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“His faithfulness is a shield” (Psalm 91:4).

 

These words from the Psalmist continued to stir in my mind.

 

His faithfulness is a shield.”

 

For years, part of my spiritual armor has been to take up “the shield of faith” to extinguish the enemy’s missiles of doubt and deceit. But all too often, this shield constructed by my own wavering faith seems permeable and flimsy. Surely satan’s arrows will sail straight through my porous confidence.

 

How powerful it is to realize that the shield is not my faith — I am not covered by my own conviction or hope. No, the protection that I lift up in times of warfare is His faithfulness, not my own. Yes, I act in faith to do the lifting, but the protection isn’t dependent on the size of my faith.

 

I lift up His faithfulness…His fidelity…His dependability. He is always the same — yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In faith, I lift up His faithfulness as my shield – knowing that He is indeed impenetrable!

 

Herein is a protection I can get behind for shelter. His faithfulness always extinguishes the darts of doubt. His faithfulness always conquers the arrows of anxiety. His faithfulness is dependable and strong enough for any and all assalts against me.

 

As we go into the holiday season with it’s busyness and anxiety, let’s lift up His faithfulness, not our own faith, to be our victorious shelter. His impenetrable shield will indeed extinguish all the enemy can throw our way. His trustworthiness leads us victoriously into a stance that is not “afraid of the terror by night or of the arrow that flies by day” (Psalm 91:5).

 

Hallelujah! He is faithful, even when I am not (2 Timothy 2:13).

 

“Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies (Psalm 36:5).

 

Surely that’s a shield large enough to shelter all of us.

 

“Holy Father,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for that Your reliability stretches into the very heavens. I come underneath Your protection today. I believe You are big enough and strong enough to destroy all of the enemy’s strategies against me and mine. You have done it before. I have confidence that You will do it again. Thank You for always linking Your faithfulness with Love. Hallelujah! Jesus is mine!”

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Exhausted, I sat down to the meal. It was the holiday and I’d been preparing this dinner for days now. As my eyes scanned the table, I sensed tension as thick as the slices of turkey on the platter.

 

Of course, it couldn’t be my fault.

 

I’d kept my mouth shut when he had lifted no finger to help.

I’d kept my mouth shut when he asked how much longer till we ate.

I’d kept my mouth shut when he began grazing on items before the Thanksgiving prayer.

 

“After all”, I thought smugly, “I, for one, was going to be someone who did all things without grumbling and complaining” (Philippians 2:14).

 

But as I fell into bed that evening, that very verse kept spinning in my mind. Somehow I didn’t feel that my actions had captured it’s essence. Was there something I had missed? Something that I hadn’t embraced behind the meaning of the words? In the quiet of the midnight, the truth of the original language spoke gently.
“Goggysmos” (grumbling) literally means “a secret displeasure, not openly avowed.” Evidently, I knew how to grumble all too well — mumbled muttering I whispered to myself in secret. Oh, I wouldn’t say most of them out loud. But, under my breath, I had some great comebacks. Working out my salvation with fear and trembling meant even these silent murmurings had to stop (Philippians 2:12).

 

“Dialogismos” (complaining) is a noun depicting “the thinking of a man deliberating with himself; the questioning about what is true.” Questionings. Doubtings. How often I’d mulled over these very thoughts — smug sentiments comparing my own competence with someone else’s sad insufficiency. “I can’t believe she’d do it that way” or “It’s doubt they even know how to do it correctly.”

 

As the Spirit’s nudged me toward truth, I realized that both “grumbling” and “complaining” point to attitudes of the heart, not merely words off the tongue. Truth isn’t a Thumper mantra (“if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all”). Instead, our Father reveals that “the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).

 

My problem is much deeper than whether or not I speak what I am thinking. To truly prove myself a child of God “above reproach”, my thought life must change. I am to set my mind on things above instead of the dark, critical places of my own preferences (Colossians 3:2). My thoughts are to dwell on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute”, whatever is excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

 

What would my holiday look like if I truly followed this train of thought?

 

I’m not sure. But, I’m determined to find out. Wanna join me?

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