Security: So what does that look like?

As a follow up to the previous post, I wanted to briefly discuss (emphasis on discuss) some practical applications of what it looks like to find our security in Christ, but also live responsibly. I would love to hear suggestions from my readers!

As our sovereign, loving Father, God does not intend to keep us from all harm. He designs the events of our lives to accomplish His perfect purpose of growing us in Christ-likeness. The means He uses are not always what we would choose. Listen to what Paul says: “You [Timothy], however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:10-13 ESV). Suffering is a guaranteed part of being a child of God as we distribute the good news to the nations. Paul understood this and didn’t limit his ministry to “safe” contexts. He followed the example of Christ who did the will of His Father, even when it brought pain. On several occasions, Christ’s disciples sought to keep him from going where there was danger, but He had the gospel in view and nothing would stop Him. His face was set towards Jerusalem. Paul was so confident of His Father’s leading in his life that he said “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18 ESV). Even though Paul endured many physical, emotional, and spiritual hardships he was convinced that this was not the true evil in the world. No, from that evil the Lord would rescue him and bring him safely to Heaven.

So what does that mean for you and me as we live in the areas God has called us to? God is sovereign and loves us and will protect us, right? So does it mean that we don’t trust Him to do as He’s promised if we install an alarm system or lock our doors? I’m just going to admit that I double check my locked doors. I don’t have an issue with taking precautions. I do have a problem with purposefully avoiding God’s call on your life because you think it’s unsafe.

I asked my husband what his thoughts were on the subject and he suggested several Proverbs. There are many examples of fools disregarding the danger of their path, while the wise discern the steps of their feet and are kept safe. So there are many principles in Scripture to support being careful and counting the cost, but there are also a number of examples of bold, courageous individuals who would not consider their safety to be more important than the gospel of Christ.

I’d like your feedback. Help me learn how to balance the sovereignty of God and our responsibility.

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4 comments

  1. I see what you're getting at. Forgive me, I have totally blanked on where it is, but there is a place in the New Testament where God basically tells us not to do stupid things and expect Him to make it okay. Not locking your doors is a perfect example of this. We live in a fallen world where real evil dwells, and not taking basic precautions is going to get you needlessly hurt. My day-to-day guide for this is that I will live safely for now, and continually ask the Lord for guidance as to when to step out of that to reach out. There are a lot of homeless people where I live, so questions of security/ safety vs. useful ministry come up a lot. Sometimes it is good for me to go up to a stranger and help. Sometimes it is not. I just try to stay sensitive to the Spirit's leading.

  2. Thanks Zoe! I appreciate your comments! I actually read a passage right after this that seemed to be very relevant. 21 iThen I proclaimed a fast there, at the river jAhava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, kto seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, l“The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. (Ezra 8) I thought it interesting that Ezra didn't want to ask for an escort because he was concerned about God's reputation and people's perception of how He cared for His Israel. They were walking through enemy territory, and it would have been encouraging to be surrounded by the king's soldiers. Yet, Ezra wanted to make God's name great before the king so he asked God to protect them. It's just like when David prayed "for Your name sake, lead me and guide me" God. It's about God glory, not our comfort and ease. Having an escort isn't wrong. It just struck me that, like everything else in life, our safety is about God's glory, and that's how we should pray. Thanks for your encouragement friend!

  3. I think the key is not letting safety hinder us from service. Not locking your door does nothing to serve people so go ahead (if you remember…). However, your safety should not be so much of a concern that you are unwilling to do what the world would see as foolish things for God. Our lives are vapors, controlled by a loving Father. Nothing that happens to us is outside of his will. And what is the worst they can do to us? Kill us so we get to be with Jesus? When we remember how big God is and how small we are things seems a lot more clear to me, placing the barriers of safety much further out of our comfort zones that we would like to be.

  4. Love it Molly! We're not supposed to fear those that can harm the body but beware of the one that can harm both body and soul

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