Guard Duty

Call it a dream… call it a vision… call it a figment of my imagination… call it whatever you want.  I know what I saw.

PR31 and I were serving as lead pastors at a church in northeast Louisiana.  God was doing great things in peoples’ lives. The church was growing and getting healthy.  And the devil was not happy.

We began to be bombarded by fears of different kinds. Soon it became apparent to us that this was not the norm… it was something spiritual.

I remember waking up one night and sending such fear, like there was “something” or “someone” in the house and it wasn’t a human. And I recall being so afraid in the darkness.

But I also knew that we weren’t alone.  I knew that the Good Shepherd was keeping watch over us.  So I asked Him to help us. I explained our fears and let Him know that we really needed Him to protect us.

At that moment, I leaned out of bed and glanced down the long hallway of the 80-foot doublewide mobile home. What I saw almost startled me just before it instilled a great sense of comfort.  Standing in the hallway in full armor was another “being,” who I somehow knew was on our side. I could only see up to his chest because his head and shoulders were higher than the eight-to-nine foot ceiling. He was obviously not restricted by natural barriers. And he was on guard duty in our home.

As if I could see through the walls for a moment, I saw another similar being at our front door. And comfort washed over me in that moment.  The Good Shepherd had opened my eyes enough to see that “His rod and His staff” were protecting me from any harm which evil might try to bring my way. And from that time on, we did not struggle with fear in the same way.

It pays to walk with the Good Shepherd… to stay close to Him. He not only provides and points, but He protects us from the attack of the enemy of our souls.  Not matter how dark the valley, the Good Shepherd has got us covered.

If you’re battling fear today, ask the Good Shepherd to protect you and comfort you.  He’s close enough to hear your call. And He won’t let you down.

For You

Note:  This post is best read with the song “You Are For Me” by Kari Jobe playing in the background.  Just sayin’…

When an eagle soars in the sky, the wind which blows against it is not there to keep it down… It is there for the eagle’s benefit… to lift it higher and help it conserve strength.

Likewise, God’s strong stand against sin is not there to beat us down… It is there for our benefit… to protect us and draw us closer to Him.

I love Selwyn Hughes’ quote which reads, “You are not AGAINST ME for my sin, but FOR ME against my sin.” (Emphasis mine) I love it because it truly captures God’s heart regarding us and sin.  God isn’t mad at us because we have violated His commands and committed crimes against Him and others.  His heart breaks because of it.  In fact, it breaks enough that He even sent His Son to take our punishment for those very crimes we commit against Him.

So, when we set our perspective from the vantage point that God is for us, not against us… it transforms our view of Him.  And in that moment, we sense His heart full of love for us.  And in sensing that love, we are drawn to Him.

I can tell you this… I don’t avoid sin as much as possible simply because I’m trying to make up for what I’ve done wrong or to try to earn my way into God’s heart.  I live wholeheartedly- albeit imperfectly in my efforts- for God because He loves me… and I love Him… and I want to honor what He has done for me in taking my punishment for me and instead adopting me into His family.

It’s time to quit living in fear.  It’s time to stop living in regret… and guilt… and shame.  And it’s time to begin living in light of the fact that God really is FOR YOU.

And I’ll stop typing right here so that you can really focus on the words of the song. (Please tell me you found it and hit play already.)

%d bloggers like this: