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“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Then the dragon [Satan] was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17)
Satan pursued me with great fury for a season. I was in a life and death situation, and at one point during this time, I only very narrowly escaped. In the following weeks after this the pressure was extreme because he did not let up his pursuit for my life.
Under such extreme stress I utterly threw myself into the hands of God for safe-keeping. I wholly entrusted myself to God, whether I lived or died. After a relatively short period of this intense heat, God mercifully showed me and reassured me that, even though the warfare was incredibly intense (and far, far beyond my ability to handle or fight on my own), that he was with me, guarding my life from the jaws of the grave. He promised me I would live through this situation. He showed me that no matter what extremes Satan may go to in order to kill me, God would thwart and overpower everything he tried. He gave me his Word in Isaiah 41:10 (above), and it gave me great relief.
During this time, the stories of David escaping Saul in 1 and 2 Samuel as well as many of the Psalms (especially Psalm 18, 56, 57 ) were powerfully quickened to me and provided me with much encouragement, comfort and strength.
During this season the Lord also gave me a dream that further comforted me and reinforced his promise to me that I would live and not die.
In my dream, I and several others were being pursued by many powerful enemies and were coming under extremely heavy fire. Our only place of refuge where we would be completely safe was a building on the other side of a field that was about 100 m (330′) across. Unfortunately, streams of bullets were being shot across the field from all different directions. Every last square foot (30cm square) of the field had bullets flying across it at all times. To make our situation even more perilous, there were also attacks coming from the air, big bombs that were being dropped all over the field. To get across it without being shot dead was completely humanly impossible. Knowing we would certainly die if we stayed where we were, we thought we may as well die trying to reach the refuge, and so we made a run for it. Amazingly, God did the impossible and all several of us made it across the field of bullets without even the slightest graze! I was absolutely gobsmacked when we took safety in the refuge. HOW DID GOD DO THAT?????
God greatly encouraged me through this dream, showing me that there is no possible way I could die a single second before he has sovereignly ordained it (Matthew 10:28-30, Psalm 139:16, Psalm 31:15, Ecclesiastes 8:8). Until my appointed time of departure, he will miraculously bend all the physical laws of heaven and earth if need be to preserve my life and to keep me safe in my hands. This dream completely took away my fear of death. It also gave me great confidence to stay focused on God and to continue living for him despite the fact I was still in the middle of a life and death situation (humanly speaking).
This painting illustrates what I felt in this situation after having received God’s reassurance of protection. The blood of Jesus is one of the most powerful weapons we have against Satan. For this reason, the person who is taking refuge in the hands of God is surrounded by a shield of Jesus’ blood. “They [believers in Christ] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)
The wing in the painting represents the shielding wings of the Almighty God, under which many people (in Biblical and regular history) have taken refuge in perilous situations. “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:1-4).
Lastly, the hands of God come from Jesus’ promise in John 10:28-30, “I give them [believers in Jesus] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
See Psalm 31.