February 20

God Our Defender, Part 1

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.

Psalm 7:10 My defense is from God, who saves the upright in heart.

Isaiah 31:5 Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, he will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.

We are probably first aware of God as Creator. As we meet Jesus, we come to know Him as Savior, the One who forgives, the Deliverer, and either then or later, as Lord. As we walk with Him, we discover over time all those things He is looking to be for us. One of the most powerful and challenging to us is God our Defender.

Many of us have it deeply settled in our hearts that we are our own defenders, and even think that is what God wants. For some of us, it’s so embedded that it’s never come to the conscious level and been expressed; we may never have even thought about it. Most of us know that “God helps those who help themselves” isn’t scriptural, but many of us act as if it were. We’re going to take a look at this for a few days, examining what happens when we don’t trust Him in this area, what He wants for us, and the joy of letting Him be that Defender to us.

Let’s forget the particulars of your life for a moment and just look at the big picture. Don’t get sidetracked into wondering how a certain situation might have turned out if you had done things differently. Save that for the Holy Spirit to show you later, in His time (if it matters).

The first thing to meditate on is that God wants to be our Defender. Re-read those scriptures at the top of the page and let them soak in. Give yourself the gift of time and think about them for a while. It’s a profound paradigm shift to let the Lord be our Defender. It raises all kinds of questions about what our responsibilities are and what His are.

Some of us run to the opposite extreme when challenged with a brand new perspective. We think, for example, Does God being my Defender mean that I don’t do anything? Or that I have no participation in keeping harm from me? We know those reactions are absurd, so we often throw out the new perspective because we are still in a reactive phase with it. What a tragedy to lose knowing Him better, and having Him work more deeply in our lives, because we don’t “get” a new viewpoint right away.

Prayer: Lord, I see that You desire to be the Defender of Your people. Please show me what that means to me individually. Please help me not to try to figure out the full implications of this now, but simply allow me to take in the truth that this is Who You want to be to me.

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