We’ve touched on it before … there’s “strong” and then there’s “S-T-R-O-N-G” strong! A strength that defies the normal imagination, like the guy pulling the 36 ton house with a rope that we spoke about last month.
Strong and safe is a tough combination to beat, but before we dig in and talk about that, let me say “Welcome to Mornings with Bishop Robert” — the top spot on the internet for caffeine with a cleric.
So, our house-puller friend has another Guinness World Record to his credit, and it’s for pulling something a bit larger than a mere 36 ton house. Fr. Kevin Fast, who I’ve decided to refer to as “Super Priest,” garnered the record for “Heaviest Aircraft Pulled” by pulling one of the Canadian Air Force’s strategic transport planes, a C-177 Globemaster III. This massive, four-jet-engine beast weighs 188 tons! You owe it to yourself to search for this record on GuinnessWorldRecords.com just to see the picture! Let me know in the comments what you think.
Today’s verse says THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SHIELD.
I couldn’t resist following yesterday’s “SUPER TEAM” devotional – and all its references to Avengers superheroes – with one that spoke about God being our strength and our shield. Or should I say S.H.I.E.L.D. – with each letter being followed by a period. In the fictional world of the Marvel cinematic universe, that’s the acronym for the “Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.”
It occurs to me that God being our strength and our shield is intended for us to fulfill that same mission.
He calls us to be STRATEGIC in the way we offer our service to the King. We cannot be effective if we say “yes” to every invitation, or jump on every situation which pops up and attracts our attention. Far too often, attraction leads to distraction. If the enemy cannot make you a Judas (willing to abandon and betray your Lord), then he’ll settle for making you like Martha (who was overly busy with day to day details and unable to pay attention to what Jesus was saying). If everything is a “top priority,” then nothing really is. This relates to managing our time well.
Our HOMELAND INTERVENTION is to be the light of the world, living out the love of Christ when and where He leads. It is much more simple than it first appears. Jesus says, “Follow Me” and means what He says. He goes before us. I’m reminded of the instructions that the Old Testament hero Gideon gave his men. “Follow me, and do what I do.” As we follow and do what Jesus does, His strength enables us to intervene in the lives of people who are lost in darkness. THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH. This relates to managing our talent well.
The ENFORCEMENT aspect applies to the enemy of our souls and his hellish hoard. We do not battle against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces arrayed against us — against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. And so, because we battle heavenly enemies we need heavenly armor. THE LORD IS MY SHIELD. This relates to applying our talent to advance His Kingdom.
And the LOGISTICS part? We all have resources of many different types that God has placed in our hands. He gives us more than we need so that we can share in His generosity. When my children were young, we used to give them some money to place in the offering at church, the intent being to teach them to be faithful givers. They were only giving what their father (or mother) had placed into their hands. Even at a young age, they knew it was not theirs to keep, it was theirs to give. It is foolishness to think that because you cannot meet EVERY need you should not try to meet SOME of them. We gain so much by being faithful. Our Heavenly Father desires the same blessings and lessons for us. This relates to managing our treasure well.
THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SHIELD. He leads, guides and provides.
Today the Lord will speak to you. He will bless you with His presence, turn His face towards you and say, “Follow Me, and do what I do.” And as you step into His shadow to follow Him, you should know that it will cost you — time, talent and treasure. It will require you to go places and do things beyond your capacity, so that you will be able to say THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SHIELD.
And as you follow, He will impart blessings in abundance, and grace in ways you could not possibly imagine. As you follow Him, every aspect of everything He touches will be incredibly blessed and enriched. Your time. Your talent. Your treasure. But, most importantly, YOU.
Yes, Strong and safe is a tough combination to beat.