Ezra 8:21 Seeking God’s Protection

Girl on forest road

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. Ezra 8:21 

Traveling a long distance can be stressful for some people. There is a lot that can occur on the trip. This becomes especially true when there are many different roads to turn on, or flight changes, or bus changes, depending on how one travels.

Fear of missing a transfer or a turn can rise up in a person. Along with those fears, one can fear a breakdown of the vehicle, or danger of other drivers. If one is traveling through an area that is also dangerous, it can raise fears or concerns.

People want to be safe and know that they can make the trip safely with no problems. They seek out the best routes to travel to be safe. They find the best methods to travel.

Ezra was traveling back to Jerusalem with a large number of people to settle there. On the road back to Jerusalem, there could be some problems, so he and the people fasted, humbling themselves, and put themselves into God’s hand for protection. They trusted God’s protection, rather than seek the king’s protection.

While people do go physically traveling a lot, there is one trip that every person is making–life. Traveling through life can reveal a lot of dangers, especially for the believer. The world does not want the believer to be successful in traveling through this life into eternity.

There are the normal dangers of injury, setbacks, breakdowns, and sickness, but with the believer there can also be dangers of persecution and ridicule. The believer must be ready for anything.

The best way to be ready for the trip through this life is trusting in God. Allowing God to provide the needed protection as needed and when needed.

You are not in a position that you can make the trip without any problems along the way. You cannot provide all the needed protection, only God can do that.

Instead of trusting people and the things of this world to get you through this journey of life, humble yourself and put your trust in God. Only God can protect you, your family and your things through this life into eternity.

Know that God will bring you safe to the other side, if you trust Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God’s protection in your life; that you will travel the path God has for you in this life; and that you will see God’s hand of protection daily. 

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2 Samuel 22:31 The Perfect Refuge

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“As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” 2 Samuel 22:31 

A common topic around the world is people who are refugees or immigrants. People are seen every where fleeing from oppression and war to find safety in a new location. They want to find a refuge that is safe from harm, danger or oppression.

As people travel from one nation to another seeking refuge, sometimes they find the refuge that they are seeking. Other times the trouble that they are fleeing from, they find in the new location or they find a different type of trouble. There is no perfect place for them to be.

Immigrants often face very large difficulties and prejudices in the places that they travel to. They types of troubles change, but are still there.

David had found the place to find refuge in, no matter where he had gone. They place was in God. They ways of God were perfect every time. His words were perfect and true. There could never be found any fault in them.

There are many people who do not really trust God’s word. They don’t see it as perfect. They are told that God is love and that He cares for them, but then they see troubles and hard times. When they go through those difficult times, they feel as though God’s word in wrong and that He really does not love them.

The path that God can have a person take in this life can be a difficult one, and it will be at times. There will be times of trouble, pain and suffering. Yet, that path is the best path.

God uses struggles and pain to help build a person to be the one He wants him to be. It can help move a person to where he needs to be. It is perfect. In the end there is perfect peace and eternal life, worth all the trouble.

During the times that you are going through a difficult time, do not doubt God’s word or way for you. It is still perfect. God is building you up to be just like Jesus, who did not have an easy road in life.

Take refuge in God and in His word, knowing that they are perfect for everything that you need. In Him you will find peace and rest that the world will not give you.

I pray today that you will know God’s word to you; that you will know God’s ways for your life; that you will trust God and His words to you; and that you will find refuge in God and His word. 

 

Numbers 34:2 Boundary Lines

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Command the Israelites and say them: When you enter Canaan, the land that you will allotted to you as an inheritance is to have these boundaries: Numbers 34:2

In life it is very common to have a boundary line. Countries, states, counties, and cities always have a boundary line. These boundary lines are put in place to show where ownership is located. The authorities are not able to cross those lines with their power.

Even individual people have boundary lines on their own personal property. They often will put up a fence to let others know where that line is. They want to protect their property from their neighbor.

As the Israelites were getting ready to go into the land of Canaan and take the land, God gave them boundary lines where they could live and own. They were not free just to live anywhere, but in a specific area of land.

This type of boundary is often accepted by most people. However, there are other types of boundaries that are not always accepted as easily. Many businesses have a dress-code boundary for their workers. They are given boundaries on how they can dress for work. There are boundaries on how fast a person can drive down the road, boundaries on what a person can say in public, how a person may act.

