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DEVOTION//Safe inside the fortress

DEVOTION//Safe inside the fortress

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen (James: 5:6-11).

Castle walls

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Examine the walls around the English castle in the photograph.

Often, medieval castles were built with an interior wall inside the outer wall. That way, if an enemy breeched the outer wall, they would be no closer to entering the city. In fact, they would be trapped between the outer wall and the inner wall. There the attacking soldiers would become easy prey to volleys of arrows, to boiling oil baths, to avalanches of rocks. 

Our walls

God has given us a similar kind of multi-wall defense when Satan, the roaring lion, attacks. Each wall of defense is another way that God's Word protects us the Devil's maw. Let's take a quick look at those walls.

Wall #1

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Trust what God has promised in his Word rather than your own solution.

Wall #2

And, if fears remain? "Cast all your anxiety on him because [his Word assures you that] he cares for you."

Wall #3

Stay focused on the commitment God has made you in Jesus to love you forever. "Be alert and of sober mind."

Wall #4

Use the "sword of the Spirit" that Ephesians 6:17 tells you is yours. Then, "resist him."

Wall #5

God's Word promises that "the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." God will not desert them. He will not desert you. So "stand firm in the faith."

Wall #6

There is one final wall. It is thick, tall, and impenetrable. God's son has died to forgive your sins. That Son rose from the dead in triumph on Easter. Therefore, when temptations surge against you know that "the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

No wonder the Psalm 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." No wonder Luther has taught us to sing, "A mighty fortress is our God."