Day 3 – Do Not Fear: God is our Fortress
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Two days ago, we discussed our calling not to be afraid in light of God being our refuge, a shelter from danger or trouble. When we take refuge in God, he protects us and shelters us from all that we might fear. Just a few verses later in Psalm 46, we read that our God is a fortress. How is this claim of God being a fortress any different than God being our refuge?
To answer this, we must first look at the definition of each word. When we do this, we see refuge as a place to escape or flee from danger, while a fortress still functions as a place of shelter, yet it is outfitted with the weapons and trappings of war, ready not just to protect those on the inside, but also to attack those approaching from the outside.
When we understand the separate functions of each of these words, it helps us more clearly understand the promises God has made to us regarding the things that come along in our life which cause us to be afraid. It’s as if we sit within the protection of a fortress, sheltered from the storms taking place around us, while also safely behind the barricaded walls that protect us from the onslaught of soldiers that earnestly try to attack us and take us prisoner. Although this is a very medieval comparison, there are many times in life when we feel these are the situations involving fear in which we find ourselves. It’s in these moments, when our fears have surrounded us and are advancing on all sides, in which we are most in need of the mighty fortress that is our God.
God, in his loving kindness, and out of the faithfulness of His promises made throughout Scripture, protects us from our fear, sending flaming arrows back at the evil one every time he attempts to take us down. The best news is that the battles of our fear that continue to go on have already been won by Christ’s victory over death which took place in His resurrection from the grave. We have no need to fear, because even as the evil one comes closer and closer, God is our fortress, and the battles that we fight, daily resisting our fears through the power of Christ, have already been fought and won in the person of Jesus.
It is appropriate here to close with the words of the 3rd verse of the beloved hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
Although the Prince of Darkness taunts and attacks us with our own fears, we will not fear, because God’s truth will triumph, and the doom of His enemies is sure. Praise God!
Action Step: Read Deuteronomy 20:4. How does your understanding of the victory that has already taken place affect the way you look at the battles of fear you face on a day-to-day basis? Spend a few minutes in prayer, worshipping and thanking God for what He has done in securing the victory of His children over the powers of fear and evil.