Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hast Thou Not Known"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 84:11a – For the Lord God is a sun and shield. (NKJV)
For about ten years, in both eyes, I have had glaucoma, a disease which increases pressure in the eye, and which, if left untreated, can cause total blindness. Mine was kept under control with eye drops at bedtime every day. However, a year or so ago, my left eye did not react to the daily drops any more. A laser treatment was done, and for a while, it was under control. However, after some time, the pressure started to build up again. More drops of a different kind were prescribed, to be put in seven times per day. However, in September, it was considered to be uncontrollable, and it was decided that I should have a trabeculectomy, a surgical operation which lowers the pressure inside the eye by making a small hole in the eye wall (sclera), covered by a thin trap door.
After the operation, I had a somewhat painful, scratchy feeling in my eye, but I was not to rub it under any circumstance, because it would irritate and possibly damage the incision. During the day, I would be able to stop myself from doing this. However, at night, there would be the likelihood that I would unknowingly rub my eye and cause damage. To protect my eye, I was given a domed plastic shield to be taped over my eye while asleep. During the day, I was always to wear my glasses or sunglasses. I had to protect my eye at all times.
There are also occasions when our faith lives are in danger of being damaged by outside influences. There are temptations of all kinds for all of us, but we have God's Word to protect us in times of danger. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells them and us how to protect ourselves:
Ephesians 6:11-16 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (NKJV)
It is so great to know that we can always be protected by the shield of faith. We can reliably trust in the promises of God's Word, for example, that "all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28a NKJV) and that we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, in those times when we are tempted to do things which we know are not right, we thank You that You will protect us when we wander away from You. We thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.