- Psalm 89:17-18 NLT
You are their glorious strength. Our power is based on Your favor. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and He, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
How much should we defend ourselves?
Perhaps the question should actually be, how much do we allow the Lord to defend us? Is our protection truly the Lord? Do we allow Him to work in situations and to take care of us? Do I?
I often wish that life would just stop for awhile and let me rest, that I could go through a few days without some kind of crisis. I would love to be able to get up, live the day, come home, go to bed, and simply breathe, rather than having to deal with the problems that come from living in a sinful world. I sure that many other believers have the same desire.
Life here — in this earth that is filled with sin — is simply not easy. It’s not uneventful and it’s not painless. Life here consists of my plans and my desires converging with the plans and desires of others and usually converging with a crash, rather than converging seamlessly. Like a gross of pinballs let loose in a pinball game all at the same time, we all tend to bump and bang off each other, creating more problems than we started with and many times leaving pain and heartache in our wake.
So when the pain, when the heartache, when the attacks come, where should I turn? Where do I turn? Do I truly believe that God is working everything out for my good or do I unceasingly spin my wheels looking for a way that I might successfully manipulate the situation around me? (As if that were possible.) This passage states that any power (or influence) that I might have in every situation is based solely on God’s favor. In other words, if He has gone before me, then I will have influence. If I go where He has not gone, I am helplessly left to my own defenses (which I know from experience are very much less than satisfactory).
My protection comes from the Lord.
It doesn’t matter what manner of attack comes, God is working everything for my good (Romans 8:28). Not only that, but God Himself is the manner of my protection:
- You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 115:11 NRSV
Nothing can come upon me that the Lord Himself doesn’t allow. No “evil” can come to me, only that which He is working for my good.
Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.
Psalm 91:9-10 NRSV
Because of this, there is no need to defend myself, but simply to trust Him. He will guide my steps, guide my words, and make a way for me . . . every time!