He Is Our Defender
by Stephanie Olson, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries
My middle child, Tessa, loves school. She loves to read, loves to play, and loves to eat lunch. School is one of her favorite places to be. So, when she recently had a “stomach ache” every morning for several days in a row, I was concerned.
When I sat down to talk to her about her ailment, what ultimately came out of her sweet little mouth was that a little boy in her class was being mean to her. Tessa is not a shy girl, she is not a timid girl, and she is not easily offended, so I knew that if she was sharing this information with me, it was serious. A little boy in her class was bullying Tessa. That hurt me and made me angry.
My initial instinct was to go down to the school and find that little boy … okay, okay … I didn’t do that. Instead, I told Tessa that she could tell me anything. I told her that I was on her side, and if she needed help, I would help her. I told her I would do whatever I needed to do to make sure she was safe. I told her I would move mountains for her … and then it hit me. Isn’t that exactly what God tells us?
I recently went through a very difficult time of spiritual attack. It was a time when I knew the enemy was trying everything in his power to get me to quit my calling. It was a tough time. And then, one day, in the middle of a time of worship, I felt as if the Lord stepped in and simply stopped the attack. He intervened and seemed to calm the storm.
As I was praying about that experience, He showed me something in Psalm 18 that blew my mind.
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it …"
The scripture continues to describe the Lord’s anger, and it’s not pretty. And then it says, "… He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy …”
In His loving way God showed me that when the enemy attacks us, it makes Him angry. He loves us, and it hurts Him to see us suffer. And then, just like it says in Psalm 18, He draws us out of many waters and delivers us from our enemy–not always in the way we want or when we want, but He does.
And yet, just like Tessa who kept this information from me for whatever reason she may have had (embarrassment, not wanting to tattle, etc.), we keep our stuff from Christ by not surrendering whatever it is we are holding on to. It may not be a bully in our class, but it may be a bully in the form of alcohol, drugs, overeating, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, lonliness, an affair, a painful relationship, the list can go on and on. Just like I so desperately wanted Tessa to share everything with me so I could swoop in and make it better for her, God desires us to turn to Him and surrender whatever it is that is keeping us down.
Psalm 91 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” (Ps. 91:1-4 NLT)
By the way, I did do what I needed to do in Tessa’s situation to make a change. And just like I am Tessa’s defender, Jesus Christ is our Defender. We don’t have to do this alone. We can’t do this alone. We have a Protector, a Comforter, and a Defender who loves us desperately.
If you are in Christ, you have the power of God, the living Christ dwelling in you. Jesus tells us, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NKJV)
Give Him a chance. Surrender it all to Him and allow Him to be your Defender.