During my elementary school days I went on several field trips to what you might call a theme park called Frontierland which was in western North Carolina. It was a big fort that you could go inside to see how the pioneers and Indians lived.
The pioneers made forts to protect themselves against the enemy. They also had a real community where the people helped each other. It would be hard to defend a group of enemies by yourself so you had help from the others in the fort.
The psalmists wrote about a fortress a number of times:
“The poor can run to you because you are a fortress in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9 CEV)
“The 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.” (Psalm 18:2 NASB95)
“Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.” (Psalm 31:2-3 NASB95)
“The LORD saves the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.” (Psalm 37:39-40 NLT)
“God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 CEV)
Martin Luther was inspired by this last verse to write his famous hymn:
“A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not His equal”
God is a fortress for those who belong to Him. In Him we have protection from our enemies. In Him we have a community of believers to help each other so that we will not feel like we are facing life on our own. The pioneers would take in strangers who needed protection also. We need to reach out to others and let them know there is a fortress where they can be safe and become part of a real community that loves and cares for each other.
We don’t have to build a Frontierland. As you live through Jesus Christ, you have an invisible fortress around you. Go invite others into the fort.
By Dean W. Masters
Owner of the The Master’s List.