Fortress Dweller

Psalm 61: 1 – 3          NLV

O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

This sounds like every one of us. We’ve all been in this place and we need the reminder that we can shelter in the towering rock where God is our refuge. While this is a good reminder, I am struck that it is more than an emergency beacon. I wish to suggest this is an everyday prayer.

This week, we looked at our victory in Jesus. God has provided everything we need to live victorious, healthy lives. We, however, must partake of all He has given. Revelation 12: 11 is where we learn that overcoming status is achieved through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. In today’s passage I hear a victorious testimony crying out. “Father, you are my towering rock of safety. You are my safe refuge. I am safe and secure in you because you are my abiding fortress. You keep me safe from all my enemies. Father, I praise you and thank you that, in you, my safety from all harm is assured.” You get the idea. But that isn’t the end of what occurred to me as I read this passage. A question presented itself.

Who are our enemies? We are not like King David who was, literally, chased around the desert by people who wished to kill him. He was hunted as prey. We may have some folks who don’t like us very well but most of us do not have identifiable enemies. Or do we? What of disease and sickness? What of economic pressures? What about family and other relationship issues? There is an enemy, the Bible tells us. 1 Peter 5: 8 makes is very clear that we have an enemy and identifies him, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Be sober and alert! Be aware! There is an enemy prowling around looking for prey. He has weapons like cancer and job layoffs. We, however, have greater weapons. We have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6: 17). We have the blood of the lamb and we have our testimony. We can proclaim that we are safe from disease because of our strong tower. We can declare in Jesus’ name that our refuge protects us from the fiery arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6: 16).

You can pray this prayer every day and proclaim your protection, and I believe we should be doing just that. Picture yourself in an impenetrable tower and confess your faith that God is protecting you.


Ephesians 6: 16

Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

I like that Paul does not mince words about “the evil one.” He does not pretend or camouflage that there is a real enemy out there. At the same time, he shows no fear and his confidence seems absolute in these pieces of armor. I believe he was assured that this armor would protect him, as well as each one of us, against “all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” I love that and it inspires me. Maybe, just maybe, we need not be afraid either.

Yesterday’s devotional had an image of a Roman soldier. The soldier is shown holding a shield. That picture helps me to envision my shield extinguishing flaming arrows. I imagine the arrows dissolving into a vapor as they strike the shield, like water extinguishes fire.

There is a lot of vivid imagery of shields in the Bible. The NASB has seventy-four verses about a shield. The first one is good and quite illustrative. It is Genesis 15: 1 and it reads, “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you.’” We have seen Jesus’ many roles in our armor. Now Yahweh represents Himself as part of our defensive accoutrements. Are you not astounded by this? I want to quote scripture upon scripture for you but you can run a search yourself so just one more; 2 Samuel 22: 3, “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.

You know how a shield works. You’ve seen enough movies with warriors brandishing their shields both defensively and offensively. Now overlay all those images with the reality that God, He who is called The Almighty, is your shield. How does it get any better than that?

Put on your shield, put on your God as a shield about you and with it, block and defeat every missile of the evil one. You are able to extinguish every dart, every flaming arrow. Stand firm and strong!