Devotional for Friday, June 30, 2017 with Jim Lucas, pastor at Grace Point Lebanon, PA.
We all want protection. We protect everything. We protect what we deem valuable: ourselves, our belongings, our families, our jobs, our security. Truly, everywhere you look, you’re protecting. For instance, a few simple ways: an umbrella to keep us dry; shoes to protect our feet from getting hurt; a hat/sunglasses/sunscreen to protect us from getting sunburned; a hard hat around construction; a glowing vest as we walk alongside a road; a list of guidelines for daycare workers/Sunday School workers; a screen protector for your cell phone; you protect your eyes, and use repellent against those pesky mosquitoes! The list is endless.
What about more serious areas? Your home – home insurance; Life – life insurance; or the fact that many people have a combination safe in their homes for their ‘valuables;’ and health insurance – yep need coverage protection there (no, I will not digress here!). As a parent, you find ways to protect your kids, your house, your car. And we think of those in the armed forces who serve to protect our country! We build in protection around ourselves. Why? Because we were designed that way by God. It’s His nature to care for and protect us, to shield us from the enemy; to keep us safe. It’s natural to think about because it’s in our spiritual DNA. We find it natural to protect nature around us (trees, forests, etc), the animals we own or see in the wild; or the ozone layer! Protection is a good thing; a great thing in fact. There is something comforting in being protected. I remember as a child growing up, and having those times when I was scared, or worried, or afraid, and I’d get in either my dad or my mom’s arms, and they’d hold me tight. My immediate thought was: “na na na na na, you can’t get me. I’m safe here.” And nothing could harm me, because I was protected by my dad/mom. What a GREAT feeling and reality.
David says in Psalm 91:1-2 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure (like me tucked & cradled in my dad’s arms), and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, “He is my Refuge and my Fortress, My God, in whom I trust with great confidence.” I have experienced this verse over and over again. Know this, your heavenly Father is your Refuge; your High Tower. Run to him. The Ultimate Protection is when you and I are abiding (not just visiting) in the mighty arms of Jesus; when we are living daily where He is. Psalm 91:4 reminds us that “He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions (this is cool: the outer part of a bird’s wing included the flight feathers. He will cover and protect you to the very end/tip of the length of his arms!!), and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a wall. Grab the picture, friends. God is our ultimate protection. No one else. Not your wife, your kids, your job, your posessions. Just God. So trust in Him through the precious shed blood of Jesus, who has redeemed you, and rescued you from the pit. Don’t be found WITHOUT protection because you are out on your own. Satan will be on the lookout for you, on the ‘prowl’ waiting to devour you. So be steadfast in the Lord, and experience Psalm 91:8b-9 “you will only be a spectator as you look on with your eyes and witness the divine repayment of the wicked as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High. Because you have made the Lord…your dwelling place.” The Ultimate Protection Book is the Bible. “Don’t leave home without.” And The Ultimate Protection…living in the holy, awesome presence of Jesus. If you value your relationship with Jesus, and if that is your highest, most important thing you value in your life, then claim His protection. Live joyously. Live protected in the arms of Jesus.