My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Joy comes by Life from God, through God, and for God as revealed in the Bible. (Romans 11:33-36) The Protection & Provision of Christ are the third and fourth ‘P’s of that good news. I list them together because God revealed them as complimentary on the same day of creation. But each is significant in sequence and substance, so we will address them separately. You can see His Protection from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 on the next video. God willing, we’ll begin addressing His Provision in Christian Joy 104.
But, just like all the other ‘P’s, we tend to define Protection and its goodness for ourselves. Note that God protects and provides on the third day revealing two sides of one metaphoric “ground work” for Eden and the fifth ‘P’: Christ’s Purpose to walk with Him. (Genesis 3:8) Although both ‘P’s are necessary, fearful people tend to focus more on the need for protection. And the sequence of God’s creation is important, too. When fear tempts us, day one teaches us that Christ’s presence secures our value by His death in our place, and His plain-speaking on day two reveals our real problem: idolatry. That’s why 2 Corinthians describes some heartaches as proper longing for God’s kingdom but others as fears for our kingdoms. So, our real threats are temptations to idolatry. In the next video my Mom and I discuss some specific needs for good news in protection for our spirit.
For our view of protection (as with the other ‘P’s of the gospel) is always tied to our sense of purpose. More specifically, we tend to protect what we see as key provisions (resources) for our purpose. E.g., if I primarily long for closer relationship with God, I will protect my time and energy to invest them in Him. But if I love my wife above all else, I will protect those resources to invest in her above all else – even God. If my highest goal is my children’s success, I will protect their resources of knowledge, skills, confidence, reputation, etc. for their advancement. If my greatest love is rest, I will protect the “white-space” on my calendar against more work on the job or at home. If I have even a momentary purpose of being appreciated, I will protect that moment from any distractors from others appreciating me. Again, our sense of purpose defines our key provisions and, therefore, our view of protection.
In the video below I share some examples of physical protections for military personnel and compare them to our need for spiritual protection in Christ. Before you watch the consider some of he points outlined below and reflect on our greater protection that only Christ Jesus can give.
- Our greatest threats are temptations. (Luke 11:4, James 1:2-18, 1 Peter 5:8-11)
- Neither self nor others are our ultimate protection. (Mark 14:38, Rom 6:20-23)
- Only Christ by His Spirit is fully faithful to sanctify us. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)