Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Divine Protection

Scripture: Psalm 91 v 1-10: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  
2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.  
3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  
5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  
6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  
7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 
8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 
10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

These are the promises of our Lord for those who love and obey Him.  We hear of random terror attacks aimed at soft targets in big cities around the world.  Travellers, tourists, schools, shopping malls, churches, coffee shops or wherever people gather for entertainment like concerts and cinemas, are vulnerable to these attacks.  It creates a climate of fear.

Psalm 127 v 1: "A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

If the Lord is not watching over our cities, we are vulnerable so how do we ensure that He is protecting us?

Firstly, to find out if we are in danger of sudden or unpredictable terror attacks, we should pray before we go out into trouble spot areas.  We should seek the wisdom of He who knows everything so we can avoid becoming a victim of terror.

Before we plan an outing, ask Jesus if that place is safe for us to be there.  The Bible says, he who asks receives.  He will answer you.  There are various ways He does this.  Most often He will lead you to a verse or passage of scripture.  It may be simply two words in Romans 3, God forbid!  

In Acts 16 Paul was forbidden twice by the Holy Spirit to journey into Asia.  He waited until he was shown where he should go in a dream.  God speaks to us like this too.  He wants to keep us safe but we need to ask and if He says No then do not go.

Secondly, the more Christians there are living in your area, the more prayer is going up to Heaven.  God sees and hears and responds.  So if Christians are thin on the ground, that's your workspace.  Start sharing the Lord's love and forgiveness all around.  Onward Christian soldiers!

There is a brand new group on Facebook for South Africans called "#I'mStaying"!  It started a month ago and has grown to nearly 600,000 people of all races and colours.  Suddenly, we are really talking, sharing, loving, forgiving, laughing and crying together, without point-scoring political interference.  

We have been held at bay by militant black politicians screaming all whites should die, and not being held to account, so it festers and breeds distance and division.  On this new group it is total unity, cross-pollinating ideas, jobs, customs, language.  It's truly beautiful and I can feel the Spirit of God protecting and encouraging it.  It's not a religious platform, but love and forgiveness are God's blessing to all.

So instead of joining thousands of fleeing South Africans, fearing complete collapse of the infrastructure, those on this group of Stayers are finding new ways to unite the nation and bring about the change we need.  Not through protests, strikes, destruction, anarchy and riots but through love, joy and peace.  

Thirdly, Jesus Christ is our Rock.  He is the Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.  There is a gap in that Rock for every one of us to hide from terror.  He shall cover us with His feathers, like a mother hen covers her chicks.

There was a great testimony of a Christian lady who had her bag snatched as she walked through some shops.  She yelled, I am covered with His feathers!  The thief stopped in shock, dropped her bag and fled.  The Word of God is powerful.

We are alive IN Jesus Christ.  In Him we live, and move and have our being.  No weapon formed against us shall prosper.  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

The closer we are to Jesus the more protection we have, not only against demonic terrorists, but against disease, theft, accidents, injury and untimely death.  We can safely trust Him to deliver us out of danger.  He never said we could always avoid storms and trouble, He said He would be with us in it and see us through it.

Jesus preached whenever we try to save ourselves we lose, and whenever we lay down our lives for our brethren, we find life.  If we must die then let it be for Him who died for us to live.  When we pass from this life we will be with Him forever.  Alive, alive, alive forevermore.

This message is to exhort you all to seek the faith the original apostles had.  It is an overcoming power that frightens Satan.  Faith frightens him because he has been defeated by those who refuse to compromise.  Like those three brave Jews, Meshech, Shadrack and Abednego, in the book of Daniel.  They defied the decree of King Belteshazzar to bow down to a golden image of himself whenever music played, or be thrown into a fiery oven. 

That scares our enemy! When those three Jews declared no matter if we live or die we will honour our God, there is nothing much he can do except try to kill us and hope it doesn't backfire on himself.  Which it will regardless of where we end up.  Jesus says we must never compromise our faith.  He will always see us through and we must trust Him to do it.

Jesus is the Captain of the Lord's Host, and He is ready to do battle against the forces of darkness.  We do not wrestle against flesh and blood people but against spiritual wickedness in high places.  The demons we fight are in corrupt leaders making corrupt laws;  in criminals, gangsters, druglords, warlords, Satanists, cults etc.  Jesus has an army of warriors, Christians who do battle through prayer.  And we get attacked for being on the frontline, and we need divine protection all day every day.

But we now know our enemy and all his tricks so it's easier to outwit him.  We have the full armour of God, and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We have spiritual weapons that pull down evil imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  And Jesus is with us guiding our prayers so that we are effective against our enemies.  This is the calling of Watchmen who must be alert to danger and give warnings for the flock to take cover.

So trust in God and pray that all ministries work effectively and in unity with His divine purpose, so that the Father's will shall be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven.  Rejoice that all believers and followers of the Lamb are covered by His Blood, the power to protect against death.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, the storm clouds gather but Jesus, the Light of the world, shines through them to give us divine protection from enemy attacks.  Hear us when we pray, Lord, and guide us through the minefield of terror, fear and death, to the glory of Your presence in the midst of fire.  Thank You for always being with us to love and help us.  In Jesus' name. Amen.