As I was driving this morning a song was playing out in my mind. In particular the line from the song ‘Yet not I’ came to mind which says:
To this I hold, my Shepherd will defend me, through the deepest valley He will lead.
No doubt the inspiration for these words would come from Biblical passages like:
Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. (Psalm 23:4 AMP)
As I sang and meditated on the words, I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that our Shepherd is mindful of us, and near to us, and that He is our defender. I was moved again by the love of our Saviour, it humbled me and I loved and worshipped Him.
But then I was reminded also of my part to play. Yes, He will defend us, but we are to walk in obedience, anywhere outside of that makes us vulnerable. It isn’t that Jesus won’t protect us then, but there will be consequences. When tempted by Satan, who even used Scripture to convince Jesus, our Lord simply replied:
‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12)
Paul also reminds us of the part we play in order to ‘stand’ against the schemes of the devil. The seven elements of the armour of God that we stand upon as our protection:
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:14 – 18)
We are living in times of great promise, and along with that comes trial and temptation. If we are being fruitful for God’s Kingdom, then we are a target, but we have nothing to fear if we walk in obedience and are standing firm and armoured up, because our Shepherd is with us, He will protect, guide and comfort us – because He promised and He is faithful.