But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
Psalm 3:3 NLT
A shield is a vital piece of defensive armour. It protects the individual from the blows and missiles from an enemy in the field of battle. As scripture reminds us, the Christian life is a battle. God offers us all-round protection from the enemy. Yet, the shield has to be lifted in our own defence. If I enter into life having left my armour at home, I cannot be surprised if I am wounded. Paul tells us to “Put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11, KJV). Here the shield is the faith that ensures we shall advance against all odds. It is only through maintaining my faith that I can consistently resist the attacks of the devil.
God lifts my head high. Who hasn’t been told when things have gone against them to keep their head high? It is a statement of confidence that one has done one’s best. I find that in responding to God, and at times my life apparently not making much sense against the norms associated with life in society today, I am invited to express my confidence by holding my head up, with God’s support. It is an expression of my confidence in God and again his confidence in me. In essence I choose to live entirely for God, and deal with all that seeks to erode my confidence in my God.
Warfare is a part of the disciple’s struggle. There are the assaults from those elements within yourself that are less than godly. There are also pressures from without. Take hold of faith, your shield, and know God has your back, he honours your faithfulness and don’t forget to hold your head up high.
Do you feel battle-weary or refreshed?
Almighty God, I take huge confidence from knowing that you are with me in this battle. Protect me today, and may I lift my head with the knowledge that I am your child and you will go ahead of me.
Photo – the River Bann at Coleraine