BY: Ann Boyd
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Psalm 68: 4, 5, 6:
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him – his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (NIV)
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Have you ever tried to handle things that you weren’t capable of handling and fight battles you felt too inadequate to fight? I believe we can all relate to this at some point in our lives. We tend to be natural defenders. In fact, at times, I believe this can be a challenge for many who tend to take on the role as the defender of their own issues. Many times it ends in failed attempts because it is a role to be cautious with. I believe God’s intention is for us to defend the right cause for the intended purposes.
This verse comes to life for me as I reflect back to the death of my father seven years ago this month. I remember thinking at that time how different my life would be without him and worried about who would take care of my mom. Although my mom is a very capable and strong woman, my father had always been the protector, defender, and provider and suddenly he was gone. The role my father held still needed to be filled because it was left vacant. All those things he had portrayed and lived were suddenly, seemingly gone or appeared compromised because of his absence.
This verse echoed through the resounding grief and emptiness that we were feeling at the time. It was the hope of the “Defender” being present in a time of need that chased the enemy of fear away. God filled the role of “The Defender” and met the need of a widow. Because of the vulnerability of orphans and widows, the Defender steps up to take His place and is relentless in caring for them. He fights for them. He comes to the aid of the lonely and the prisoner by providing comfort and freedom from whatever it is that imprisons them or binds them. We are not alone, He goes before us, and promises to never leave us and (Isaiah 59:19) He will plead our case when the enemy comes in like a flood. HE WILL RAISE UP A STANDARD AGAINST HIM. Why? Because he is our Defender and he will not fail us. His blood has paid the price in the defense.
I believe there is a need for the Defender today, and God is still stepping up filling the role and always will because He is eternal and good. I believe we are also called to be defenders. Romans 12:2 states, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” We see defenders in the court rooms, on the streets as our law enforcement officers willingly placing themselves in harm’s way to defend and protect life and property, as ministers, as missionaries, and the sober, alert Christian — men and women defending the faith throughout the ages to the point of martyrdom.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: I recently earned the title “Defender” in the Winter Warrior Run Challenge at my place of employment for completing 200 miles of running. Not exactly the title I was after, but it was what I accomplished. Nonetheless, it caused me to think of the responsibility of a “Defender.” Not only am I responsible for defending my family, friends, and of course my titles if I want to become a better athlete, but I must also defend my faith. My worldview and my faith in Jesus Christ is being challenged daily. In order for me to be a great defender I must know what it is I believe, and why I believe what I do, and defend it. It seems that the media, the public square, and the world in general boldly defends the reasons and causes they believe in to be true, which many times contradicts scripture. I know I am commanded to be strong, courageous, and not to fear – to stand firm and do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14) so as to defend my position.
Many believe we need to be accepting of non-offensive, sympathetic believers, accepting and overlooking the issues of the day. I don’t believe that is what God is wanting. His sacrifice deserves defense. As our military who fight for our country and our law enforcement who pay a costly price, the very least we can do is defend it. To know God is to love God, His word, and His principles. We are all called to be defenders. After all, our Leader Jesus Christ, is the greatest defender. As the accuser stands calling out all of our sins, our Defender, JESUS CHRIST, stands declaring our sins, our debt, are forgiven. I encourage you to avoid passiveness and complacency in your faith and stand for Who and what you believe, doing so in love, as God has called you out to be separate from the world rescuing the perishing. It’s our duty.
Heavenly Father, may our light shine before men so they may see our good work and glorify you. Help us to stand up for those in need and be the defenders of those things that bring you honor and pleasure. I pray for all those that need your defense that they may feel your presence and know your love. In Jesus Name. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am a wife and mother. I was born in New York and raised in Harlem, Montana (Fort Belknap Indian Reservation) with four other siblings (2 older sisters and two brothers; one older, one younger) by truly the best parents in the world. I am a member of the Gros Ventre Indian tribe. I graduated from Trinity Bible College and I am in the process of working toward my masters degree. I’ve worked as a youth pastor, worked in children’s ministry, served as a head pastor at the Harlem Assembly of God Church. Currently I work for the federal government as an analyst for the Office of Justice Services. I am excited to be part of my husband’s new adventure in owning and operating our own business. Family is a very important part of my life. I love music, reading, exercising, mountains, oceans, the great outdoors, almost anything that has life, (except creepy and scary things). I love spending time with my family, baking, and cooking, sports (especially watching my son) and going on date nights with my husband.