 47:4, we see that our Redeemer is also the mighty Lord of Hosts (meaning Lord of innumerable armies). In other words, all agencies and forces – however numerous or powerful – are under the kingship of Christ. Indeed, Christ is placed “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:21).

The Spirit of Christ within us is the creator of all things and the upholder of all things (Col. 1:16 & Heb. 1:3). He is the King of glory (Ps. 24:10), and is also the constant source of our protection and uplifting encouragement:

“You, O Lord, are a shield for me,  my glory and the one who lifts up my head” (Ps. 3:3).

Our Mighty King of glory is also the most tender of fathers:

“The same way a loving father feels toward his children – that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us, your beloved children, who live in awe of you” (Ps. 103:13, TPT).

Christ within us protects our hearts through His beauty: “[He] is like the morning light when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, when the fresh grass springs out of the earth through sunshine after rain” (2 Samuel 23:4, AMP).

Christ within us is the Word of God, the Word made flesh, who is faithful and true. The words that He speaks to us are Spirit and they are Life (John 6:63).  The Passion Translation describes the Word of God within us, in this way: “For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). It is pointed out that “two-edged sword” can also be translated “two-mouthed sword” – God speaks His Word, then we, in agreement, also speak His Word and it becomes a two-mouthed sword.  How inspiring!

It is amazing to reflect on the awesome truth that our own lives are hidden within this mighty and utterly beautiful Lord Jesus Christ. In Him we have more supernatural grace and protection than we could ever imagine or ask for, with our human minds.

And thanks be to God that we do not have to understand everything about it in order to benefit from it and to bless others through it!  I find it very liberating and reassuring to read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (Prov. 3:5-6).   We are called to have childlike faith to look up to our heavenly Father and to accept and trust in all that He has provided for us; and all that He pours out upon us, and out through us to others.

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Ann Shakespeare

Welcome to the Ann Shakespeare blog. Ann, a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, BBC World Service and The Daily Journal, is currently involved in editing and writing on Christian themes. She also ministers in a local ecumenical centre which provides prayer and pastoral support.

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