" 'For I,' declares the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' " -Zechariah 2:5
God was speaking to the city of Jerusalem. In the midst of the hardship, He promised super-natural protection.
Before you go and enjoy church this weekend... before you sip tea during your next quite time, or embrace a cup of coffee during your devotion, or cozy up in some one's living room for a Bible Study... think about why you would need God to be a wall of fire around you and the glory in your midst.
What is so difficult in our lives that we need a wall of fire to protect us?
I guess what I'm saying is... sometimes we don't fully grasp the depth of a passage until we have personally experienced devastation, terror, desperation, and horror. Right now there are Christians around the world who are feverishly praying for God to be a wall around them and protection over them as they watch religious extremists be-head their family members and burn their neighbors alive. (If you have no frame of reference for what I'm talking about, go here and here to get the latest news headlines.)
Sometimes we only read scripture with the depth that our last personal "crisis" took us to. But the truth is, we can go so much deeper in our relationship with God than we have a tendency to go. And we should go deeper, for the sake of our church family.
The Bible says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness. (Eph. 6:12) Though everything looks cozy, comfortable and safe in your living room, or at the cafe... there is a war going on in the world. It's a spiritual war that is catching many in the church off guard... and I think it's primarily because we are so focused on ourselves. We pray for ourselves, our family and our friends. We don't often think of our "family" as the global church.
The next time you take a moment to sit down and pray or read the Word... take time to pray for the global church. Take time to go deeper and farther with Him, not just for your own personal growth, but for the sake of waging war against God's enemy. Pray that God would be the fire around us, the global church... and the glory in our midst.