Boundaries of Protection
We have heard many words of encouragement lately telling us not to fear the shaking that has begun. These words simply echo what God says hundreds of times, in several different ways, in His Word: “Fear not.” We can rest assured that our nation is anchored and protected. However, this anchoring does not negate our need to personally maintain faith and biblical principles of protection for ourselves, our families, and our friends. In this season, where terrorist acts and other forms of violence will increase, we must remain vigilant and maintain our place in “The secret place of the Most High.” (Psalm 91). This week, I want to share with you what the Scriptures tell us regarding how we do this. Today’s teaching is from my book, The Essential Guide to Prayer. Enjoy!
“When the children were young, we visited Disney World one summer. Along with the excitement of heat, humidity, long lines, and high prices, I had the adventure of visiting the Tower of Terror. This ride simulates an earthquake as experienced while riding in a hotel elevator. It was everything but uplifting.
“A few years ago, I visited the Tower of London in England. A fortress on the River Thames, this bastion has served in historic times as everything from a palace to a prison. We saw the crown jewels and, as a reminder to those who might try to steal them, many ancient instruments of execution and torture. I've never moved from exhilaration to excruciation so quickly. I mumbled, ‘God save the Queen,’ and hastily departed.
“I've also visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a 984-foot-high tower of iron framework built for the International Exposition of 1889. Demonstrating my linguistic skills and cultural awareness, while gazing at this incredible accomplishment, I shouted to those with me, ‘Vive la France, birthplace of the French fry.’
“The following story offers an interesting assessment of an infamous tower in the Bible - Babel.
“An eminent architect was under cross-examination at a trial concerning a building he had designed. One of the prosecutors, attempting to distract the man during his testimony, asked, ‘Are you a builder?’
“Immediately, the witness replied, ‘No, sir, I am an architect.’
"’But, they are much the same, aren't they?’ the prosecutor added.
"’I beg your pardon, sir, but in my opinion, they are totally different.’
"’Oh, indeed! Perhaps you will explain the difference?’
“To this, the witness responded, ‘An architect, sir, conceives the design, prepares the plan, draws all to specifications, and in short, supplies the mind. The builder is merely the bricklayer or the carpenter. The builder is the machine; the architect, the power that puts it together and sets it going.’
"’Oh, very well, Mr. Architect, that will do. And now, after your very ingenious distinction between the two, perhaps you can inform the court, who was the architect of the Tower of Babel?’
“The witness promptly responded, ‘There was no architect, sir, only builders. That's why there was so much confusion.’”(1)
“This is not totally accurate, of course, builders and skilled tradesmen know more than the architect stated. But it is an interesting and humorous observation.
“Another tower in the Scriptures is known not for its terror, jewels, pride, or confusion, but as a place of strength and safety: ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe’ (Proverbs 18:10). Psalm 61:3 calls our God ‘A tower of strength against the enemy.’
“One of the meanings of the Hebrew word for ‘intercession,’ paga, is ‘boundary’ or ‘border.’ It is the point at which two territories meet or connect. Hence, a boundary, or, as The Spirit-Filled Bible says, the extent to which a boundary reaches. Paga is used repeatedly this way in Joshua 19.
“In the context of intercessory prayer, paga is the establishing of boundaries or walls of protection; the marking of territory as one's own, declaring, ‘I will not permit intruders or interlopers.’ I love Psalm 91:1-4 from THE MESSAGE:
‘You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow, say this: "God, You're my refuge. I trust in You, and I'm safe!" That's right - He rescues you from hidden traps, and shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you; under them, you're perfectly safe; His arms fend off all harm.'
“Wow, what a promise!
“A missionary determined to take the gospel to an interior region of China experienced the sovereign protection of God through paga. Ruthless bandits along the road had prevented this area from being reached. However, this young missionary went, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. He later returned to the base without having seen any bandits. Shortly thereafter, the missionaries heard a rumor circulating throughout the area: the bandits had not attacked because an entourage of eleven soldiers had traveled with him. As he had traveled alone, the missionaries concluded angels must have protected him; but why eleven?
“The missionary wrote about this experience to his home church in the United States. His pastor asked when this had happened. Upon receiving this information, the pastor excitedly communicated his part of the story. The pastor had been prompted by God to call a special prayer meeting for this missionary. When the date of the prayer meeting arrived, the pastor was disappointed at the poor turnout. That changed after he received the missionary's amazing report. The pastor was thrilled to tell him, ‘You'll be pleased to know that, counting myself, there were exactly eleven of us who were praying for you that very day.’
“Those 11 faithful intercessors became a wall, a boundary, or perimeter of protection, around this missionary through their prayers of intercession - paga. Through them, Psalm 91 and Proverbs 18:10 became reality. God wants us, also, to believe in the power of the name of Jesus and to use it to build walls of protection around individuals.(2)
“Isaiah 26:1 and 60:18 actually speak of God's protection as walls: ‘In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security.’” ‘Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.’”
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for being a tower of refuge, strength, and protection. We do not have to wonder about Your willingness to protect us in times of trouble. Your Word says You are “a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). It tells us, “Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble” (Psalm 32:7). We declare with the psalmist, “I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4).
We realize this protection is accomplished through the application of Your Word, which includes our faith, prayers, and abiding in the secret place. We build walls and create boundaries. Teach us Your ways regarding this. We are going to grow in the knowledge of the truth this week. We will expand in our revelation and enlightenment.
We also realize we are more than Your kids; we are Your ambassadors, Your king-priest warriors, Your Ekklesia. As such, we not only pray for ourselves, we create boundaries, even walls of protection for others. Teach us to do so effectively, leaving nothing to chance. Today, we begin by securing our families. We decree that they are off-limits to all attacks - no evil will befall them, no plague will come near them (Psalm 91:9-10). We declare this in the name of our Protector, Jesus. Amen.
We declare that we will fear no evil; we are secure in the secret place of the Most High God.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Today’s teaching is taken from my book, The Essential Guide to Prayer, published by Baker Books.
Dick Eastman and Jack Hayford, Living and Praying in Jesus’ Name (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), p. 52.