Look to the Bulwark!

Imagine being inside a castle during a siege. Outside the thick, stone walls surrounding you, the enemy is shooting flaming arrows and preparing a massive siege engine to ram against your gates. Occasionally, you are jolted awake as huge boulders are catapulted against the stone walls. But despite their ceaseless attacks, you are safe. The bulwark is secure.

This is the picture that hit me this week as I was reading 1 Peter. I had been thinking about the “incorruptible and undefiled” inheritance waiting for us in heaven (1 Pet. 1:4), but was unconsciously wondering, how does this help me fight the battles I face while still on this earth?

I found the answer in the next verse: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” That word, “kept,” as I discovered, means “to guard, protect by a military guard, either in order to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

This is amazing! Not has God given us rich promises in heaven, He has also bound Himself to keep us in the castle, the bulwark, of His protection here on earth as we look to Him by faith.

Do you ever feel like you’re being bombarded by the devil’s arrows of lies? Sometimes he shoots them so thick we hardly even recognize what they are. Nonetheless, they can inflict great damage on our ability to serve the Lord. Here are just a few of his “bundles” of lies that he loves to shoot at us young ladies:

  • I’m not valuable unless I am popular or have the latest clothing fashions.
  • I’m not valuable unless I’m either married, dating, or have a guy interested in me.
  • No one could ever love me. I’ve failed too much, I’m not pretty, or I’m just not talented or popular like other girls.
  • God can’t bring me a husband because there’s no one on the horizon. So I either need to take matters into my own hands or give up praying because it’s not going to happen anyway.
  • I’m not valuable if I don’t meet the expectations placed on me by those around me.
  • I’m not valuable unless I have a lot of friends or a certain type of friends.
  • I’m not valuable unless everyone thinks highly of me.
  • I’m not valuable if I don’t achieve a certain academic (or musical or artistic) standard.
  • I’ve already failed too much to make a difference with my life.
  • I’ll struggle with these same sins my whole life; there’s no way I can overcome them.

Now, if we were to stop and analyze these lies right when they hit us, we’d probably realize they are ridiculous. But that’s the trouble. It’s so easy to not even recognize they are lies and subconsciously start to believe them. Or, even if we recognize they are wrong, our emotions can get a hold of us and we feel trapped.

That’s why the picture in 1 Peter 1:5 is so beautiful! God has provided a bulwark to guard us against these arrows of the enemy. Remember that “the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10). Sisters, whenever we’re bombarded by these lies, let’s run into the Bulwark and rest safe in the Lord’s protection around us. Inside the castle, the devil’s arrows can’t reach us.

I remember one night I was studying in my college lobby when all of a sudden a host of lies started hitting me questioning my identity in Christ. At first I started to listen to my rising emotions. But then it hit me. Wait, these are lies! I was able to pull out my Bible and start feeding my soul again with truth. Once I entered the bulwark, I was safe, communing with Jesus.

No matter the difficulty of our outward circumstances, whether it be tension in the home, a time of loneliness, the anxiety of an unknown future, inward thought battles, Jesus is a strong castle. “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Is. 32:2).

Here is safety. Here is love. Here is protection. Let us look to the Bulwark!

Your sister in the Lord,

Julianna

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