“Grace makes honest living possible” read one of my favorite tweets by Paul Tripp. And honestly, I haven’t been okay. I’m wrestling out a lot of stuff in my heart the last few weeks (wrestled to pretend it didn’t exist a few months before that) and it’s left me feeling very fragile, vulnerable, and unstable.
And that’s not God’s heart for His enemy-conquering children.
But let me just say that God’s timing is so incredibly perfect because today in a Bible study I’m working through was literally titled: What To Do When You Wake Up Feeling Fragile.
“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.” Zechariah 2:4-5
That first part, I mean prosperity sounds nice, right? So prosperous, that there aren’t walls to contain all the prosperity. Okay, awesome, but what about protection? Because, I mean, prosperity usually entices attack, or at least in my experience.
And I will be to her a wall of fire all around…
The Lord promises that where walls don’t exist, He will. Not just a wall of stone or brick or wood to keep out the enemy – no. A wall of fire! I don’t care what’s on the other side of that wall, if there’s a wall of fire between it and me, I’ll go without.
And God doesn’t just offer a wall of fire, no. It is God Himself that will make up the wall of fire. If demons flee at the sound of the name of Jesus, image what would happen if confronted by a wall of fire made of the living God?
What’s even more amazing about the whole promise is that God was not content to just offer protection to His people. He finishes it off with the promise of the pleasure of His presence inside the protection He’s offered.
…and I will be the glory in her midst.
He promises to protect us, I think mostly so that we might enjoy Him fearlessly and without reservation regarding what might approach when we’re fixed on His glory rather than checking over our shoulders for an enemy approach.
This is an interesting illustration the Lord gives because it is a true exercise in our trust and faith in Him. He promises the protection and the pleasure, but we must then faithfully trust Him to ward of that enemy. But He is trustworthy and we can be still, knowing that He is God and He can do much more than we can. We could build our own walls around our prosperity, walls of brick and mortar. We could even build walls around our lacking, sure. And if we wanted to, we could pour out an accelerant and light up walls of fire. But eventually that wall can and will be breached; eventually that wall will burn itself out. And we’ll be left exposed. But the Lord never tires and He is able to maintain that protection around His people for as long as necessary. There is no time limit on God because God is beyond time. Time need not apply to God’s existence. He will protect His children forever.
Lord, I pray today that for those of us feeling fragile, feeling emotionally weak and vulnerable, God that You would overflow our hearts with your love and your joy like the people and livestock You spoke of to Jerusalem, and make our hearts prosperous in that regard. And Lord – be a wall of fire to us. I pray that You would protect that overflowing in us from all of the attacks of the enemy that wish to rob us of that joy and make us feel unloved. I thank you, Father, for the promise that You will do this for Your people, and God I thank You even more that it is so that we can enjoy you all the more. Because You don’t save us for our sake, You save us for Yours; because You’re after Your own glory and You’re after us. And when we’re under Your protection, we’re free to enjoy all that You are, God, we’re able to bask in Your glory and worship You without fear or reservation. Thank you, Jesus! We long to be in close relationship with You. We long to be made whole by You, the way You created us in the beginning. Be to us that wall of fire, God, and be the glory that abides in our midst. We ask, expecting and believing that whatever we ask in the Name of Jesus we will receive. It is in His glorious Name that I pray, Amen.
*PS- If you know the above quote, you know the picture included. And I hope you also enjoy A Christmas Story playing 24 hours straight on TBS every Christmas Day!