A number of years ago, while living on a small farm in South Africa, my mom was visiting us from Durban. As always, these times were very precious. We were all relaxed, enjoying our time together, when suddenly, we heard some gun shots. They were very close to our home. Ken and his secretary Denise were in the office next to our home. Ken quickly came over to the house to make sure we were alright. Then he decided to go and see what the shots were about. We had this beautiful driveway lined with trees, but on that day, it seemed like a long walk.
My mom and I immediately began to pray and felt such a peace. Denise joined us. Our 15 year old son, Clayton followed his dad. We could still hear the shots and later discovered that some passed right by Ken and Clayton. But Ken had an assignment in God. A well organized gang of thieves had held up a store. Across the road from where we lived there was a dirt road where the getaway van had been parked. As the gang was changing cars, the police arrived and shots were fired. One policeman was shot and later died. The police did catch the whole gang only to discover that they were part of a bigger group. The whole group was caught and brought to justice.
Ken arrived on the scene moments after the policeman had been shot. His partner that day was his brother. Ken was able to pray for the policeman that had been shot. His brother joined in the prayer. He too was a Christian and while he did lose his brother that day, having a brother in Christ stand with him in the center of it all, added considerable strength to him. Ken went to the hospital later and again was able to stand with him.
So how could Ken and Clayton walk fearlessly into danger? How did we have peace in the midst of danger? I do believe it is the amazing grace of God. It is nothing within us that could make that possible. Rather, it is who God is and with Him all things are possible.
I often think back to that time and I reflect on the keys God used both then and at other times. Of course God is not limited to any specific key, but there are keys that God uses again and again. In this case, the main key was the Word of God.
Living on a small farm in South Africa as we did at that time was not really safe, but God had provided it for us. We therefore knew we were in His will. (That was one key.) Over the years, God had, through His word, strengthened our faith muscle in the area of protection. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. As I had battled with a spirit of fear as a young Christian, I had really focused on scriptures that opposed fear. In particular, I found such strength in Psalm 91:1, John 4:4 & 18, Isaiah 43:1-7, Psalm 23, Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:13, Romans 8:15. These scriptures I had read over and over.
The Word of God comes to us in the seed form. As we nurture that seed, revelation of the truth of that Word comes. So how do we nurture that seed?
- When we read the Word of God, we can simply read it and it won’t mean much to us. Or we can read it with a hunger in our hearts for the truth of that Word to take root in our hearts. When we read it with that heart, the soil of our hearts is ready to receive the Word. It is an attitude of interest, a desire to learn. It is leaning into the heart of God while we read. When we do this, we hear the Word of God.
- A seed grows all on it’s own but it does need to be watered and it needs the sun. In the same way, we need to water the seed of the Word by retaining it. We meditate on the Word. We hold it in our hearts. It is like really tasting every bite of food you eat.
- We then with perseverance stand firm on the Word of God with our eyes fixed on Jesus, not on our circumstances. God in His amazing grace presents us with some little opportunities to enable us to grow in the truth of His Word.
On that day, when God’s peace pervaded our dangerous circumstances, His Word was the foundation. God had seed to work with; seed that He had given opportunity to grow. Slowly it had grown and when needed, the revelation of God’s protection was there.
God’s grace is sufficient for us in every situation. I often think that I could not go through something that I hear others going through. And it is true, as right then I don’t have the grace to go through it but they do. When something comes my way, then God gives me the grace to walk through it in Him, as He did that day on the farm. Faith rose up based on His Word and fear did not enter our household. The whole event was covered by the amazing Grace of our Lord Jesus. We were able to pray for all concerned. Ken and Clayton walked in safety and Ken was able to stand with a brother in Christ and pray with him.
Thank You Lord for Your Word. This Word that brings us revelation of Who You are. This Word that unfolds the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to us. Mark 4:11. This Word that brings healing to our whole bodies: Proverbs 4:20-22. This Word that is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path: Psalm 119:105. In addition Your Word:
- Renews our minds: Romans 12:1-2
- Is our foundation for life: Matthew 7:24-27
- Teaches and corrects us: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Trains us to life in right standing with God and people: Proverbs 13:3, 21:3, 16:23-24
- It breaks open hard places – it is a fire and a hammer: Jeremiah 23:29
- Is the Sword of the Spirit: Ephesians 6:17
- Probes the heart and mind: Hebrews 4:12
- Shows us who we are and moves us on: James 1:21-25
- Brings conviction: Acts 2:37
- Gives life / salvation: 1 Peter 1:23
- Matures us: 1 Peter 2:2
- Produces faith: Romans 10:17
- Heals us: Psalm 107:20
- Gives hope: Romans 15:4
- Washes us / sanctifies us: Ephesians 5:26
- Builds us up and gives us an inheritance: Acts 20:32.
Isaiah 55:11 …my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Thank You Lord for Your Word.