He Protects Me

I have not been in many situations when I thought my prayers needed to be answered immediately because my safety was at stake, until recently. But when I cried out to Him, He heard me in the midst of the storm.r

Not long ago, I went on my first trip, with a large well known Prison Ministry group, into a women’s facility in Texas. I was anxious about going behind the walls, anxious about speaking the name of Jesus in such a dark oppressed place, anxious about my safety while behind the walls all day for eight hours. Everything was going so beautifully. God’s presence was in that place and the first six hours were amazing. We had the last session with the ladies, and as I walked out into the yard to speak with inmates I locked eyes with a dark soul and immediately was paralyzed by fear.

I was talking to a beautiful, joyful woman, listening to her story about her grandkids, the love she had for them and if you had overheard our conversation you would have never thought she was in prison. Just as I looked over her shoulder, out came a girl with complete darkness in her eyes. She looked like she was about to attack someone. Another woman comes quickly to her, standing in front of her as if she were blocking her from going any further. The speaker began her testimony, and I sat with my joyful inmate as I could feel the darts in my back coming from the angry woman seated behind me. I could not even listen to our speaker give her testimony because fear had consumed me. I quickly began to pray, “Lord, protect me. Lord, if it is your will for me to share Jesus with this angry woman, give me the words to say and take away my fear. Lord, if you don’t want me to speak with her, MOVE ME! Move me Lord, I’m afraid and I need YOU to move me from this place.” I must have repeated these words for at least 15 minutes while the speaker continued to talk. Then she stopped and said, “Ya’ll I’m feeling the Lord wants me to ask this question…”

The speaker looks down at the girl sitting directly in front of her and said, “Do you know the Lord?” The girl looked up at her and shrugged her shoulders and looked away. The speaker said, “You need to go talk to this lady right here.” She points over at ME! She said, “Ya’ll need to move over there (pointing to the corner of the yard) and go talk one on one now.” Let me tell you I still get chills thinking about the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. Protection like I’ve never had, an answered prayer immediately in my time of need. Do you cry out to Him when you need protection? Does your help come the Lord or are you depending on someone else to save you?

In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
Psalm 18:6

About the Writer:
Tamie is a stay at home wife and mommy of three kids with autism. She is a member of First Baptist Dallas and enjoys spending time hanging out at home with her family or a quiet dinner with girlfriends. Tamie is passionate about encouraging other woman in their daily walk with the Lord.

Tamie’s personal blog is about her journey rearing three kids with autism and the lessons the Lord is teaching her along the way.

Protection Against Discouragement

Like the atomic bomb of an army’s arsenal, I believe discouragement is one of the most Protection Against Discouragementpowerful and decimating of Satan’s weapons against us. Discouragement is often the basis on which we give up on our walk with God and on the mission He has called us to. Once we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Satan cannot remove us from the family of God. However, if he can manage to discourage us, he can render us useless to the Kingdom of God.

Discouragement can come in many forms, but in my life, it most often comes from those around me disapproving of me, my looks, or my work. I can quickly be shot down by harshly spoken words or a condemning look. It is literally as though someone robs the strength from my body. Satan is an expert at knowing just how best to discourage and defeat us, and when we find our identity and worth in anything or anyone other than Christ, we open the door to Satan’s discouragement.

Maybe you have experienced this as well. If you have, let me encourage you that there is hope! Though Satan’s attacks are strong, we serve a much stronger God who offers us protection against discouragement. What is this protection? I’m so glad you’ve asked! It is the truth of our identity. When we understand the truth that our identity is found fully and completely in Jesus Christ and not in the approval of others, we can stand strong against discouragement.

The story of Nehemiah is an amazing picture of a man who was used mightily by the Lord because he found his identity and affirmation in the Lord and not in what others said about him. As he led in the re-building of the wall around Jerusalem, he was bombarded with rumors about his character, his motives, and his safety (Nehemiah 6). Yet, he recognized them for what they were, attacks from the enemy without a basis in truth. Nehemiah said,

“For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, ‘Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.’ Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9

If Nehemiah had found his identity in what was being said about him, he would have jumped off that wall in order to address the rumors. The calling God had placed on his life (re-building the wall) would have never been completed, and the enemy would have had victory. However, Nehemiah faithfully remained on that wall, finding his value and calling in God alone, and recognizing the lies of Satan’s attempt to discourage him.

If you find yourself struggling with the battle of identity, being bombarded by the enemy’s discouragement, I encourage you to claim these facts as truth about who God says you are in Him:

  • You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • You were created purposefully (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • You do not have to live in condemnation (Romans 8:1)
  • You are a co-heir with Christ Jesus, a daughter of God (Romans 8:15-17)
  • Nothing can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39)
  • Your weakness allows God’s strength to be made known (2 Corinthians 2:9)
  • You have been called to walk in the worth of Christ alone (Ephesians 4:1)

“Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9b).

