For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..." (Psalm 23:1)
I shall not want, I shall not lack; I shall not be in need of anything... Simple words but with a powerful meaning. We know the shepherd's responsibility is to take care of the sheep. We've been told that sheep are a bit "stupid so we know they certainly need to be taken care of. Pretty much like us. We may not want to admit it but we can be a bit "stupid" sometimes too. Or maybe lots of times!!! We see danger and we still run straight into it. Many times problems and trouble seem to run to us like a magnet, we can't avoid them. Yes, we need taking care of and that's what our Shepherd is there for. He is there to guide us through the pitfalls of life. He'll prevent some, He'll take us through others. Once you belong to Him, Jesus is obligated to watch over you, to take care of you, to protect, you, that's His job. Here's the problem: He knows that, but we don't or at least we don't seem to fully understand that. We run away from His care like prodigal children. We want to do it all our own. We want to do it our way not His way and when we get stuck, we wonder why. When we get hurt, we wonder why He didn't prevent it, why He didn't stop it, why He didn't warn us. But . . . He did. We just didn't listen because we were too busy doing it all ourselves. Yet, He is such a gentle Shepherd, He does not force His will on us because He has given us free will, the power to make our own choices and decisions, even to reject Him . . . or accept Him, if we so choose.
Yet, if we look carefully at His role as outlined in Psalm 23, it is one of tender, constant and sure care, concern and love. He provides, He protects, He keeps, He comforts. No enemy whether human or non-human can overcome us. He is always there, watching over us, covering us, protecting and sustaining us. So what's our role in all of this? We see His clearly. Our role is to trust. To trust that no matter what comes our way, He's got us and not just us but the problem, the situation, He's got ALL of it. And if He's got ALL of it, it means nothing ever has Him; nothing ever catches Him by surprise or throws Him off guard. Nothing can knock Him off His throne. Nothing can take away His power and authority. So why do we worry? Because we always look at things from our limited, weak perspective instead of from His powerful, steadfast one. Our God never fails! No matter what comes our way, it CANNOT come unless He allows it! It CANNOT touch us unless He wills it! If the devil had to get permission to touch Job, how much more us?!! As children of God we are covered, we are protected. And if ALL things work together for our good, then that means that it will ALWAYS work our for us no matter the fire, no matter the storm, God will use it to even perfect us.
It will work out for our good, for our "best." So, why worry again? We don't have to. Why not just trust God instead. He's got it. He's got ALL of it. Nothing has Him or ever will. He is not wired to be controlled but to ALWAYS be in control!!!
“It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You. This is how I fight my battles.”
These words are the lyrics to a song sung by Michael W. Smith from his new album. Actually, these are the only words in the song, yet I find these words a powerful reminder of God’s covering and protection over our lives. They bring to mind a story in the Bible in 2 Kings 6:8-17. The king of Syria was making war with Israel. Whatever plans he made, God revealed to the prophet Elisha and Elisha in turn warned the king of Israel. When the king of Syria found out that his plans were being exposed by Elisha he sent an army to surround the city where Elisha was staying. Imagine a whole army for just one man! When Elisha’s servant awoke early the next day and saw the army surrounding the city with horses and chariots he became afraid. Elisha’s response? “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” He prayed for the Lord to open his servant’s eyes and the servant was able to see that the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire from the Lord all around Elisha.
Many times we feel surrounded by life’s problems. Hopelessness, fear, anxiety may set in and we may feel that it’s all over. All our natural eyes may see is the problem that seems too big for us. We don’t see any way out or through the situation. Defeat seems sure and help seems so far away. Maybe we need to do what Elisha did. He knew His God was protecting them. His servant couldn’t see it so he had to ask the Lord to open his eyes to see the protection that was all around them.
We too may need to ask God from time to time to open our eyes to see His covering and protection all around us. But note: the enemy may be all around, he may have invaded your space, your territory, where you are, in order to steal from you, to kill you, to destroy your destiny and your future. But be encouraged, God is surrounding you too. The enemy cannot touch you unless God allows it. And once God is surrounding you it means He is surrounding the enemy that is surrounding you. So, God surrounds you to protect you, but He surrounds the enemy to defeat him. Notice I’m using the word “him” and not “them”. We tend to forget that the real enemy is still the devil. He may use people, situations and things to try to destroy us but ultimately he is the mastermind behind it all; he is still the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.
So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by the storms, trials, stresses that life seems to sometimes bring your way, remember that you may feel surrounded and trapped by the enemy but God is also surrounding, protecting and keeping you. And by the way, that line of the song that says, “This is how I fight my battles”? That line refers to praise. While you are surrounded, one of the greatest weapons you still have is praise. And praise serves to remind us that we are surrounded by the Lord’s horses and chariots of fire sent by Him to fight for us!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.