As perilous times are increasing in our nation, we look to God for divine protection. The Lord has a plan to protect those who pray and put their trust in Him.
God loves to protect and guide His people, like a shepherd caring for His flock. See Psalm 23.
Though God reigns over the earth, He has given men freedom of choice, though some rebel against His voice of reason and compassion. As a consequence, the Lord does not have total control over everything men do on our planet.* But know this—God loves you and does not want to see you hurt.
So His plan is to guide His children out of harm’s way. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit is the key to avoiding physical danger. To stay safe in a crazy world, we must be led by God’s Spirit. It is easier for God to move His children out of harm’s way than to get rebellious people not to do the evil they are set on doing.* (See footnote for a fuller explanation.)
The Bible declares in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons [and daughters] of God.” When we are led by the Spirit, He guides us not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But if you are not a born again child of God, there is no better time to believe on Jesus and enter into His covenant of protection.
Lord Jesus, I believe in my heart that You are God’s Son. You died bearing the penalty of my sins, so that I might have a new beginning and a fresh start. I repent of my sins and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. I receive the free gift of Your righteousness, which brings me into a right relationship with the Father (God). Come into my heart and make me a new creation. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for reconciling me to the Father. Thank You for divine protection and an eternal home in heaven when I die. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
God gives "inside information"
Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.”
Great thought, but how can we possibly foresee the evil to avoid it? We would all agree that God knows more about what’s in the hearts of men than the FBI, the CIA, or Homeland Security. He knows what is about to happen. He reasons with the hearts of potential offenders not to carry out their despicable deeds. But here's the point: Because He loves us, He conveys “inside information” to His listening children by the Holy Spirit. This is a distinct advantage in being a child of God.
The world calls this having a hunch or a “sixth sense.” Sometimes it comes as an “inner knowing.” Sometimes it comes as a “still small voice” speaking with great authority that we automatically obey. The conveyance of this information is a “word of knowledge,” a spontaneous impartation by the Holy Spirit of a certain fact known to the mind of God but unknown to the recipient. (1 Corinthians 12:8) These gifts are available to those who ask the Father in Jesus’ name. (Luke 11:11-13) Gifts are distributed according to the known will of God, not randomly or unpredictably. The Lord said those who ask receive, those who seek find, and to those who knock it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-11)
Examples of God's Warnings
For example, decades before it happened, Jesus warned the early Christians to flee to the mountains when they saw the Roman army lay siege to Jerusalem. (Luke 21:20-21) Those who obeyed were spared.
Through Moses, the Lord warned the children of Israel to get away from the tents of Korah before the earth opened and swallowed them. (Numbers 16:25-33) Those who obeyed Moses lived; those who rebelled did not.
An unnamed prophet in the Old Testament was told to deliver a message in a certain place, then leave immediately, not eating bread, or drinking water, or returning by the same route. When he disobeyed, he was killed by a lion. Had he obeyed God’s instructions in a timely manner, he would not have crossed paths with the lion. (1 Kings 13:1-25)
The wise men who brought gifts to the young child Jesus were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. (Matthew 2:9-12) By obeying what was told them, they protected Jesus’ life and possibly their own.
Paul was forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word in Asia and Bithynia. Only the Holy Spirit knew what trouble or possible death he and his party were spared. Moreover, when the Lord sent them into Macedonia, they had much success. (Acts 16:6-10)
The 9/11 Attack
Stories came out of the 9/11 attack of people who were led not to go to work in the twin towers that day. Others could not go for various reasons or were sufficiently delayed. Their lives were saved. God did what He could do to warn people, and the number of lives lost was surprisingly less than anyone would have expected. Such terrorist acts are no surprise to Him, and He forewarns and helps His people avoid eminent danger.
Why Attend Church?
On our part then, we must be praying, listening, and obeying. Do you need a good reason to attend church? Here’s one. Those who attend church regularly are generally more in tune with the Holy Spirit than those who don’t, and it’s easier for them to receive God’s guidance. Church attendance and learning to hear the voice of the Lord could play a life-and-death role in your life.
Occasionally, people with prophetic gifts and proven track records give words of warning. Elisha the prophet warned the king of Israel more than once of traps set for him by the king of Syria. (2 Kings 6:8-12) Agabus predicted Paul’s imprisonment in Jerusalem. (Acts 21:10-14) These are the exceptions and not the rule for the following reason.
The main person God speaks to about your life is you. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in you like He did in the prophets, and you can train yourself to be sensitive to His inner promptings. The Lord can nudge you in the heart where to go, which route to take, when it’s okay to stay, and when it’s time to leave.
So ask yourself, if the Lord impressed you today to do something different than your habitual way of doing things, would you be flexible enough to obey? If He prompted you to drive home a new way or shop at a different store than usual, would you be open to His still small voice? His promptings may not come with trumpet blasts or flashing lights, but they do come as a confident knowing in your heart that it is time to leave, or as an impression to go this way or that. Be adaptable. By praying intently before you do things and learning to hear and obey God’s promptings, He will guide you around accidents, dangerous people, and other hazardous situations. Probably He already has.
Practice Being Led by the Spirit
To be led by the Holy Spirit, start practicing now in little things. Follow your impressions. When you are in the store, ask the Lord if there is anything you’ve forgotten. If He impresses you to buy bread, obey. You may think you have enough only to come home and discover the kids just made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or someone unexpected is staying over for dinner. If you are wrong, what did it cost you? The price of a loaf of bread. Practice in the small things, so you’ll be ready for bigger things. Learn to move as the Lord guides you by being attentive to the inner voice.
When I suggest that you follow your impressions, I am not talking about becoming a flaky Christian, such as those who say, “The Lord said,” “The Lord said,” flitting here and there like a butterfly and bearing no fruit. I am talking about being responsible, faithful and diligent, planted in one church, and prayerfully open to being led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was led by the Spirit more than anyone, and He was not a flake, and those who are conformed to His image are ed by the Holy Spirit and live stable lives.
I have a good friend who is a missionary in a dangerous part of the world. There is relative safety provided by government soldiers in the cities, but in the countryside armed rebels roam freely. Yet his network includes churches in the outlying villages, which he visits from time to time. He shared with me that he prays intensely beforehand to receive God's direction and protection. Then when he goes, he announces it to no one. Being led by God's Spirit has protected him for decades.
Prayer for Safety
Father, Your Word declares that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God. I am Your child. Lead and guide my family and myself in right and safe ways by Your Holy Spirit. Help me be sensitive to Your still small voice. Direct me and my family members out of harm’s way. Guide our steps. Help me walk boldly in faith, and not be led by fear, because I put my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
- Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
- Psalm 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.
- Psalm 31:3 For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
- Psalm 91:1–8 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
- 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
*Genesis 4:5-8. There is a “test tube case” in the Bible which illustrates how God operates after He gave men dominion and free will. Cain and Abel were the first two children born to Adam and Eve. Cain became angry and murdered his brother because his brother's offering was accepted by God and his selfish offering was not. Before the murder happened, God visited and counseled Cain to control the anger that lurked at his door like a wild beast ready to overpower him (and Abel). But God had given Cain free will, like He has given us. Though the Lord knew the thoughts of Cain’s heart, He did not send an angel to restrain him physically and prevent him from committing earth's first murder. When God said that He gave men free will, clearly He meant it. To this day, He allows us all to freely choose good or evil and to live with the consequences of our decisions. I believe God counsels every man’s heart to do right, but if he chooses not to listen, those evil choices will ultimately be judged.
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