Some birds instinctually build their nests in places that are up against a wall for shelter and support. However, people often use the expression “up against the wall” to describe feeling trapped with no way out of a situation.
2The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
10The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Psalm 18:2,10 ESV
Many Scriptures refer to God as a place of Refuge, a Rock, a Fortress, and a Strong Tower. A place where we can run to seek His protection. When we stand up against Him we are not trapped, but rather empowered.
If we go a little further down in Psalm 18 we read…
28For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
29For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
33He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.
Our God, our Rock and Refuge is not a place to hide and cower, but a place to be trained and prepared for the battles to come while being protected. And I love how in the midst of this Psalm of war is verse 35, “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” Wow! His gentleness makes us great! Maybe it was that gentleness that caused David to refrain from taking Saul’s life himself (1 Samuel chapters 24, 26). Though God’s favor had been removed from Saul, he had been anointed by God and David refused to kill God’s anointed.
David knew what it was like to have the power of God working within Him. As a youth he had defeated the lion and the bear. He also knew what it felt like to feel overwhelmed. But he knew that in those moments He had a place to run for help, hope, and strength beyond his own.
God had given him a promise and dream when Samuel anointed him to be king, but their were many years and troubles between the anointing and the coronation. When David found himself “up against a wall” of hardship, he knew God was the source of His power and skill and the only place to run when he was overwhelmed by his circumstances. It was there he found the strength and courage to keep moving, to do things that he could not possibly do without the power of the Lord with him and within him.
We need to learn to follow the Lord in trust and obedience in the same way. All too often we think so small. We need to learn that He is our Strong Tower, the place where we always find shelter and safety, even when the world seems to be closing in on us. Up against the wall, our uncomfortable place, is the place where He is and where we will find peace. It is in the uncomfortable that we grow and get to know Him even better. It is here God will train us for the battles we have ahead, too. He will equip us with the weapons we need (through the Word, prayer, and in communion with Him) to enable and empower to go forth and face the enemy knowing He has equipped us with strength, trained our hands for war, given us the shield of His salvation, supports us with His right hand, and has made us great by His gentleness.
So maybe the birds’ instincts aren’t so bad. Up against the wall, with the Lord, is a good place to be. After all, His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) is made to cover just the front of the body. No need to have a rear exit for escape. We are to stand firm in faith and trust, looking the enemy square in the face, knowing we are armed and ready because the Lord is with us. If we don’t feel ready, we need some one-on-one time with the Lord up against His Strong Tower and in His Word, soaking in His radiance and letting Him strengthen us in soul and spirit, so we are able to wield the weapons of spiritual warfare with His power, in praise with thanksgiving.
All glory to God!
Praise the Lord!
1Keep me safe, O God,
for I have come to you for refuge.
2I said to the LORD, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from you.”
3The godly people in the land
are my true heroes!
I take pleasure in them!
4Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.
5LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
6The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
7I will bless the LORD who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8I know the LORD is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
9No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
10For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy oned to rot in the grave.
11You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 8:1-11 (all) NLT