Making God Your Strength and Shield in 2023

Psalm 28:7 is my mantra for 2023. This post breaks it down and reveals how to stay filled with the Spirit and draw on God as your strength and shield.

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 28:7 NLT

Recognize where your help comes from

In today’s uncertain climate, it’s easy to feel bombarded with negativity, strife, and conflict—whether it comes from the greater world scene, national politics, or closer to home in your personal life. Where can you turn to for protection and help?

1bWhere does my help come from?
2My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot stumble.
He who watches over you will not slumber.

Psalm 121:1b–3 EHV

Our help comes from the Creator of the universe—Christ Jesus the Lord, who sits on the throne, interceding for us. “So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved grace, and we will find help” (Heb. 4:16 CEV).

The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper (John 14:16–17). Have you been filled with the Spirit? If not, ask Jesus to fill you (see Luke 11:13).

The Lord is your strength

Psalm 18:32 says, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure” (NIV). Call on God to equip you with strength for your journey—wherever the Spirit leads in 2023.

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Ps. 29:11 NIV). Ask for not only strength, but peace. Be a peacemaker in the new year, and reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:18 NIV).

Jesus said many times, “Fear not.” Come what may, remember that Christ is always with you and will never, under any circumstances, leave you (Heb. 13:5). “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10 NIV). That right hand will keep you from faltering.

Be joyful, for “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10c NIV). More about this in a moment…

Even if you feel weak and frail, tell yourself you’re strong: “Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:10–11 NIV

The Lord is your shield

The full armor of God includes the shield of faith. But, when the enemy lets his arrows fly, you must use it. “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:6 NIV).

Remember, you have an inheritance:

4bThis inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

1 Peter 1:4b–6 NIV

Always remain in God’s love by praying in tongues:

20But you, dear friends, continue to build yourselves up in your most holy faith as you keep praying in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you continue to wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which results in eternal life.

Jude 20–21 EHV

Trust in the Lord

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV

Partial trust is untrustworthy. Trust God with every fiber of your being. Call upon the Lord and recognize His influence in every area of your life. Doing so enables God to chart your future through 2023 and beyond.

6Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
7They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

Psalm 112:6–8 NIV

“‘No weapon that has been made to be used against you will succeed. You will have an answer for anyone who accuses you. This is the inheritance of the Lord’s servants. Their victory comes from me,’ declares the Lord” (Isa. 54:17 GW).

Rejoice in the Lord

The joy of the Lord is your strength. But how can you be joyful in troubled times? By exercising your will to be thankful and happy for your blessings.

Be gentle in all your dealings with others who may also be struggling. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Php. 4:4–5 NIV).

The fruit of the Spirit is joy (Gal. 5:22). Continually sowing to the Spirit will ensure a continual harvest of spiritual good: “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:8 NIV).

Singing songs of praise is a good way to stay happy in the Lord.

18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:18–20 NIV

Look up

When the going gets rough, it’s easy to become downcast. But Jesus said that, as tumultuous events of the end days begin to play out, “‘…stand up and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is approaching‘” (Luke 21:28 ISV).

When Stephen testified about the Messiah, “[he], full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55 NIV).

Keeping yourself full of the Holy Spirit by looking up to Jesus and His victorious position enables you to see God’s glory. “We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne” (Heb. 12:2 GW).

Look up for that joy which is your strength. Rejoice in the Lord in every situation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. God will shield you and lead you to deliverance.

But you, O Lord, are a shield for me. You are my glory and the one who lifts up my head.

Psalm 3:3 EHV

Remember that God wants to bless you. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jer. 29:11 NIV).

May God bless you richly as you bless others in 2023!

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