Please Fence Me In

I’ve been rereading The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel, and this morning he reminded me that we should be grateful for God’s providence in delivering us from sin and temptation.

Sometimes God gives us an affliction to prevent us from sinning.  He gave Paul an excruciating “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from pride.

Sometimes he sends a brother or sister to rescue us from doing something foolish, like when he sent Abigail to stop David from rashly killing her idiot husband Nabal.

Sometimes the Spirit himself speaks to us to avert us from derailing.  When I was single, an attractive unbeliever invited me to go horseback riding and hang out with her at her home.  But the Spirit spoke the verse “Do not go near the door of her house” (PR 5.8) to my heart, and mercifully, I declined.  God spared me from potential disaster.

Sometimes God withholds wealth or success because of the many temptations they can bring.  Nothing like a rebellious child to keep us from congratulating ourselves on our parenting.  Nothing like being needy to keep us from self-sufficiency.

We have no idea of the thousands of times God has spared us from falling into the devil’s snares.  Let’s spend a few minutes today thanking Jesus for his providence that hems and hedges us in and keeps us from the pit of destruction.

photo by code poet

  • Ron Reffett

    Hey Mark,
    Amen, I am so very thankful for God’s providence. There are so many times that I struggle with the fact that I have had no biological children and doesn’t look like that it’s going tocome to fruition. Unless my name suddenly becomes Abe! :) Even though that’s true, I feel an underlying sense of God’s providence even in placing me in the midst of a tumultuous situation with stepchildren…those three words seem to go together! :) But seriously, even though my life has not turned out in any way how I envisioned it, God is very much in control and very much providing my every need, especially my greatest need in being saved God’s wrath. He is so very good and I am so very thankful for His hand of providence in my life!
    Once again, a great encouragement for the day! Thanks!
    Ron Reffett

  • Mark Altrogge

    Thanks Ron,

    I don’t know if anyone’s life has turned out the way they envisioned it…God seems to bring unexpected challenges and trials to us all. But it is so encouraging to see your faith and the way you glorify God in praising him for saving you and for his goodness. Your faith and the words that flow from your heart are so pleasing to him!

  • Rachel Dulaney

    Thanks Mark for this very timely post. I feel like my life has been haywire lately…spinning out of control. But looking for the hand of the Lord in my life, and seeking that it be the only hand directing my life, has been the solution the Lord has brought to my attention. By His grace, He will work this in my life. He has rescued me from much, I am sure, and will draw me out of this pit I am currently in.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Hi Rachel,

    Rachel, though from your perspective your life may seem “haywire” or like you’re in a “pit”, you are glorifying the Lord by the way you are trusting in him and not running to the world for refuge. His gracious hand is directing your life and causing all things to work for your good and his glory. He’s promised to never leave you, forsake you, or let anything separate you from his love. Thanks for commenting.