We have discovered hundreds of ways to deliver messages. From smoke signals sent across the camp to satellite conference calls sent across the globe, humans know how to communicate. Where did we get that knowledge? Where do we get that urge?
The need to communicate lies intrinsic in each human heart, and it also lies in God's heart. History is filled with his communication to mankind as a whole and to individuals as needed. From the rhythm of the changing seasons to the written scriptures, God is always communicating to those who take the time to listen.
I love it when God gives me a direct and personal message, as he's done for the past few weeks. It finally became clear last night that this is his New Year's Vow to me and it thrills me to know He wanted me to know that.
For the past few weeks, the word "shield" has been woven into scriptures, songs, random wall hangings, etc. Daily devotionals were about it. New songs downloaded had that phrase. The theme just keeps repeating until even I get it.
"The Lord God is a sun and shield...No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Ps. 84:11
"You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head." Ps. 3:3
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped..." Ps. 28:7
There it was again last night, in a random Bible search for something else:
"Do not be afraid, I am a shield to you..." Gen. 15:1.
That one finally turned the light on.
"This is for me, isn't it, Lord? This is what you want me to hold on to this year. I don't know yet what I need to be shielded from, and the thought bothers me a bit, but I believe you. I trust you. Nothing can harm me because You will shield me and I am supposed to hang on to this."
God always gives his promises ahead of time so when something hits, we are prepared. He doesn't want us to feel alone or abandoned when life puts on its boxing gloves. He wants us to dwell in His secret place, abide in His shadow, so that His shield can cover us.
A shield is not an offensive weapon. It represents safety in the middle of conflict. When the Apostle Paul warns us in Ephesians 6 to "stand firm," he didn't mean stand there and take it. He meant not to lose our footing while God's shield covers us during enemy attacks.
The presence of a shield does not ensure peace and harmony, but did does promise that no matter what lies ahead in 2012, God has already got it--and me--covered.
Has God sent you a special message for 2012? Ask Him for one. He's a great communicator.