Have you ever climbed a mountain?
Recently I went for a walk up a fairly steep hill overlooking Shoal Bay, NSW. I reached the stunning view of the summit and marvelled in the sweeping ocean view as the warm winter sun washed my face. This mountain top seemed a fitting activity after the scripture God had given me the night before following some ‘soul surgery’ he was facilitating earlier that day.
God had revealed a part in my heart, where I had been using something other than him as my protector. We all do this at some time or another; something is used as a protective layer to avoid pain. Our self-protection mechanism is a complex inner network of subconscious defence responses that we engage, to keep our heart safe. Angry words, silence, withdrawal, putting yourself down, addictions, rebellion, pride, vanity and a crazy long list of other potential protectors, all possibilities for us to use in self-defence. My self-defence mechanism had been subconsciously drawing me into a desire to, at times, be invisible rather than risk open vulnerability when the chance of being scrutinised by others is high (…say like writing a blog).
The problem is, these self-protecting mechanisms end up causing issues in other areas and eventually assist in creating a wall that will inhibit us from moving forward in certain areas of life. They contain us, stunting our growth unless we become aware of them and then go through the transformational journey of dealing with these issues.
With the help of a friend, I took the time to recognised the life events that had fostered the protector I had engaged. This self-protector was not obvious for me, a preacher and writer who often shares my heart. Never the less, there I was, doing soul surgery to yield this part of my inner world to my Father, The Protector. As I came to the conclusion of this processing with God, I asked him for a Scripture to seal the work he was gently doing. He said Ps 94.
Verse 22 says,
‘But the Lord has become my high tower and defence, And my God the rock of my refuge’ AMP.
In the Passion Translation, it says ‘ my safe place, my hideout and my true shelter’.
The Message says, ‘God was my high mountain retreat.’
When we identify those things in our heart that we have adopted as self-protection mechanisms, we are given an invitation by God to allow him to take his rightful place as our strong tower, our safe place and defender. He is our true protector. The invitation is to appropriate the healing and forgiveness God has already given. To replace lies that have been enmeshed within you, with his truth. To allow his healing oil into the pain in your heart, so that wholeness can be established where brokenness has sat.
God is looking to exchange our SELF-protection for an upgrade: GOD-is-my-protector. We can believe, ‘I am safe, I am protected, I am standing on Jesus the Rock, God is my defender and protector, he is my hiding place’. Begin to recognise God as your safe place and allow yourself to be vulnerable from that position. We can be bold and obedient to what he is asking of us as we climb into the position of the safety he gives, even when bad stuff and evil people surround us as Psalm 94 describes.
Come up to the high place of safety. God is a present protector. You can allow the Father’s love to wash over you like the warmth of the winter sun. As we do, we are positioned for a fresh and stunning view of life.