Tuesday, April 10, 2012


When I was in my 20's I would journal my prayers. One day, as I was writing my praises and requests in my notebook, I heard a voice in my mind. It sounded somewhat like my thoughts, but was different somehow. The voice said, "I will bring forth streams in the desert and water in the wilderness." I got up, startled and a little concerned that I would think I could hear God talking to me in my mind like that. So I called my Bible Study leader and said, "Could you please pray for me? I'm going through something right now." That's all I said. I didn't go into any more detail. He quickly agreed to pray for me and this is what he prayed. "Dear Lord, I thank You for Nancy. I thank You for what You are doing in her life. I thank You that You are going to bring forth streams in the desert and water in the wilderness." 

Well, that's all I needed to hear to start me on an exciting journey of two-way conversations with the Lord as I journaled my prayers!. If I asked a question, He was there to answer me! One of my favorite conversations with Him was one where I was bemoaning the fact that I kept making the same mistakes over and over again. And this is what I heard Him say to me:  "Do not feel that the growing you have left to do can in any way impair our relationship. For Me, it was finished on the cross. I only look at your desire to grow closer to Me...and I rejoice!"

I say all this as a preface to what I am about to share. Because what has recently changed my life, what I have learned and desire to share with you, came about as a result of one of these conversations with God.

And here is that conversation: 
Shalom, my Yeshua, my Lord. I heard you say to come straight home. Here I am, my Lord. What is it You would say to me?
I AM Your Focus, Nancy.  Know this.
What does that mean, my Lord? That You are my Focus?
If you will keep Me in mind; keep Me in view, you will be far less distracted by what other people are doing, saying and how they are treating you.  You will not be looking to others, but to Me.
But, Lord. This world demands, requires that I interact with people. And in those interactions so much can take place. Fiery darts are shot without warning, and my heart is affected. Then I respond, or I guess I should say, react. How does Your being my Focus keep me from that?
For one thing, if I AM your Focus, I will fight for you. Because you won’t be running out ahead of me and becoming an easy target for the enemy’s arrows.  You will allow ME to go ahead of you and be Your Shield. Have you ever seen a soldier portrayed on TV or in a movie hold his shield behind his back as he moves forward? No? There’s a reason for that! I AM your Shield…when you focus on ME.  I told satan to get behind Me, didn’t I? That’s where he belongs. But I BELONG out in front, NOT behind you, do you see?
Sort of. I just don’t quite understand how to stay focused on You continuously while I’m talking to other people, working, doing phone calls, studying for my business, listening to other people talk. It seems to me I have to concentrate on those things in order to do a good job at them. How can You be my Focus at those times?
Nancy, when a teenage girl has a boyfriend that she has “fallen in love with”, how often does she think about him?  How often does she write or whisper his name? How often does she daydream about him? How impatient is she for her school day to be done so that she can properly “focus” on him, be with him and tell him all of her secrets?
Lord, I understand what you are saying. It’s just that my heart gets filled with a longing to see You that turns into an ache. Sometimes it’s hard to keep my heart engaged because of the pain of wanting to just be with You!
I have said you are to love Me with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, ALL your strength. That is full and constant engagement with Me, Nancy.  Do not think I won’t reward you for this. For I will…with more of a sense of My Presence; with greater revelation of who I am; with a knowledge of how I feel about you that surpasses any “knowing” you have ever known. I promise you this if you will engage with Me. I promise you this if you will expose your heart  to My love for you and allow the sweetness of how I feel about you enter into your heart.  And yes, there is longing. But it doesn’t have to be a painful and frustrated longing. It can be an ache that is softened by My touch.
Yes, Lord. I say yes. But I need You to help me do this. I need You to help me see You and focus on You. Grant me grace, strength, perseverance and the aptitude to do this. Thank You, Lord. Here is my heart. Make it go where You want it to, I pray. In Your Name. Amen.

There is a wonderful scripture that confirms all He said to me. It is David stating this in Psalm 16:8 :
I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
So that is what I have been attempting to do this week. Whenever something distracts me or my mind wanders I do my best to remember He is right in front of me. I picture Yeshua being with me and going before me. I turn my thoughts on what He has done for me, and how He feels about me and how I feel about Him. I whisper to Him that I love Him and I worship Him in my heart. And He is so right!  Because I have been working at doing this, I have not been shaken by circumstances as much this week. Because I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand I am not shaken.  He is the Shield that always goes before me.  HE is the One who, as the scriptures say, makes my rough places smooth and my crooked ways straight.  Before me…before you…that is where the Lord always wants to be. And that’s where we want Him to be because He is our Shield.  I always thought the Lord would be my shield without me doing anything, and I would be surprised and dismayed when fiery darts would hit me. But now I understand it is up to me to SET the Lord always before me. It is up to me to put Him out in front of everything else in my life!  The definition of the word shield is: a broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc. or a person or thing that protects.

God is the best Shield a person could ever have. There are things that I've held up myself as “shields” that don’t ever seem to work. I've put up a shield of how I want people to see me so they will accept me. I've hardened my heart and turned away from certain people so they can’t hurt me.  I have shielded myself with my own words as I've attempted to explain myself to people to try to get them to understand me. These are all common devices I've used to protect myself. But the only one that really works is to put the Lord always before me and let HIM be my shield and do the fighting for me.  And I'm finding He's way better at that than I could ever be!
Here are some verses that speak of God being our shield:
Genesis 15:1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ”
Psalm 3:3
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
Psalm 5:12
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 7:10
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.
Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 18:35
You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 119:114
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 140:7
O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle—
Psalm 144:2
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
So I hope this inspires you to do this thing, this conscious, constant act of thinking about Him and envisioning Him right in front of you. And if you forget for a few hours and then remember, that is not a bad thing! He doesn’t want you laden with guilt over this. He wants you to rejoice, as He does, over the fact that you suddenly remembered and turned to Him again!
We all need a shield in this world. What better Shield than God Himself.
Til next time,