Friday, May 26, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Safety

A Promise of Safety
A devotional by Essie Faye Taylor

“The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say concerning the Lord, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust: He himself will rescue you from the bird trap, from the destructive plague. He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon. Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent. For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.” —Psalm 91:1-11 (CSB)

March 2020 was a time that paralyzed me with fear. 

It was a year filled with such uncertainty, tragedy and hopelessness. Thousands of people worldwide were diagnosed with COVID-19 with no solution in sight. The scariest thing for me was that the disease was airborne and there was no cure. Daily reports came in of people all over the world dying of this unknown disease. The world was in a frenzy. Schools, businesses and public places were closed indefinitely. The entire world was quarantined, to wait for the end, it seemed. My world, like that of many others during this experience, was rocked. I was shaken to the core. During this time—just like in other times of difficulty—my faith sustained me.

Life is filled with swift transitions. My experiences with COVID-19 was certainly one of those times. When the Coronavirus hit the scene, change was swift and startling. I was afraid and I questioned God. Where was God in all of this? Why had God allowed us to experience this sudden outbreak of disease? Why so many fatalities? What was God’s message in all of this? I had so many questions, yet no answers. In this state of fear, grief, and sadness, I fell to my knees and searched the scriptures for answers. I held to one truth: God is always present with us. Even in the storms of life that threaten to take us under, God is in control.

God promises safety, even in the face of grave danger. In Psalm 91 we are assured of God’s protection for those who trust in Him. Those who dwell in the secret place of God are those who live in His presence. Some would define the secret place as a place of prayer, a place of communion with God. In essence, the secret place is close relationship with God. Living under His shadow denotes following His ways. A shadow follows you because it is in close proximity with you. Your shadow is always with you, although it is only seen when you’re under the sun. These promises are for those in right relationship with God and those who follow His precepts, principles, beliefs and walk by faith with Him. The Bible says when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

God’s security is proactive. He will rescue us from things that intend to destroy us. He knows all and has the insight and foresight to rescue us from danger seen and unseen. He will deliver us from traps set by the enemy and diseases. He will be a protective shield against harmful actions, thoughts, and intentions. As we trust in His protection and provision, we can rest and let go of our fears.

God’s security is preventative. He will cover us with His wings. We can find refuge under them.

God covers us when danger is near. He gives His angels charge over us to keep us safe from evil. His angels have the responsibility to protect us from impending harm. God is in Heaven but closely watching over us here on Earth. He covers us and keeps us safe. He has also given us bodyguards (His angels) to keep us safe against diseases and all forms of harm. There is no need to fear the terrors of night, arrows that fly by day, fierce diseases that plague humankind because God is with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). We are safe in His care. Although we see danger on every side, it will not come near our tent because we trust in God’s promise for safety.

God’s faithfulness shields us from evil. He is on our side. We don’t need to fear, only trust Him.

Call to Action:
1. Confess your fears and give them to God. Receive His safety by faith. 
2. Let go of your fears, day by day. Fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”. It brings torment. Release your fears and embrace faith in God’s promise of safety.
3. Practice walking in faith in God's Word by using affirmations from His Word.
4. Practice renewing your mind and thinking right. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). Fear that paralyzes us is not from God. He wants us to release the fear and embrace faith. We are to daily walk by faith as we follow Jesus Christ and rest in God’s safety. 
5. Remember: Our safety is secure in our relationship with God as we follow His precepts and principles in our daily living. He is faithful to shield us from harm.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your promise of safety. You have made provision for our safety daily. We are safe with You and You have promised to be with us always. You have also given Your angels the responsibility to keep us safe from dangers seen and unseen. Thank You for assuring me that I am safe. Help me to let go of my insecurities and fears. Show me how to receive Your promise of safety and walk by faith. Remove all doubt and increase my faith. Help me to rest in Your presence and in the knowledge that You are completely in control of every aspect of my life. Thank You, Father, for hearing my prayers and answering me. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1: “Psalm 91 (Live)” by Renew Collective. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2:
“Tabernacle” by Karen Clark Sheard. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Essie Taylor is an author, educator, minister, youth advocate, recording artist, podcaster, and improviser. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College. 

She is a veteran educator of Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish Language Acquisition with National Board Teacher Certification. She is an advocate of lifelong learning, language learning, and multiculturalism.

Essie is the CEO of KenMar Press, an author agency, and The Essie Faye Collection. Essie is the author of Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love & Acceptance, and Finding The Love Your Deserve: A 60-Day Healing Journal For Women of Faith.

She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. She loves God, people, and helping others.

Essie has been a Christian for nearly all of her 39 years. She was born again at 15 years old. She has been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years. By the grace of God, Essie helped to establish bilingual ministries at five churches in her young life. She is a survivor of domestic violence (verbal and emotional abuse) and marital abandonment in a prior marriage.

Essie is a Chicago native. She lives in Chicago with her husband Donald Taylor II.

Connect with Essie:

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