I am leading a small group of men at my church on Wednesday evenings. We are focusing on various descriptions of God based on the letters of the alphabet. Last week it was the letter “D.” Our discussion centered on the phrase, “You are the God who DEFENDS me.” It provoked some interesting discussion. We struggled with an understanding of when and how God defends us. Our discussion brought to mind for me the concept of “the umbrella of protection” which has been helpful me on the journey.
The question that each man has to ask is this, “Am I under the protective covering of God?” This implies submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If a man is not under the Lordship of Jesus, he has no umbrella of protection, especially from the forces of darkness. He has to find his own covering. Where does that leave a man? Out from under his covering, vulnerable, out matched and out witted by the enemy of his soul. Remember Jesus said that the enemy, “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 8:10).
I Peter give us specific instruction on how to resist the devil, whom he says, “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (5:8). We are to “resist him, standing firm in the faith..” (5:9). But in order to resist and be firm in faith we have to be in the right posture or standing. Peter exhorts us, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (5:5-7)
So there you have it men. We need daily to submit our proud ego self to the Lord, coming under “God’s might hand,” remembering that God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble. Grace is the power to resist and stand firm. But it is found in a posture of humility as we come under his might hand. So the question to ponder is whether or not we are under the mighty hand of God. This is our umbrella of protection. I know for myself, the practice of humbling myself is a daily practice. My old willful patterns take me out from my protection. In humility and repentance I need to daily submit myself to Jesus. There I can rest in his promise found in Exodus 14:13, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex 14:13-14)