Safe & Protected

 

LKR032459I have a security alarm in my home so that if someone comes into my home during the night, I will be alerted. If it is one my family members, they know the code to bypass the alarm. I have to admit that I rest better at night knowing the home is secured. I do have “other means” of security as well, those will remain private.

A few nights ago, the security system mal-functioned just after midnight and I wasn’t home. At that point, it became an irritating and obnoxious system. It needed a “reboot”. It is now working fine.

Jesus explains His position as the Son of God and the keeper of His sheep (followers, disciples, believers). He is like a farmer who knows his livestock and gives them each a name. He feeds them and provides for them. He watches out for the sick or weak. Check this out…

24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” (John 10:24-30 NLT)

As I walk out my faith daily with the Lord – He and I talk a lot. We talk about everything. We talk about the little things and the big things. We talk about whether I should eat that piece of candy (sometimes I don’t listen) or not. I want Him involved in every facet of my life. He gives the best counsel. He gives the best directions. He leads me where He wants me to go. I’m also listening to Him so that I can say what He wants me to say.

I feel safe and protected wherever I am and whatever I’m doing because I know that the Lord is with me. I don’t worry because I’ve surrendered to His Will and His Way for me. I want my life to bring glory to Him and not to me. I want Him to be noticed in how I live. He keeps me safe and protected for Himself. If I were to get sick, hurt or killed – I want those events to draw attention to my total trust in the Lord. I will die one of these days and He alone knows how or when that will happen. I want my life and my death to bring glory and honor to Him. Having my total trust in Him is the ONLY way I feel safe and protected.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Surround

Smiling manI have believed for many years that a wise leader will surround themselves with wise people. It could be argued that if a smart man surrounded himself with idiots, he would then become one. I do believe that our environment has influence upon us, maybe not to that extreme!

When I’m watching TV and the police surround the place where the perpetrator is, you know it’s just about over, unless he had an escape route planned via tunnel. At night when I set the alarm system of my home, I feel like I’m surrounded with some level of protection. I would probably feel a lot safer, if I had secret service level of protection. The Psalmist writes about the Lord’s protection. Check this out…

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people
    both now and for evermore. (Psalm 125:1-2 NIV)

I feel safe surrounded by the Lord.

I feel protected surrounded by the Lord.

I feel loved surrounded by the Lord.

The Lord’s surround protection works in two ways. He protects me from enemies coming in to attack and He prompts me when I’m stepping outside His protection.

I’m also part of Southern Hills Christian Church and I feel a level of protection from my fellow followers of the Lord. I find encouragement in these surroundings. I find inspiration from my brothers and sister in the Lord. I was also reminded of a passage in Hebrews. Check this out…

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

I’m surrounded by the Presence of God.

I’m surrounded by the People of God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Delivered & Protected

 

delivery guy knockingI will admit that I love Amazon.com and Prime membership. It is so easy to shop with a little research and a few clicks and the item(s) I ordered are on their way. It makes Christmas shopping easier as I can avoid long lines and large crowds. One of the important components of online shopping is the delivery and protection. I’ve had to return very small items ordered and I’ve had to return large items and Amazon makes it simple. With my Prime membership, I often get my items with free 2-day shipping and there is protection for me if the product shows up damaged or broken.

As I was reading Psalm 34 this morning, I realized that David was writing this passage at a tough time in his life. He had pretended to be insane before the priest to save his life. Check this out…

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,

    and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;

    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:7-8,18 NIV)

I need protected and delivered. I am walking through life, often unaware of the dangers that try to harm me. I’m often unaware of people who want to take me down. I am learning to trust the Lord with the simplest details to the most complex. He protects and delivers. He even protects me from myself. I am often my own worst enemy and I can get in “self-destruct” mode. I need Him to pick me back up and put me on my feet again.

When I am low, He lifts me up.

When I am high, He keeps me grounded.

When I am sideways, He sets me upright.

