Proverbs 18:10 (NLT): 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to Him and are safe.
When Jesus wanted to make His messages more relevant to His listeners, He would often use allegories: “I am the Bread of Life”; “The Vine”; “The Rock” etc. Years ago when I was in great physical and spiritual need of it, the Lord led me to this picture of a castle and a moat. Then He led me to the scriptures I share with you now. When He put it all together, it brought me great comfort. These verses became foundational bricks for my walk with the Lord and I return to them often. He Himself is our Mighty Fortress.
Psalms 18:2 (NLT): 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in Whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
As if this were not enough, He gives us “double-protection”: not just Himself as a Mighty fortress but also a moat – a wide river of protection around that Fortress. That wide river of protection has a source: His never-failing love.
Isaiah 33:21 (NLT): 21 The Glorious Lord will be to us as a wide river of protection over which no enemy can cross.
Unlike the narrow moats around even the strongest of earthly fortresses, His “moat of love” is a wide river of protection. Ideally, there is no way an enemy can enter it. In a normal fortress-moat situation, there is only one way that anyone is able to gain access to the fortress: the drawbridge. We are in control of the drawbridge. Things like doubt, fear, riches, seductions would try to attack us or lure us to leave. It even struck me that the “tree with the beckoning branches” that is reaching outward toward the fortress is very much like the enticements of the enemy. Who would ever want to leave the security, love and peace of the fortified city and be enticed to cross over the “moat of protective love” into the shadows of that beckoning tree?
Psalms 31:21 (NLT): 21 Blessed is the Lord for He has shown me that His never-failing love protects me like the walls of a fort.
Yet if we stay firmly planted in that mighty fortress, relying on His love and power, we will be safe. His Word – He Himself – promises that:
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
A dear friend made a very interesting addendum: “I am also struck by the drawbridge being a kind of Cross…. The only way to safety is through the cross of Jesus!” -Ariel.
As I dwelt on this lesson I realized how fitting it is that the Lord would have me begin this blog with this allegory. It sets the pace so much for what will come. The lesson – and those to come – centers on knowing God and His character through His Word. It touches on proper spiritual warfare and detecting the tactics of the enemy.
Psalms 61:3 (NLT): for You are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
There will be many lessons on discernment and deception in the months to come. How interesting that the picture has a tree in it since the first deception and sin centered around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. We will focus on that scene much more as we proceed. And, finally, looking at the fortress, do you notice how many towers there are for watchmen and lookouts? All of us are called to be watchmen to protect ourselves, our families and our brothers and sisters in the Lord. It is a position the Lord cherishes:
Acts 17:11(ESV) Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be called “more noble” by the Lord just because we examined and received His Word with eagerness?
Psalms 59:16-17 But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.
I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Michelle Arrington, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, J.P.Wilhelm, and Tracy Yoder. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.
The next two lessons will be released Wednesday Nov 15th and 29th. The titles are: “If it looks so good, how can it be deception?”, part one and two. Catchy title isn’t it?
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