The Path of Life: “Citadels”

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A citadel is a fortified fortress, a strong and high tower at a strategic point on a fortress or city wall. These watchtowers provided a higher vantage point for those charged with sighting potential dangers and warning the city. Every night someone had to leave the comforts of the streets and dwellings the city provided to help keep the precious peace of all involved. The height and strength of the citadel provided cover and safety for men with a dangerous job.

Walk about Zion

The Psalmist is like an ancient tour guide, inviting us to journey across the centuries and tour the Holy City, the City David, Jerusalem. The Temple is magnificent, built to King David’s specifications by his son. King Solomon. The city walls, with regularly spaced citadels, were impressive and effective, keeping enemies out and citizens in. When the gates closed at night, the safety of the whole city was in the hands of the soldiers in the citadels. Their eyes were the radar of the day; their ears the antennae to detect the sounds of danger

Citadels of Truth

The days of walled cities and castles on mountains are long gone, but the danger and diligence remain. There are strong towers today that guard the peace of the church. These citadels are truths that guide us and define us.

There aren’t many citadels but there are some things that we agree on:

  • The Bible is the Word of God.
  • God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three in One and One in three.
  • Jesus is the only Savior and we are saved through faith in Him.
  • The Holy Spirit is our helper and guide.
  • God is our Heavenly Father.
  • The church is the Body of Christ on this earth.
  • The church should strive to be one, as Jesus prayed.
  • Jesus will come again.
  • We are commanded to Love God.
  • We are commissioned to tell our world the Jesus Story.

I counted ten Citadels of the faith. From these exalted vantage points we can see a great distance. We can detect the dust of an approaching enemy who tells of a different God. We can hear the music of hell wafting on the wind, even at great distance, so that distance can be kept. We must not dance to the devils tune. From these fortified fortifications we can keep our families safe and secure through the long night until the Great Dawn when our King shall return with everlasting light.

Keeping Watch

We must see the signs of war before the attack. We need to hear the noise of their gathering armies. We cannot see and hear these things from ground level, if we think and act like the world. We need elevation. We must live on a higher level of morality and truth. We need a tower, a tower of strength—Jesus is our Citadel, our tower of Hope. He will not be surprised. He will not be defeated.

We can sleep tonight safe within the walls of His grace and under the watchful eye of His Spirit.


Psalm 48 NIV
Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together, they saw [her] and were astounded; they fled in terror. Trembling seized them there, pain like that of a woman in labor. You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever. Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments. Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 61:1-4 NIV
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Proverbs 18:10 NIV
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Psalm 28:8 NIV
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

Psalm 62:5-8 NIV
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 91:1-2 NIV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Song of the Citadel

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Composer: Martin Luther

1. 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 power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name, from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2016 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

The Path of Life: "Citadels"

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