Last night we had an unexpected storm. I was awakened about 3:30 from the sound of hail on the roof. The electricity went out, but I went right back to sleep because I was thankful to be inside my home. Some people in the world don’t have that protection and I thanked God for food on the table and a roof over my head. This morning evidence of the storm was everywhere – trees had lost their leaves and remnants of hail were still visible. I didn’t pay much attention until I pulled out into the driveway. It was then that I saw that a large section of my fence was flat on the ground and my home was vulnerable. What to do?
I didn’t want to miss church for anything and called my Kenyan neighbors across the street. It was early and they assured me not to worry they would take care of it. When I got to church I was still a little unsettled in my spirit because of the big breach that had occurred and also knew that replacing a fence could be very costly. I tried to put it all out of my mind while I was in the prayer room. How often does the unexpected arise to unsettle us and steal our peace? As I was kneeling in prayer and asking the Prince of Peace to help me overcome anxiety I felt a dear brother’s hand on my shoulder as he began to pray for me not knowing anything about my situation. I heard him say “Lord, build a hedge of protection around Sister Vicki.” Wow! Those words sounded like they came straight from heaven. I realized that the hedge of protection that is around a child of God has absolutely nothing to do with wood planks shoved into the ground around someone’s house. Oh how great our God is. As I left the prayer room I saw a text from my good neighbor saying that the fence had been fixed. The breach had been repaired.
God built a hedge around Job. Satan knew that God had protected Job who was a good and righteous man. He said to God, “Has not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” (Job 1:10) Satan knows that God blesses His people with protection.
Any good rancher has to spend time mending fence so animals won’t get out. Keeping a wall of protection requires work and “tending” just as a shepherd “tends” his flock. I was reminded how our Lord Jesus is a “good” Shepherd. He watches over us day and night and He never slumbers. The sheep can’t protect themselves. If it weren’t for the fence the wolves would devour the sheep. I have heard that at the gate to the sheepfold the shepherd will sleep so that he will be the first to be alerted to any danger. Shepherds lovingly care for their flock. In these turbulent times it is wonderful to rest in the Good Shepherd’s wonderful and marvelous love. The blood of Jesus is the hedge that the devil cannot cross.
If we sin against our God in ways known or unknown it is possible for us to break the hedge ourselves. “He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh a hedge a serpent shall bite him.” Ecclesiastes 10:8
Praise God for the gift of repentance. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes, but the Lord ponders the thoughts and intents of the heart. Today in church Bro. Simeon made a powerful statement about those who have fallen into sin. The Lord Jesus neither condones nor condemns, but He forgives when one truly repents and turns from their sin. If anyone thinks they have no sin they are deceived and the truth is not in them. Oh what a sin stricken world we are living in. Has anyone noticed how hard it is to find anyone willing to admit they are a sinner? Sin is not a politically correct word. “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin.” Proverbs 20:9
King David was the only man mentioned in the Bible as a “man after God’s own heart”. He had enough personal failure in his life that he cried out to God in Psalm 139:24 for the Lord to thoroughly search his heart “and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.” He had learned not to trust in his own righteousness, but only in God’s mercy and forgiveness to cover His sin. Oh, Beloved, we need to ask the King of kings to search our hearts for surely He is coming soon for a Bride who has made herself ready and remains unspotted from the world.