God has also given people non-physical boundaries in this life. The believer is not to step over the boundary line into sin. They are not to stray off the path that God has set them upon on their journey to heaven. They are not to step off into the boundary of hate and harm, but to stay in the boundaries of love.

Boundaries are set by God to help each person individually and everyone as a whole.

Although it is common to not fully understand why God has set up a boundary in your  life, you can trust God that it is for your benefit. God never sets boundaries without love in mind.

Do not be like some people and attempt to step across the boundary line into territory that God has forbidden you to take. Keep clear of the line so that you will stay in God’s purpose and will for your life.

Know that God has your best in mind when He sets the boundary line. It is for your benefit, not to hold you back.

I pray today that you will know the boundary lines God has set up in your life; that you will stay on the path God has for you; that you will trust God’s choices in your life; and that you will know the inheritance you have in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 39:17-18 You Will Be Saved

But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 39:17-18

As the Babylonians began to overtake the city of Jerusalem, the king of Babylon gave orders to protect Jeremiah. Jeremiah was allowed to stay in the courtyard of the guards, under their protection. While there, God gave him a word to a Cushite man. This Cushite man had chosen to trust in God, so God chose to protect him and save his life.

There are times when God allows a major disaster to strike an area. In the process of that disaster there are many that are injured or even killed.  The ones that are injured or killed are those who are believers and those who are non-believers. There are also many who are not injured or killed because God chose to have mercy on them.

In the Old Testament, the people did not have the assurance of life after death, as a believer does today. For those who are believers, one thing that stands true, regardless of the physical outcome of the situation, is that they will have life in the end.

God has promised a day will come in which He will judge every person on this earth. He will also completely destroy the earth. For most people, that is a day to be feared. However, those who are believers in Jesus do not need to have any fear. Their trust is in God.

Believing in what Jesus had done for you, means you trust God has forgiven you of all your sins. You do not need to be afraid of the judgment that will come. In reality, you do not need to be afraid of any destruction that comes your way. You have the assurance of eternal life, because you trust God.

As each day goes by, there will be times that you may face terrible things, but you can rest assured that you will live. You may not live on this earth much longer, but you will live for eternity with God in heaven. Trust that God will take care of you and keep you alive in Christ Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will know that Jesus will save you in the end; and that you will live for eternity with God someday. 

Isaiah 4:6 Shelter And Refuge

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

Despite the fact that God was in the process of destroying Judah and Jerusalem, He had plans already in store to build it up again. God was going build a shelter over Mount Zion–Jerusalem. In the manner of protection that God gave Moses and the Israelites in the desert, He would be a cloud by day and a flame of fire during the night.

At times, clouds can seem like a bad thing. They tend to indicate rain or storms, and they block the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Yet, they can be a blessing in blocking out the heat of the sun. Knowing that rain is coming can be a blessing for the farmer.

In the same way, a flame of fire can appear sometimes as a bad thing. Seeing flames in a field or on a home is usually a bad thing to be occurring. Yet, flames will also provide warmth. In the night, the flame can keep the wild animals away while one is camping. Burning a field, can often remove the unwanted weeds, diseased plants and cut back the bugs, all of which can be a blessing.

God is over your life both day and night. He provides shelter and refuge for you to dwell in. When you are in His presence, nothing can do anything to you without His permission.

The world is going to try hard to get you to fall and give up on God. The world does not want you to succeed as you follow Jesus. Satan does not want you to be a good witness of who Jesus is.

Yet, God will put a hedge of protection around you that will shelter you in the heat of the day. When the world is putting pressure on you to commit a sin, you can run to God for shelter. When the world is threatening you in the dark to harm you, you can flee to God for refuge.

God will never leave you out in the cold to be destroyed. He is there for you, to take care of you and provide for all of your needs. Trust Him and do what He asks of you and see His great hand of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know God’s protection in your life; that you will run to God for shelter; that you will know God’s peace in the storm; and that you will not give in to the ways of this world.

God’s Protection And Favor

IMG_1037.JPGWe live in a double-wide manufactured home in the country. We have oak trees all around the house, several within just a few feet of the house. This gives you a slight picture of what our place is like.

This last weekend we had a large storm that rolled through the area. On Sunday evening, at about 7:30pm, we heard a large crashing sound and the house rumbled some. A couple of my boys suddenly noticed that there was a tree laying down on our porch outside.