About the Writer:
Kate has the privilege of serving as the Girls Ministry Director at Frist Baptist Dallas.  She has a heart for helping girls come to know and build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She is also contributor to Lifeway Girls Ministry resources. 

Love More, Fear Less

Some stories you hear or read stick with you over the years. As a young girl I remember reading Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place” and being particularly affected by one recount of how God protected her from a piece of shrapnel, catapulted directly at her pillow, that would have killed her in her sleep had she not been restless and followed sounds of her sister having a cup of tea in the kitchen. It was upon returning to her bed and finding the potentially lethal piece of metal, that Corrie’s sister proclaimed that the safest place to be was in the center of God’s will.

That story and idea has encouraged me many times throughout my life to rest in the Lord’s protective care. Though the story of Corrie ten Boom and her family was wrought with danger, persecution and cruelty; ultimately God used this woman in an incredible way to share the Truth of Christ, alive and well in her soul. He never left her or stopped protecting her even in the midst of her sufferings.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…”

Whenever fear overtakes me, I am reminded that my fear reveals a shallowness of my understanding of the Father’s love for me. It doesn’t matter what the fear is, it is still a symptom — pointing to need in my spirit. And though the Lord certainly does not condemn my volatile human emotions (Hebrews 4:15), the Lord Jesus died to protect me from the penalty of my sins; He rose again to show that no power of destruction could overcome Him. He is coming back to prove that all accounts of injustice will be settled and the effects of evil in this world will completely and finally conquered. In short, He is bigger than any fear or threat.

The verse continues with the following: “…the one who fears is not perfected in love.” If demonstrating love to the Father means trusting and allowing Him to remove unwarranted fears or fear of condemnation, what good reason does one have to behave otherwise? And if the fear be looking directly into my eyes, may I still behave as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; who in the face of danger proclaimed God’s soverienty and their faithfulness regardless of the outcome (read more in Daniel chapter 3). And although I know it is really faith in action that demonstrates trust of the Father, it helps me to see the motivation behind that faith as love for my Lord.

Love More, Fear LessNot long ago, when preparing to leave church, a car parked unusually close to me and forced me to place my child’s car seat behind the passenger’s side seat. After several unsuccessful attempts to try to fit it through the tight space anyway, I was on the verge of being perturbed by the whole situation when the Holy Spirit calmed me and reminded me that God is a part of even these small inconveniences. On the way home that night something blasted through my windshield propelling broken glass to where my daughter would normally have been sitting. She was unharmed only because God was watching out for us. At once I remembered Corrie’s story and knew this was God’s sweet way of showing His love in a way that reached the deepest corners of my heart. His way of reminding me that He is forever my Protector.

“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

 

God’s Protection

It took me 3 years to fall for a boy.

It took him 20 seconds to break my heart.

It took my heart 5 seconds to throw up all kinds of walls that ran very deep to “protect” my heart from that pain again.

It took 3 years for me understand true protection from the Lord.

And it took the Lord moments to tear down my walls and replace them with his protection.

Where I went wrong during the above-mentioned years, was trying to protect myself. You see, I am not the girl who thinks she needs protection. However, I am the girl who hates bugs, would prefer not be in scary situations, and will scream if you scream.

So maybe I do need protection.

The truth is bugs, scary situations, and screams I can watch out for. Don’t go outside, avoid haunted houses, and be on guard for people who like to scream in your ear. That seems simple enough, but protection on God’s level is a hiding place, a safe haven, and a guard.

The Lord is my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble. Psalm 32:7

He keeps the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked. Psalm 12:7

He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:8

What God taught me in those three years was that I didn’t need to protect myself. I did not need to build up walls that kept people out. I did not need to define protection as a negative. I needed to let God define protection for me. I needed to see that God’s protection is more than someone standing in front of me while I coward behind them. And even more important, God’s protection is more than a knight in shining armor riding in to save the day at the very last second.  protection image

God’s protection is a refuge, a fighter for me, a guard from those who are evil. God’s protection is the light that reveals our path, is the safety we need to follow the calling He has placed in our lives, God’s protection is the hiding place we need to run to when our hearts get broken.

God’s protection is not a negative or a sign a weakness, but rather provides the strength we need to accomplish all God has set out for us. God’s protection is a constant in our lives. When I realized that God was the one fighting for me and that all I was doing was pushing people away, I suddenly realized that I had it wrong. When true understanding came, a perspective shift took place and true protection was easy to receive.

About the Writer:
Liz, just a girl who spends her days in seminary classes, spends her afternoons interning with First Baptist Dallas Women’s, spends her evenings with her friends laughing and challenging the definition of community to be something much deeper. If you need her you can probably find her watching Dancing with the Stars while on Pinterest, challenging the worldly norm of a 28 year old.