Saturday, June 4, 2016

Scaredy Cat, Fraidy Cat, and a Hedge of Thorns.

My sister has two cats and their names are Scaredy Cat and Fraidy Cat. Their names say it all, right? One day she looked out her window and saw two little kittens hovering around her porch, but the minute she opened the door, they ran down the hill as fast as their little legs would carry them. She began putting food out for them and they would timidly walk up to the porch to eat, but guess what happened each time she opened the door? They took off back down that hill and stayed there until they were hungry enough to venture up the hill and to the food they knew would be waiting. Hence, the names Scaredy and Fraidy came into being.

Now, it wasn't a big deal for Scaredy and Fraidy to be intimidated by people, but it is a big deal when believers are intimidated, scared, and even afraid of what unbelievers will say about them or do to them.

In Luke 13, Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem to face His final days here on earth. As He makes His way through towns and villages He teaches the rich truths of the gospel and touches the lives of those He meets. In verse 31 a small group of Pharisees warn Him that Herod will kill Him, just as he had killed John the Baptist and Jesus tells them in no uncertain terms that he (Herod) can not. Others had tried. But each time He was safely delivered from their evil plans.

I know what it feels like to be intimidated by women who do not respect my conservative Christian convictions. I know what it feels like to be fearful to walk into a certain group or be asked ridiculous questions about my faith, and though I have not had my life threatened because of who I am or because of my beliefs, the fear is just as real.

Herod, the Pharisees nor anyone else could do anything to Jesus before His time. Jesus would not die before His time because He was in the will of God and was hedged in by a wall of divine protection. Did you know that you cannot die until God says so? Oh, people may say terrible things to us and about us, they may exclude us and ignore us and even threaten us, but we are surrounded by a wall of divine protection. If we are living in His will to the best of our ability, if we are faithfully serving Him, we are protected until our life's mission here on earth is over and then He safely takes us home to be with Him for all of eternity.

After you are saved, you have a mission; God weaves together your talents and your spiritual gifts and then He gives you work to do. Work in your home and work outside your home and work to do in the church. People may not like what you're doing and how you are doing it, they may even try to stop you, they may do all sorts of things to discourage you, but they cannot because you have a hedge of protection around you.

The term "hedge of thorns" is an Old Testament term. When the Israelites were at war, they would take thorn bushes and make a hedge of them and then stand behind the hedge and fight their enemies. No enemy wants to charge a thorn bush! I don't even like the small ones on my rose bushes, much less the large thorn bushes that dotted the landscape of Israel. In New Testament times, it became a way of praying for God's protection from those who wanted to stop the Christian movement. Have you ever prayed and asked God "to place a hedge of thorns around you and your loved ones to protect them from their enemy?" Oh dear friend if you have not, I encourage you to begin to pray today for that hedge of protection. When God places that hedge of protection around you, your husband, your children, your home, your church, absolutely nothing and no one can penetrate the hedge. The enemy may get close to the hedge; he may shoot an arrow or two and he may cause an injury, but he cannot take your life. Only God decides the number of our days.
And that, ladies, is what gives us the freedom to safely move around our little worlds and serve Christ, our families, and our church, knowing that God is in complete control of what happens to me; He holds the hedge.

Now, I may make some foolish choices and go against God and because of those choices He may pull the hedge back just a little bit, but He still has all authority over my life and He controls the hedge. The Pharisees, the leaders of the Jews, nor anyone else could take Jesus' life and when the Pharisees told Him that Herod was going to kill Him, read what Jesus called Herod, and what He told them in Luke 13:32, 33.

Jesus could not be intimidated; He knew Who He was and He knew exactly what He was doing. Ladies, don't let the world intimidate you. You DO NOT have to use the restroom with men. You DO NOT have to condone the killing of innocent unborn babies and you DO NOT have to be intimidated by reports of jobs, the economy or anything else. If you are a Christian and you are standing with Christ, the world may throw some mean stuff at your hedge, even other believers may not like your stand on biblical truth, but as long as that hedge is around you, they can't get you. Jesus had an assignment from His Father and no one could stop Him and we, the church, have an assignment from our Father and no one can stop Him.

Ask God today to keep high that hedge of thorns around you; keep it high around your family, your church, our nation and the nation of Israel. Our God is faithful and He desires to give us blessings beyond measure and He'll fight for us; all we have to do is stand behind the hedge.

Now I would like to be able to tell you that Scaredy and Fraidy got over being a scaredy cat and a fraidy cat, but alas, they did not. In fact, they had kittens that learned the traits of their parents and they, too, were scaredy cats and fraidy cats. (another post for another time) But the moral of this silly little story is this: don't be a "fraidy cat or a scaredy cat", but be a spiritually strong woman of faith that refuses to be intimidated or moved by the evil forces of this world because: "I'm behind the hedge."

Love to hear from you.


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