April 18, 2016

The Joy of Being Defended

Is it just me, or do we ALL wish for someone to care enough about us to defend us from those who intend us harm?
To have someone not only know my story, but also stand in the gap to defend my heart, mind, and soul from further harm.

This is a treasured possession for those who have been damaged by life in identity-shattering ways. It means you believe me and want to stick around to be sure I have a sheltered place to be seen, heard, heal, and grow.

This is the joy of being defended.

I have someone like that in my life. It is my husband. He has known about my wounds since we were dating in high school. He believed me, was outraged, and confronted the one who hurt me. He was so brave FOR me. Through rocky years where my heart was afraid and angry, just trying not to drown or lose what I still had of me, he remained faithful to love me gently, defend me from those who didn’t understand or might further wound me, and prayed for me as I struggled to learn trust – in God, him, and others. This took decades. This is called patient love, willingness to stand in all my gaps, believing God could and would bring me out the other end with the knowledge of who I was in Christ and how that translated to loving others in my life. I had discovered the joy of being defended.

However I know he did not do this in his own strength. He had an unshakable faith in God’s power and faithfulness to mend brokenness. He had promised this God – his Savior – he would love me in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, until death parted us. He meant every word and God enabled him to persevere beyond when many others would have simply walked away. It is God IN my husband, sustaining Him to love me as God loves me and defend me as God defends me, that enabled him to persevere.

God is my defender. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knows each of my days – good and bad- before one came to be. He spoke everything seen and unseen into existence, sustaining it by the power of His Word. It is all made by Him and for Him. Can you speak anything into existence that has never before existed, keeping it running by the power of your word? I can’t. I can hardly keep my house clean and laundry done, let alone an entire universe. He did that and continues to do that while still knowing me so intimately He can meet my every need. I am His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He created before the world, that I should walk in them. He knows me and is FOR me. I have the joy of being defended by the One who can and does so every day.

God was a pillar of cloud and fire that stood between Israel and the attacking Egyptians at the Red Sea while they waited for the waters to part and cross on dry land. He then let the waters down on them to destroy those who had for centuries enslaved, hurt, and killed His people. It wasn’t for the Egyptian Pharaoh and army to see – heand all the Egyptian army died in the waters – but to remind the Israelites they had a mighty God, ready and able to defend them.

He stood in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to keep them from being burnt up by the fires of King Nebucadnezzar. They had refused to bow down to the king’s image. They entrusted themselves to God, believing He could save them if it was His will, but they were going to live for only Him whether He did or not. The guards and Nebuchaddnezzar looked in and saw four men – one shining like the heavens – standing with them. They let the men out and it stood as a testimony to God’s ability to defend those who belong to Him.

He did the same for Daniel in the lion’s den, Nehemiah when he faced opposition in rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem, and Paul when he was shipwrecked or snake-bit in the spreading of the Gospel to the Gentiles. There are so many narratives in the Word that tell me He is faithful to defend.

Why would He stop with me?

How would such power run out when I needed it?

It wouldn’t and hasn’t.

As I have mentioned in past blogs, He allows many things, but He always avenges and uses it for His glory and our good. No one gets away with anything with living God around. You can count on Him to finish what He starts and stand for what is true and right. Everyone will have to give an account before Him. He is my Defender.

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)

Praise flows from the joy of being defended by the only One who knows all and has the power to make every wrong right. He saves so I will trust and not be afraid. He has my back. Just like my husband has all these years, with the strength of His Lord flowing through him to me.

I am most blessed of women. I have a beautiful Savior, a powerful Defender, and compassionate husband!

If you do not have an earthly defender, please know you have a heavenly One who sees you, knows you, and wants to show you how He is FOR you – so you too can have the joy of being defended by Him. I will pray the Lord brings others alongside to stand in the gap as He reveals Himself to you and you learn to have confidence in Him, living forward without fear.

Share how the Lord has used this to encourage your heart, mind, and soul.

Look forward to Jesus getting more praise!