Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Like A River Glorious"1 (Lyrics)
During the past two years, a water exercise class that I enjoyed was shut down due to the pandemic. Recently, because there were too few certified lifeguards available, its reopening was delayed. Lifeguards are essential to the safe and legal operation of a pool. I remembered learning to swim as a child, and I always knew that I was safe because of the watchful eye of those people sitting up on the high seats overlooking the pool. Now, as an elderly person, I appreciate their attention as well. We can be confident that there is help if needed.
Isaiah 52:12 – But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (NIV)
I love that we have a "rear guard".
When Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the crumbled walls of Jerusalem, he relieved their fears by posting guards around them as they worked. He also equipped the workers themselves with spears, shields, bows, and armour so that they could work while also protecting themselves and others. They were then confident in doing their work.
We also need guards, just as the wall-builders did. Without them, we are vulnerable to spiritual danger, and we don't feel free to work without constantly checking our back, so we are ineffective.
We, too, have been given protection. God has provided the full armour that we all need. But it works only when we put it on! With the full armour in place, we can stand firm. We are to guard what has been entrusted to us.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 – Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:14 – Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you — guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (NIV)
My internal protection is the Holy Spirit living in me. God provides us with safety by guarding us, and He also gives us His armour so that we can stand against the enemy. He charges us to guard our hearts and minds. We never have to be afraid. Let's remember to put on His armour every day!
Psalm 121:2,4,6,8 – My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (NIV)
Prayer: Our Father, thank You for Your sleepless watch over us. Your presence is our comfort and strength. Remind us to put on the armour that You provide. Thank You for giving us the gifts of Your Word, Your truth, the gospel of peace, our faith, and our salvation so that we can live for You. Please guard our hearts. Help us to trust You fully and rest in Your strength alone. Amen.