Have you ever had an epiphany that you find difficult to describe to others? It happens to me all the time! As my husband puts it (drawing from a classic cereal commercial), “Taste it again, for the first time.” It seems I am always “realizing” things that I already knew — on one level. But I’m discovering new levels of understanding, even though it’s difficult to describe the difference. I find the limits of language when I try to describe these new levels of understanding. For example, a revelation I had this morning while listening to Gloria Copeland preaching on our protection in Jesus:
God is my refuge. And if He is my refuge, that means He is my shelter, my fortress, my protection from whatever is attacking me. Now, if God is my fortress, then He’s a perfect and effective fortress, because He’s GOD. Which means… if I take refuge in God, the devil can’t touch me!
Dude! Check it out! No, really — think about it. If God is our refuge, but it’s just some “nice idea” (and not a real, substantial, truly effective protection), then it’s useless. For some reason, I had this filed in my mind under an old traditional religious paradigm that said something like this: “God is my refuge, therefore the devil can’t do anything too bad to me (although he might still do a lot of horrible stuff if God decides that would be useful in refining me), and even if the devil wins and kills me, then at least I’m going to heaven and I’ll be safe there.” Now what kind of lousy protection is that? That’s no protection at all! It leaves the door wide open for the devil to do all kinds of horrible junk!
Now, in recent years I’ve begun to break out of these old religious thoughts in regards to physical protection. I’d begun to apply scriptures like Psalm 91 for physical protection in physically dangerous circumstances. I now believe (as I didn’t believe before) that God offers us protection from illness, injury, biological weapons, etc. But for some reason it never clicked all the way to realizing that God’s protection includes protection from demonic attack. But if my fortress doesn’t protect me from my current enemy (the devil!), then it’s no fortress at all — or at least it’s a partial refuge only.
As this idea hit home, and I stood stunned at the implications, more scriptures came to mind.
We put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12), the full armor of God — which includes the belt of truth (His Word) and the shield of faith (in His Word). We fight with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Our shield quenches every fiery dart of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-17).
“We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].” (1 John 5:18)
“Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.”
(Psalms 91:9-10, emphasis mine)
Even seeing these here on my screen doesn’t quite do the idea justice. I’ll have to work on this some more to describe it better — or maybe it’s something that a person can only grasp by revelation, and no amount of description can fully illuminate it. The Bible speaks of being completely safe from the devil. Every fiery dart quenched. Taking refuge and being protected from every attack, freed from every snare.
This is not to say that we won’t face attack. This is not to say that we won’t see “scary” circumstances — even all around us. The point is that we have a safehouse, a safe place to run and find refuge and be completely protected.
I have often felt like I was standing alone against the attacks of the devil, battered and bruised and trying desperately to hold up my sword and my shield. I felt like my success or failure depended upon my strength of will and skill with these weapons, depended upon my ability to master my emotions and wrestle my flesh into submission and shout down the devil. When attacked emotionally, I felt there was nowhere to run that I could find relief, I just had to bear it until I could get enough gumption to fight the devil off. Gah! It’s no wonder I got beat up: I didn’t know what I had available to me!
What a misinformed soldier I’ve been! No wonder that song “Strong Tower” was speaking so powerfully to my spirit a couple of months ago. God’s been working to get this revelation into my spirit. In Him, my strong tower, I will find refuge: true safety and relief from the devil. There really is a place where we can run. A mighty fortress from which to shoot back and clear the way forward.
I need to research this further and re-read some scriptures in this new light. Even though I need to read further, the scriptures I already know are resounding in my mind and spirit: there is no doubt that this is what the Word says. I just need to believe it. And I do!
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” (Psalms 91:2)