It was a weird sensation, being airbrushed for a video shoot. I sat very still while a fine mist of ivory liquid swept across my skin. “Ah,” the makeup pro said at last, smiling at her work. “Flawless.”
Nice try, sister. All the Cover Girl in the world can’t hide my many imperfections—inside or out. When it comes to flawless, there’s only One place to look.
Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God…Proverbs 30:5
I love how the Bible makes this crystal clear. Not some words, not most words, but “all God’s words” (CEB) are counted here. “Everything God says” (CEV) and “every word that God speaks” (ERV) is perfect, finished, complete.
Want to know how “you can trust this” (ERV)? Because “God keeps every promise he makes” (GNT).
I don’t know a soul who has kept every promise they ever made. Not my parents, not my teachers, not my siblings, not my friends, not even my darling husband. And I hate to even think of how many times I’ve neglected to follow through on my own promises.
We all drop the ball now and again. But God? Never.
…is flawless;… Proverbs 30:5
Even the finest diamonds have flaws, but God’s Word is “pure” (CJB) and “perfect” (NIRV). We know this, not only because He says so, but also because His Word has been “tested” (NASB) and “fire tried” (DRA). Not in a blacksmith’s forge—in real life.
When fear starts to creep into my heart or skitter up my spine, I turn to His Word and read it aloud: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). Then, I take His promise and run with it. I tell that ugly fear, “God is here.” I stand still, breathing quietly and listening intently, until I sense God’s presence, just as His Word describes.
We do our part because we desperately need Him.
He does His part because He said He would.
And because He loves us completely.
When we take God at His Word and trust what He has promised, it “proves true” (ESV) and “passes the test” (EXB), every time. Have you tried Him? Then you know: God always has your back. “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
God might make you wait, but He never makes you wait alone. How can we be sure? Jesus said, “I am not alone, for my Father is with me” (John 16:32). God is our Father as well, beloved, and He offers the same assurance to us.
I think I just heard a huge sigh of relief. And it gets better.
…he is a shield… Proverbs 30:5
Several months ago, we learned that God is “a shield to those whose walk is blameless” (Proverbs 2:7). In Hebrew, magen means a literal “shield,” which is why the six-pointed Star of David is more properly known as the Shield of David.
Who carries shields? Soldiers. Protectors. Knights. Defenders. And God, who “guards” (NCV) us with “a shield set afire” (WYC). Wow. What enemy would dare come near a mighty God with a flaming shield?
…to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
His refuge offers a “safe place” (ERV) for us. We just have to be willing to run to Him and let the Lord handle things.
This is where I get in trouble. Miss Do-It-All-By-Herself says, “I’ve got this. No problem. Here, hold my Diet Coke.”
So, let’s say I tackle a difficult email (the kind that starts out, “I don’t mean to criticize you, but…”), and I forget to consult God. My first draft sounds defensive, the second sounds petulant, until I finally turn to God for help. Only then do my words sound more like His words—compassionate and understanding—instead of grumpy and childish.
Thank you, Lord.
Still, think of all the wasted time and unnecessary teeth-grinding I could avoid, if I simply ducked behind His shield in the first place. If I said, “I trust you for the perfect words, Lord. Please show me what to say.”
Because He will. Gladly.
Who’s welcome to step behind His shield? The people who “hope in him” (DRA) and “put their trust in Him” (MEV), the ones who “come to him for safety” (CEV) and “seek his protection” (GNT).
It’s a big shield, my friend. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is the One holding it, providing “a safe-covering” (NLV) for all who are willing to admit they need His help (yeah, that’s the hard part).
Some of us have been bruised by abuse. Broken by disappointment. Weighed down by depression. We don’t think we’re worth protecting, worth rescuing. But the Lord says of His people, “You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isaiah 43:4).
Have you been redeemed by His righteousness? Made whole by His holiness? Set free by His sacrifice? Then you can jump behind His shield, anytime. In fact, you can live there, safe and secure, the whole of your life.
Does that mean you’re weak? Oh, no.
It means you’re strong. It means you’re wise.
It means you’re His.
Heavenly Father, how comforting to know that I am never alone, never defenseless. You hide me behind Your shield. You hold my fears at bay. You keep me safe. You give me peace.
Now it’s your turn
- How does this verse from Proverbs comfort you? challenge you?
Meanwhile, something FUN is on the horizon: Monday, November 24 join Ann Voskamp and me on Twitter as together we watch a reprise of last year’s Christmas on the Farm, while we chat with you in real time on Twitter!
All you need to do is…
Start watching the Christmas at the Farm video on your computer at 2:00pm ET (or whenever you join us)
Jump on Twitter and look under “Search” for this hashtag: #TheGreatestChristmas
Join our live, on-screen conversation, cup of tea in hand, as the Tweets fly by!
It’s BYOC—Bring Your Own Cookies—but we do have some yummy Christmas at the Farm Recipes for you to try. It’s gonna be a BLAST (especially since I’ve never Twitter Partied before!). We both have some lovely gift packages to share too.
(If Twitter isn’t your thing, not to worry. We’re trying to figure out how to party on Facebook—surely it can be done. If you receive my NewsNote, I’ll be giving away goodies there as well, plus special custom-made gifts for you here on my blog—just a small way of saying a big thank you for opening God’s Word with me each week!