Don't Take It for Granted!
There by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, with our goods as we travelled … So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer. (Ezra 8:21,23, NLT)
Most of us take our safety for granted. So, when traveling by bike/bus/car/train/plane (choose your usual modes of transport!), we probably don’t give it a second thought. Indeed, it’s only after a crisis or accident that we consider how fortunate we are to travel all those miles each year in safety. But visit a developing nation and you will quickly discover that no Christian starts a journey without committing themselves to the Lord for protection. Of course, we could dismiss this as being more necessary there; or we could perhaps consider that the safety to which we have become accustomed has made us become casual, ungrateful and presumptuous in what we do and don’t pray about.
While we certainly don’t need to live fearfully, our safety and daily protection isn’t something that we should take for granted. Indeed, committing ourselves to God’s care is a wise and godly thing to do. Ezra certainly knew that he needed to do that, not just because the journey back to the promised land was fraught with dangers and difficulties, but because he wanted God to be seen at the centre of everything he did.
But it’s not just protection when we travel that we need. Life itself is full of all kinds of potential dangers, whether from things or from people. So wise believers will – without fear or panic, but in an attitude of dependent trust – commit themselves to the Lord for His protection. After all, Jesus Himself encouraged us to ask God to "deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13, KJV). Even – perhaps especially – in these days such a prayer is still wise.
Don’t take your safety for granted. Pray about it, thereby showing your complete dependence on God for all you do.
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:2-3)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont