Wednesday, August 19, 2015

At the ready

A recent TV commercial shows a rather largely muscled, foreboding gentleman dressed in a suit standing guard in front of a person's house.  In the commercial, the premise is that nothing gets past this particular security system you can have installed and pay for each month.  The idea of this "body guard" of sorts is kind of effective to make the point - someone is standing watch over your life.  I have never been famous enough to need a body guard, nor have I had enough wealth to support such an expensive "personal protection" service for my home. I have gone into some pretty scary places, unarmed with natural weapon, nor supported by any burly dude big enough to stand up to any attacker who might come my way. I have been awakened to some "creepy" noises and wondered if someone was about to pounce on me in the dark of the night.  I haven't felt the need for another protector in my life because I have the privilege of being protected by the biggest "body guard" there is!  He not only protects my body, but my soul and spirit, as well!  

The Lord is your Protector. The Lord stands by your side, shading and protecting you. The sun cannot harm you during the day, and the moon cannot harm you at night. The Lord will protect you from every danger. He will protect your soul. The Lord will protect you as you come and go, both now and forever! (Psalm 121:5-8 ERV)

A protector is one who stands in defensive mode in your life - one who is at the ready to provide whatever intervention is necessary to see that your safety is assured.  Whether it is attack, invasion, potential loss, or just plain annoyances which are coming upon you, the Lord stands ready to defend.  Attack is the idea of being "fought against" in a violent manner.  It isn't just a call to give over your jewels and wallet, it is a lunging of full force against you in order to overtake and over-power you.  When we think of being "attacked", it brings to mind the hostilities of aggressive and over-powering behavior.  Invasion carries the idea of "entering into" your life - unwelcomed, often unnoticed, but with the intent to do harm.  We think of germs as "invading" forces which enter into the body and then set up shop to do their destructive work within you as their "host" for their activity.  

To understand personal loss, one must have something they don't want to lose. I often put things away so carefully because they are important documents, treasured items of some sort.  The day comes when I just want to get those out and use them for some purpose - and don't you just want to kick yourself when you have done such a good job "putting them away carefully" that you can't even find them!  To experience loss, one must value something.  For anyone to take what you value indicates they get close enough to you to actually take what you once had.  In other words, to experience loss you must have experienced the possession of something - the greater the value that possession is to you, the harder the loss will be felt whenever someone takes it away.  In thinking about annoyances, they are many and too innumerable to list, but you will likely understand that they are nuisances which you really didn't want to have to deal with, but there they are and now you are faced with the challenges they present.  

God stands as our defender from attack, invasion, loss, and just plain annoying things.  He is on the ready - at the guard - not like the burly guy in the commercial, but as the defender of our souls, spirits, and bodies.  His "impressiveness" isn't his "size", but his authority.  The truth is we can invite things into our lives which we might not like the resulting problems which come by having welcomed them into our lives, but God isn't to blame for the bad stuff which comes when we do.  He still was standing guard - we just didn't let him do his job! We opened the door for the attack, or invited in the thing which is giving us the greatest of problems now.  In essence, we knew he set up a defensive to not allow these things INTO our lives, but we chose to "shut down" his defenses by our rebellion and self-determined behavior.  It is as though we "ducked out" on our body guard and now we find ourselves in a "problematic situation".

When we embrace the authority of God in our lives, we can rest assured we will be upheld by his hand.  When we resist it, we can also be assured he will not leave his post.  He is at the ready to set in order what we allowed to create chaos in our lives once we come to the recognition of the futility of our misguided "judgment calls" which allowed us to "skirt" his authority.  This is called restoration - something we'd need a whole lot less of if we'd just trust his "defense" of our lives a little more!  Just sayin!

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