Archive for May 22nd, 2012

I was asked an interesting question today, “Do you feel safe?” It was in relation to the fact that we are urban missionaries and live in an area prone to crime but it really got me thinking.  I live in probably the worst neighborhood that I have ever lived in.  Yet I can honestly say that I feel safer than perhaps I ever have before.  When I look back at times in my life when I felt unsafe and insecure I see that it was really a matter of self-doubt.  It was when things were out of my control or beyond my control that I would feel unsafe.  The reality was that while I believed in God, I trusted in my own abilities.  Yet I understood the limitations of those abilities.  So then my feelings of personal safety were a function of my surroundings and how equipped I felt to handle them.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God , in whom I trust.”  Surely hew will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

It is only when I move the trust and responsibility for my safety into the hands of  God that I can truly feel safe.  It is the feeling of safety that accompanied Daniel to the lion’s den in Babylon.  (Daniel 6)  But it is also the feeling of safety that shone on the face of Stephen as he was stoned to death on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Acts 7) When our trust is truly in God then our feeling of safety is no longer dependent on our circumstances, skills or even our faithfulness.  As the Psalmist states “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

Just as our salvation is not based on anything that comes from us (Ephesians 2:8) so too is our safety, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)  It is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ which is the basis for our safety.  The writer of Hebrews beautifully expresses this relationship, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.  He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)  He is a high priest who has been assailed in every way just as we are and held firm (Hebrews 4:15) in a way that is completely beyond the ability of our fallen nature.  So then it is by His intervention that we may “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) It is this confidence in  God’s faithfulness expressed in the person of Jesus Christ that is at the base of the safety that we enjoy as His children.

So, do YOU feel safe?

“What then shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Romans 8:31, 35, 37

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