If I was preaching I would say, “Everyone say ‘I’m surrounded!’” Did you know that you’re surrounded? It sounds like a bad thing right? Some of us would agree by saying, “I know I’m surrounded. I’m surrounded by trouble. I’m surrounded by pain. I’m surrounded by fear. I’m surrounded by doubt. I’m surrounded by my enemy. I’m surrounded by _________________.” I mean, just fill in the blank. It’s easy for us to believe we are surrounded only by what is harmful to us. But did you know that you are surrounded by good things as well? But that’s not even strong enough language. You aren’t surrounded by good things, you aren’t even surrounded by God things, as a follower of Jesus you are surrounded by God Himself. Do you realize that?
I love how Scripture speaks to Scripture. The reality is that one verse of the Bible can stand alone if it has to, but it always also points to more Scripture. It’s part of the way that Scripture is alive! It stands alone but it strengthens itself at the same time. I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, let me explain how God revealed this in my own life.
One of the things I do before every service where I preach at Element Church is kneel down in my office and pray some Scriptures over our property, over our people and over myself. I believe there is nothing more powerful to pray than God’s written Word. So I have a prayer routine I go through where I pray Scriptures over us and ask God to fulfill them on our behalf.
One of the verses I’ve been praying for years is a verse God gave me when I was going through a season of fear. I was “Surrounded by fear.” Deuteronmy 31:6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
In a season of fear God gave me a verse to have no fear for He is going ahead of me. God is more than a God of yesterday, or a God of today; He is in fact the God of tomorrow. He already knows what is coming my way so I need not fear. He’s waiting for me at tomorrows burden or He’s waiting for me at tomorrows blessing, so either way I need to trust Him. The God of tomorrow.
Another time, I was again facing a season of fear. Only this time it was a specific fear. It was actually the fear of preaching! Not that I was afraid to preach, I actually love to preach. I was afraid of preaching what God had told me I needed to preach. I was afraid of the response of the people. In the midst of that fear God gave me this verse.
Jeremiah 20:11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.
Whoah! You see where I’m going with this yet? The Lord goes before me and the Lord stands beside me. Then just the other day. I wasn’t facing any fear or going through any season of difficulty. I was just spending some time with God one morning. I was in the book of Isaiah. I was reading in Isaiah 58 when I read this.
Isaiah 58:8 Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
And that’s when it hit me! I’m surrounded. I’m surrounded by the glory, majesty, power, provision and protection of God. The God of yesterday, the God of today and the God of tomorrow. Each one of these verses stood alone, but together they strengthened each other and they strengthened me.
I’m going to face trouble. I will experience pain. I do have an enemy and I will come up against trials and sorrows of many kinds, BUT… My God will personally go ahead of me, He’s standing beside me like a great warrior, and His glory will protect me from behind. I’m surrounded! And as a follower of Jesus so are you!
What do you believe you are surrounded by today? Be encouraged that no matter what it is, you are also surrounded by your God!