As a follow up to my last post about trusting people I have been contemplating protection and how God views protection.
It is human nature to want to feel safe and protected. Otherwise why would people build walls, fortresses, safe houses, spend money on alarm systems and buy insurance. We humans like safety. It is also a basic human need for us to feel safe. We can survive for periods of time without safety but it changes the brain and leads to illness. Humans need safety. We need protection in order to be healthy. I believe it is a basic need. We can go without basic needs for a period of time, just like we can fast from food, for we live not by bread alone but every word of God.
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
For God himself is the ultimate protector and he is the only true protector of our souls. But Jesus also cared for people’s basic physical needs, for without our needs being meet we will suffer and die for no purpose.
“I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” Mark 8:2-3
Protection is important. God sometimes calls us to leave our protection for a purpose but ultimately we all need a place of safety to return to. Especially during a time of struggle or strife. I like to break protection into 2 different kinds. Protection of my inner self, this could also be considered protection of my soul or spiritual protection. And protection of my physical body.
#1 Protection of my inner self or soul. This is were the spiritual disciplines become important. For it is prayer, meditation, study of the Bible and walking with God in relationship that protects our inner self. Accountability to others is also helpful when struggling to discern God’s truth.
#2 Protection of my physical body. Well God has gifted me other people to help with this for I often rely on community and medical care. We should have physical and emotional boundaries with people. We invest in things to make our home safe. We buy insurance and alarm systems. We should take the time to seek medical care for prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses. We need regular rest and exercise.
There are many people in today’s world that get so focused on physical protection and the physical body that they neglect protection of the inner self. Then there are those that completely neglect physical protection. Ultimately we have to be doing both to be both spiritually and physically healthy.
We have to be careful that we do not prioritize our own protection over following God, for he is our first priority and the ultimate provider all our needs but we also should not neglect our own protection. We should do both at the same time. Amen