I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
When people lack a relationship with God, they lack an eternal perspective on life, so they will often look for security elsewhere. Maybe in their jobs, their homes, their families. But all these things are temporary and won’t provide the sense of safety or security that they need. But it can happen to us as Christians too.
I’ve mentioned before that I went through a difficult time after Ross had recovered from cancer. During this time, a well-meaning friend suggested that my sense of security was in Ross, so when I thought he might die, I was emotionally lost. This turned out to be true and I had to learn how to find my security in God. However, this person also suggested that the reason I married Ross, was because I saw him as a confident person in whom I could find my security. I was quite annoyed. It made me sound inadequate and needy. Nevertheless, I did think what they had said.
I realized that a sense of dependence on Ross had crept up on me. Ross is more extraverted than me, it was easy to start relying on him in social contexts. A couple of years after we were married I stopped working and started having children. All of a sudden, I was at home looking after a baby and I often felt incompetent. Babies can do that to you!
By the time Ross was diagnosed with cancer, I had indeed become dependent on him. Even though, it wasn’t the reason married him. It was a slow process, trying to figure out why I had allowed this to happen and how could I find my security in God. Today, I’m sharing with you some of the things I learnt.
People cannot provide us with the security we need, even the most loving people. Human beings are fragile, we can’t predict what will happen tomorrow. People can let us down through no fault of their own. It’s only as we trust in God that we can feel safe. There are other places we might be tempted to look for security. For example physical places:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).
There is a lot of media coverage these days about the effects of global warming on our weather. We have television shows about extreme weather. If we weren’t Christians, it could make us quite nervous. However, as this verse in Psalm tells us even if the mountains fall into the sea, we do not have to fear God is our refuge and strength.
Another place not to look for security is financial gain. “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:7-9).
Trusting in money, is like building a house on the sand, it isn’t going to provide security when the storms of life hit us. And lastly don’t look for security within ourselves. “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe” (Proverbs 28:26).
Insecurity is caused by depending upon worldly things that we don’t have the ability to control. We can’t control the weather or the stock exchange, and despite our best efforts we can’t control our spouses or our families. The only safe place isn’t a physical place, but a spiritual one. “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10)
The name of the Lord refers to God’s character, his reputation, and his nature. When we know God’s character, that he is a good God, we can feel safe in him. Jesus knew character of God and this is what he prayed. “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me” (John 17:11-12 ).
Jesus prays, that God would protect his disciples and us, by the power of his character, protect them through the strength of his goodness and grace. When people have a phobia, like public speaking, they are often asked what is the worst thing that could happen to you? Often they respond by saying, I could die!
As Christians, dying is actually not the worst thing that could happen to us. Paul writes: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
If we are living solely for our career, then to die would be loss. If you we are living for our material possessions and a fancy lifestyle, then to die would be loss. If you we living solely for our family, then to die would be loss. But if we are living for Christ, then to die is gain.
David wrote: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
It is only in God we can feel fully secure.