I need His Wisdom and Discernment quite often. The wisdom He gives has protection and deliverance built right in. I will trust Him with all that I have and all that I know. He leads, He protects and He delivers.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Protection

 

ProtectedI don’t often think of all the steps I take in protecting myself. I wear proper clothing to protect myself from the weather. I have protections inside my home. I have protection systems on my computer equipment.  I have also sorts of physical protection in place and I was reminded this morning of the spiritual protection I need to go along with the physical protection. Check this out…

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;

    let me never be put to shame;

    deliver me in your righteousness.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,

    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,

    for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;

    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,

    for you saw my affliction

    and knew the anguish of my soul.

23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!

    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,

    but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart,

    all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:1,3-5,7,23-24 NIV)

I feel safe in the Presence of God. When I’m threatened – I can feel safe with the Lord as my Fortress and my Rock. The Lord is with me always. He & I can face anything that comes my way. He knows my fears. He knows my doubts. He knows my heart completely and He loves me anyway. I find strength in knowing He can handle whatever comes my way.

My Rock, my Fortress, my Refuge, my Protection, my Counselor, My Deliverer – He is the Lord of all.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Go Ahead

 

go aheadOne of the things I do first thing in the morning is to think about and plan the day that is ahead. I look over my calendar to see what all is scheduled for this day already. I then prioritize what needs to be done to be ready for each appointment or meeting. I have learned over the years before I plan my day or even look over my schedule –my first meeting of the day needs to be with the Lord. I need some time to be quiet before Him and allow Him to speak into my heart. The Lord has permission to completely rearrange my schedule. I want to be on His calendar rather than just have Him on my calendar.

The prophetess, Deborah was leading Israel. She was meeting with people and holding court to help give counsel and advice to people with disputes. She was following the Lord and leading her people. The Lord gave her instructions to speak to a man named Barak. She told Barak to gather ten thousand men and go to Mt. Tabor that the Lord was going to deliver the army of Sisera into his hands. Barek obeys this charge and he gets the men upon the mountainside of Mt. Tabor looking down. Here comes Sisera with his well organized army with iron plated chariots, and hundreds of troops. Check this out…

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?’ So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. (Judges 4:14-15 NIV)

The Lord did go ahead of Barak and delivered his enemy. The Lord goes ahead of my all the time. I arrive and things are in place because the Lord came ahead of me. I also know that the Lord is beside me (both sides) and watches out for me. He directs my steps and protects me. He also has my back. I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, but the Lord’s protection is all around me, under me and over me. I don’t want to go anywhere that the Lord does not go before me. I want to walk out my faith in confidence. I love this song “Whom Shall I Fear” (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin.

You hear me when I call

You are my morning song

Though darkness fills the night

It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

 

You crush the enemy

Underneath my feet

You are my sword and shield

Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

 

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

The one who reigns forever

He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

My strength is in Your name

For You alone can save

You will deliver me

Yours is the victory

 

Whom shall I fear

Whom shall I fear

 

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

The one who reigns forever

He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

 

And nothing formed against me shall stand

You hold the whole world in Your hands

I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Vulnerable

Man praying with the BibleThere are mornings when I’m writing this journal entry regarding my journey with the Lord and I feel very vulnerable. I feel like I’m sharing my life openly to others. I have found it to be a struggle at times because I don’t want to show my struggles or my weaknesses. I also know that the Lord wants me to be honest and open. He has walked with me through my own struggles and I know He will always be there with me. I can’t stop talking about His Presence in me even if others see this as some sort of fantasy. I can’t stop walking out my faith, even if others think I’m fake. I can’t quit serving the Lord even if others think it makes me look weak and helpless.  I sometimes find myself being completely honest and open while others are not being honest and open with me. Paul was having this same issue with the church at Corinth whom he thought were close friends. Check this out…

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NIV)

 

I know what it feels like to have love withheld –it’s painful. I also know what it’s like to withhold love – it feels powerful, but it’s so judgmental and wrong. I would rather be honest and perceived weak than be perceived to be powerful and be shallow and fake. The only authority I have comes from my Creator. My journey with Him keeps me vulnerable and humble before Him. I am strong because He lives in me and walks with me daily. I want to keep walking out my faith by being real, honest and open. I know that the Lord knows my heart and my intentions. With His Presence, I’m safe, protected and oh so blessed.

Pressing On!
Dwayne