I read a story in my devotions this morning about a lady who moved with her family to a new place. They had a beautiful woods with a little pond, and her boys played for hours - exploring, catching frogs - it was paradise to them. She started worrying about them tho - about poisonous snakes and spiders, drowning in the pond, and even mountain lions. Here is what her husband told her: "If you start down the road of fear, there's no stopping point. You may as well stay at home with the doors closed, huddle in a corner, and shiver. The world is full of dangers. But God is everywhere. He will keep his children safe."
I have been struggling with fear lately. Not fear of rattlesnakes and mountain lions or anything like that, but fear of the future. Fear that maybe I don't understand God's plan for my life. Maybe I'm making things up, planning my own life, and pretending that it's the voice of God. And fear of temptation. What if I face something that I'm not strong enough to handle? What if God speaks to me through his Holy Spirit and I don't understand it, or ignore it one too many times, waste my chance, and never hear it again? Also we hear so much of the church being tested, drifting... and I wonder, what if I wake up someday, far from God, and it happened little by little, and I didn't ever notice?
Psalm 91:9-16 "Because thou has made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation."
I believe God gives grace to anyone who decides to be a Christian... the very first day, no matter who they are or what they've done, they will have new power. But I feel that there is so much safety in making the Lord our habitation. Dwelling "in the secret place of the most high" day after day, month after month, year after year. Our Christian lives can get stronger with time, and as we are with other strong Christians, are careful about what we read and think about, and put God first, we have all the reason in the world to trust God to keep us safe. If God says in the Bible that he will give his angels charge over me, do I think that maybe he doesn't have enough angels to go around? That I will be left alone for even one minute of my life, let alone days or years? He knows there is evil all around me... He has promised to protect me from the lion and the dragon. He says he will make sure I do not even stub my toe... That means he wants protect me from every evil, not just the "big dangerous sins." Even though I walk in a world full of evil every day, I am protected if I make him my habitation. That's all he asks. He will do his part. I need to believe that he knows me. He made me, and he knows just how to speak to me and guide me so that I will understand. And if I don't understand, or even if I fail to listen to his Spirit right away, he will try again tomorrow. I don't need to fear the future, or the evil in this world. God will never let me wander away from Him and His truth without doing all He can to protect me. That's His love. That's who He is.