Skip to main content

Don't go there....

When I was in the military, I pulled the assigned task of "guard duty" on a few occasions. The thing that struck me most was that I was guarding "stuff" that I really had no clue that anybody would want, but it was supposed to teach me the skill of ferreting out friend from foe! Sometimes I'd be assigned to the motor pool, while I would just walk a perimeter around some place where others slept peacefully. Did I find I had to ward off intruders all that much? No, but I was ready! You never know when the enemy will attack, or at what location. So you "prepare" for the worst and pray for the best!

God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always. (Psalm 121:7-8)

God's watchfulness over his children is much like that of the one who diligent fulfills his role of 'guard duty'. When intruders come, we want to know we can answer the question, "Where does my help come from?" We need to rest certain in the fact our "help" comes from God and no other source. It is he who guards our very life, now and always! To guard means that someone or something is kept safe from harm. There is a watchfulness over that person or thing that keeps it out of harm's way. Did you also know that to guard refers to keeping a watchful eye so that the one being guarded does not escape or engage in misconduct? God does more as the "guard" over our lives than just keep us safe - he also keeps us from escaping his care, running toward those things that will harm us, and reminding us of the pain that our misconduct will eventually end up costing us. What a faithful "guard" he is!

As my children were born, there were things I did to "guard" them from injury. One of the simplest things was to purchase those small plastic caps that fit tightly into the electrical outlets. How did I know to do this - to guard them from electrical shock? Truth be told, I learned by experience - my own blunders of sticking pointy things into those small holes as a kid! I "covered" the small holes that could injure my children because I had already experienced the painfulness of my own "misconduct"!
God places "safeguards" in our lives, much like the outlet covers I placed for my kids, in order to prevent loss, injury, or damage to our reputation. Just like my children, we often resist those safeguards because we think something "good" must be on the other side of the safeguard - something is being kept from us that we 'deserve' or 'want'! I periodically watched as my children took small fingers and attempted to manipulate the plastic guards from those outlets. Each time, I'd remind them that they should not play with the outlets. Guess what? To my knowledge, my kids never got the "jolt" of playing around with electricity - because of my preparation and my guard!

God doesn't want to "keep us from the good stuff" - he is working overtime to keep us safe from the "bad stuff" that leaves us feeling 'jolted' by life! Safeguards don't mean we aren't curious about what is "on the other side" of the safeguard (boundary). All it means is that we have something that stands between us and the object of our desirous attention. God leaves the response to the "safeguard" he has placed for us totally in our court of decision. Much like my kids pulling with all their might to get that plastic plug out of the outlet, we often find ourselves "pulling with all our might" to remove the safeguards God has placed in our lives. Did you realize that there are a ton of synonyms for "guard" in the Bible? Here are just a few: shield, shelter, watch, defend, bulwark, watchman. God must really want to get the point across that we need "guarding"! The next time you see one of these words, look at in the context of what God says he is doing for his children as their shield, their defender, a bulwark, or a watchman. It may just open a whole new meaning for you about the value of God's "guarding" boundaries in your life. 

Aren't you glad that you have someone as dedicated to your safety on Guard Duty in your life? The next time you hear, "Halt, who goes there", you might do well to actually stop and ask why God is halting your forward progress. He might actually be trying to get you to realize the error of your steps, not to keep you from something good in your life, but to keep you safely within the boundaries that help you to avoid all things evil in it! The first step to enjoying the safety of our boundaries is understanding where we are about to cross over them! Then the next step should be the one that alters our course! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

What goes in...

We can 'swallow' things both in the literal sense and in a figurative manner. Swallow your mashed potatoes and meatloaf at dinner and you have eaten dinner. Swallow a really bad scheme and you have potentially set out on a path you will come to regret. What goes into a man or woman is as important as what comes out! When the right stuff goes in - the right stuff is more likely to come out! So many times we focus more on what "goes into" the body and completely miss the importance of what it is that "comes out" of that same man or woman in the form of action, attitude, and exemplified values. There was this day when the disciples were being criticized for not "washing" prior to partaking of their meal. Trust me, this was not based upon a real concern that the disciples practiced good hand-hygiene to reduce the spread of micro-organisms! It was a "custom", plain and simple, that they were 'bypassing' - and that drew the attention o…