“You, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.” (Psalm 3:3)
Some things never change. We get the same message today as the psalmist received thousands of years ago. “There is no help for you in God” (Psalm 3:2).
Today, we hear from assorted places that we must live in this world depending on our own hard work without help from others and without aide from God. We receive messages that God isn’t real, therefore, there is no higher power than the individual. We get the idea that we are our own help, comfort, and dependence. We hear that we should not be dependent on anyone or anything other than ourselves.
The great lie of modern spirituality is that we can we can dig down deep enough to muster strength from within to get us through difficult times. It may work for a while, but it won’t last for long.
The psalmist declares that the Lord is the one who protects as a shield and who lifts his head. The psalmist knows that he is not his own protection, he is dependent on God as a shield. He is dependent on God to turn his gaze toward a direction that is more helpful. The origin of his strength is God.
When we have faith in God, it is more than just and intellectual agreement that there is a God. It is trust that God is who God revealed himself to be in the Word. Trusting in God who is unseen is difficult, but God will be our shield, or strength, and will turn our gaze where it belongs.
We learn to trust more by being exposed to the Word, praying, and being in community with other believers. When one of these aspects is missing, the messages of the world creep in, and we trust less.
God, too often we try to lift ourselves up rather than fall back into your arms. Give us the ability to stop holding on with our own strength and trust in you with our whole lives. Amen.