The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Psalm 141:8

“But my eyes are fixed on you O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge ... keep me from the snares they have laid for me”

The study took the form of a multiple choice questionnaire in which one filled out how much you thought about particular aspects of God’s character.  At the end one would see areas where one had a well developed view and others with a weak sense of who God is.  All well and good, yet this study was much more significant than a theology quiz.  It brought up issues that affected my life.  It is amazing to me looking at this at how my concept of God can so affect the way I trust him, or more importantly, don’t trust him.

One of the issues that came up when I did this study was the area of God defending me.  I thought that this was very odd since as far as I could see I had a very strong sense that God could protect me from all sorts of dangers that might intrude on life.  Surely there could not be any connection with how much I thought about a particular characteristic of God and how I actually lived.  Then I realised that there was another issue: when it came to me walking into a trap I could not see how God could protect me.  My mind went back to something that had happened just a few days before.

I had been invited to a meal with some top people of a project that I was working on.  I am sure that I was the most junior person present.  During the meal, I was talking with one of the directors and the conversation began to drift towards what I did outside of work.  At this I beat a hasty retreat to safer subjects.  Basically I could see the question of my faith coming up and I was not sure that I could trust Jesus to watch over me with a subject of that nature, not if I was walking down a path with the full knowledge of what was ahead.  In other words I could trust God for the situations in which someone actively attacked, but I could not trust him to save me from a situation that I was walking into.

As I began to study passages from the Bible about God and his protection I came to a passage that really struck home.  “Keep me, O Lord from the hands of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.  Proud men have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.” (Psalm 140:4-5 NIV)  What struck me here was that David knew that there was a trap set for him.  He knew that it was on the path that he was walking in life.  What I would have done in such a situation, is that I would have jumped off the path.  I would not trust God to rescue me from walking into something that was there just waiting to be set off.  David on the other hand prayed to God to keep him, to protect him from the trap, or to get him out if he is in fact trapped.

I began to see that one of the difficulties I had in witnessing about Jesus was, that I did not trust him to look after me and take care of me if I opened my mouth.  A better understanding of who he is has helped a lot.  I still fail more often than not, but he continues to work on me in this area and as he does I learn more of the reality of his ability to protect me from the traps set for me.  How much better to set my eyes on Jesus and follow him, than always being on the lookout for problems to avoid.