Fasten your seatbelt boys and girls, my imagination is about to take us for a wild ride of the imagination.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” – Psalm 91:4
At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. – John 8:59
When Jesus hid himself and walked right through the midst of a crowd that intended to murder him on the spot, he may have been using Psalm 91:4 to go into stealth mode by faith. (Don’t jump out just yet, I’m going somewhere with this.) And this was not just spiritual cloaking, they were going to physically kill him.
The psalm promises to hide you if you meet the qualification of dwelling in the shelter of the Most High. It doesn’t promise only to make your plans inscrutable to the enemy and his agents, but make you completely invisible to them. (That’s what I take from it anyway.)
Under His wings, these ancient wicked spirits not only can’t figure you out and read your tells and body language, they can’t even see you when you dwell in the shelter of the Most High. (think of the Klingon Bird of Prey cloaking and uncloaking)
The next part is another enigma: “…his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Other translations exchange “rampart” for “armor,” and one mobile form of rampart was a “fighting top.”
Armor – the metal coverings formerly worn by soldiers or warriors to protect the body in battle. This is not just defensive, but a means of going on the offensive, taking the fight to the enemy.
Rampart – a defensive wall of a castle or walled city, having a broad top with a walkway and typically a stone parapet. This is a position from which to put fire onto the enemy.
Fighting top – one of the gun platforms on the lower masts of sailing men-of-war, used in attacking the crew of an enemy ship with swivel guns and muskets. A mobile castle top or rampart during the age of sail was called a fighting top, a place from which to put hurt onto an enemy.
So we shift from passively hiding to actively battling.
From hidden under the shadow of Divine wings, to emerging in full armor to rain hell on an enemy.
A couple of weeks ago I heard a term used to describe a new tactical configuration for the F-35 Lightning fighter jets: “Beast Mode.”
Beast Mode is an F-35 sacrificing some of its stealth capabilities to carry a massive weapons load to a fight. Lockheed Martin describes Beast Mode as a posture for Day 2 of fighting, after the enemy’s eyes(radar, etc.) have been put out. Not needing so much stealth, it now emerges to take down large numbers of enemy.
Applied to us:
I believe that we, like Jesus, can become temporarily invisible to the devil’s forces, by faith finding refuge under the Lord’s wings, invisible and inscrutable to enemy agents. Off their radar, unable to read our spiritual plans and strategies. (“The things I do, you will do also, because I go to my Father.”)
As well as that I believe that, when we emerge from under Divine wings, we can do so in the full armor of God. If we are wearing the Lord Jesus Christ’s own fighting suit, Satan can’t tell the difference. To him, we look just like Jesus in the armor.
In short, when we step out of defensive and passive position, let us do so in full “Beast Mode,” the whole armor of God.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
– Ephesians 6:10-18
Thank you for bearing with me on this roller coaster of my imagination. But, before you dismiss my reasoning entirely, ask yourself,
“What part of Psalm 91 did God not mean?”
PEACE (…meaning Complete Wellbeing, Nothing Missing)