I went out in the rain and looked at it. Along with that tree on the porch, there was another tree leaning up against the corner of the house. I immediately went back inside to see if there was any internal damage.

At the corner of the house where the tree hit, is a bathroom. Above the bathtub in the corner, the ceiling was partially caved in. Water was coming through in a solid stream. The amazing part in the water coming through, was that it was running straight into the tub and down the drain. This was the first protection of God in this terrible situation, along with that fact that no one was hurt at all.

With it raining hard, I knew that we could do nothing about it that evening. I just praised God that it was draining into the tub.

About one hour later, the power shut down on us. We had no lights and our water supply is from a well with a pump, causing no water available.

As this was happening in the great storm, we lost cellphone reception and all internet connection. We could not look up what was happening or if the power company even knew about the power outage. There was no way of knowing how widespread the outage was or when to expect power back on.

Since it was extremely dark in the house and there was nothing we could do, everyone went to bed around 9-10 pm. I have a family of eight children. All were home at the time this was happening.

Around 1:30 am, I was awoken with a very loud bang that rumbled the entire house. I jumped out of bed and began to head through the house to find out what had happened.

As I was going through by flashlight, the power was still off, I met one of my boys coming towards me with a flashlight, also trying to find out what had happened. I looked outside and could not see anything other than a large tree covering our porch.

I went back in to the bathroom and saw a large surprise…part of the ceiling was completely missing and one wall had a huge hole in it. I could see the sky with no problem through the bathroom.

Going back outside, I went around the porch and the fallen tree to see what had happened. The second tree that had been leaning on the house had fallen the rest of the way. It took out the wall behind the bathtub from floor to ceiling, along with a section of the roof.

The next blessing at this point, that God had blessed us with, was that it had stopped raining.

Four of my children helped me then to start putting a tarp over the hole and roof of the house.

While we were doing that my wife stayed with my youngest children and worked to calm them down. Two of my boys were sleeping in a room right next to the bathroom and so they heard and felt the shake really bad.

It took about 3 hours to get the tarp on the roof and over the missing wall. I knew the plastic that I used was not great, but knew it would be better than nothing. It would at least keep some of the rain out of the house.

At about 4:30am I was able to go back to bed. Since I normally get up around 5am, I was wide awake by about 6:30 and unable to sleep.

I got up and started doing my devotions and normal morning things. At about 7am someone drove up to our house. I did not recognize the vehicle so I went out to find out who it was. It was a friend from our church that had heard of our situation and showed up with a chainsaw ready to work at removing the trees.

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Immediately we set to work at cutting the tree branches down and moving them off the porch. At about 8am two more friends showed up to help. Several more called and said that they would be there at some point in the day. One of the friends that came, had come with two of his friends, who we did not know, to help out. Several people had a chainsaw. Our neighbor allowed us to borrow his tractor to move the parts of the tree to a burn pile area on our property.

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One lady showed up with food and water for everyone to eat. It was enough food and water to feed an army. This provided more than enough food for everyone working. This was the next blessing from God.

By around 2pm, we had both trees completely cut up and moved over to burn piles, the house had two tarps covering the hole in the roof and the wall completely, and the hole inside the house was patched over.

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The amazing thing in all of this was that the weather forecast the entire week was to be rain every day. God gave us the entire day with absolutely no rain at all. It was very beautiful weather to work in, not too hot, not too cold. God was pouring out His blessings on us in the midst of an extremely hard and dangerous situation.

God also blessed us with the fact that during the time of the cleanup, no one was injured in any way.

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Right now we are waiting on the insurance company to get an inspector come out to see what the damage was and how much they will pay. We don’t know how God will get all of this fixed, but we know that He is in control.

Not all of the people who helped us were members of the church that we go to, but they were believers in their own churches. This was a great example of how the family of God takes care of its members, regardless of denominational differences.

Along with this, throughout the entire situation, God helped me to remain calm and not get angry, as I normally would have. I had a peace that was supernatural and a strength that was only from God. God provided help and strength above what I had expected. Without His help and the help of all the friends, it would have taken us several days to get the trees cleared.

I want to encourage you, that no matter what you are going through God is right there by your side. He can give you the strength that you need to make it through your situation. God loves you and I and promised that He will take care of all of your needs. Trust Him today and give Him praise, even in the storms of life.