Right into the danger zone

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. John 17:12

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15

Highway to the danger zone

I’m gonna take you

Right into the danger zone

Highway to the danger zone

Right into the danger zone

                 – lyrics by Tom Whitlock

With the Presidential campaign in America in full swing, and the issue of safety already turning out to be one of the key elements being addressed, I thought it might be good to talk about what the Bible promises about safety, and the answer is a resounding: Not much. 

The only time safety is talked about directly in the New Testament is in the prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17 when He knew that His time with them was drawing to a close. In His prayer He tells His Father that He has protected the disciples while He was with them, and only one had been lost (Judas) and that was a fulfillment of scripture. And then He asks His Father to protect them, after He leaves, from the evil one while they are in the midst of a dangerous world.

If this is God’s intention for us in relation to safety, it’s a pretty radical departure from that safety that so many are seeking, and politicians are falsely promising. (I say “falsely” not to purposely put down any candidate, but to drive home the point that no one man or woman can keep every citizen of this country safe; I don’t care who they are.)

Here, Jesus is clearly praying for our protection in the context of an unsafe environment. And the strategy of even Jesus is not to make the environment safe, but to protect us in the midst of a dangerous world. Jesus makes the point that in a dangerous world, He will protect us, and not necessarily protect us from harm (think of the harm that immediately came upon many of the early Christians who were severely persecuted), but He will protect us from the evil one. He’s talking about protecting our faith. The evil one cannot sway us from our belief and trust in Christ. He may be able to harm our bodies, but he cannot touch our souls.

So this is where God pats us on the head and sends us out into the “danger zone” of faith. It’s not necessarily going to get any better; it’s just going to get more exciting. Don’t go looking for a safe, soft place for yourself. For that you would have to run away from the world. He has no intention of removing us from the danger, just to protect us in the middle of it. So if you’re feeling the heat, good news: you’re probably in the right place!

Where is God sending you, today? Where is your danger zone?

For a deeper insight into faith and politics, check our BlogTalkRadio show last Tuesday with special guest Randall Balmer talking about his newest book Solemn Reverence, The separation of church and state in America.

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4 Responses to Right into the danger zone

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Good Catch!

  2. Bob Pusey says:

    Don’t tip-toe through life so you can arrive at death safely. We shouldn’t pray for safety, rather for wisdom and to be careful as we step out and follow where God leads. These are thoughts from Shane Claiborne in his book The Irresistible Revolution Chapter 8. When God calls us into scary places or situations will we be frozen in fear or flexible and free? Flexible because He’s calling the shots, and free because we have confidence that He is with us. I I’m convinced that we can en-courage, that is, give each other courage to do whatever He’s calling us to do.

  3. Rona Orme says:

    This reminds me that Horatio Spafford’s hymn ‘It is well with my soul’ has become popular during these anxious COVID days in the UK. There is no safety but our souls are safe with GOD. That is hope. There is a beautiful version by acapeldridge on YouTube.

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