You have given me your shield of victory;
your help has made me great.
2 Sam. 22:36 and Psa. 18:35, NLT
Shields come in all forms. I love to laugh at Get Smart’s failed attempts to use the Cone of Silence. How many times have I embarrassed myself spouting off things I thought no one could hear? The planetary and personal deflector shields in Star Wars’ (2 of the 37 different types mentioned in the film series!) didn’t always work. There were glitches and flaws the enemy always managed to discover. And for those of you watching “Under the Dome” about the town of Chester’s Mill, you can imagine how you might feel if your town were suddenly trapped inside an impenetrable shield against your will.
|the towel wasn't much protection|
Shields are good when you want protection, when they are dependable, and when there are no “chinks in your armor” the enemy can aim his arrows at. We usually think of a shield as a physical thing, yet David thanks God in this verse for His shield of victory. The Merriam Webster definition of victory is: “1. the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist. 2. achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties.” So I ask, “How does God use victory to shield us from harm?”
This is my conclusion, based on God’s revealed Word and my own personal desire to understand Him better. I believe God protects us and makes us great through His victory in the past, the present, and those yet to come in the future. Since He’s not limited by time as we are, they are all visible realities to God in this present moment. We, however, have to consciously focus our minds on each in order to reap the benefits.
This requires faith in the character and dependability of God. Ephesians 6:16 says, “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” It seems to me that the shields of faith and victory work as one.
How many times throughout the Bible are we instructed to “remember” all God has done for us. This remembrance of past victories in our personal lives and throughout history shields our minds, hearts, and spirits from discouragement and despair. If He did it before, He can do it again, we reason.
Focusing on God’s present victories pulls us away (as I mentioned in Day 8) from our tendency to get derailed by the battles being lost, instead of celebrating the battles being won. God is constantly at work. There’s nothing better when we’re feeling defeated than to get together with other Christians and share God-stories. We can’t help but rejoice and be inspired with hope for our own battles that continue to rage. After going to the missionary convention this last spring, I came home high on victory stories from around the world.
Finally, we are protected by the future victories God is going to win through us. Some have been prophesied in the Bible, others, specific to our own lives, have not yet been revealed. However, we have the protection of knowing we are on the winning side; we serve the King of kings and Lord of lords. He’s the One who brings the victory; He’s the One who makes us great. And His shield never malfunctions. The only way it will fail us is if we refuse to come under its protection.