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The wall of fire

“Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” Zechariah 2:4–5

There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible.

It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Lots of expectations that have deadlines and that seem too big and too many.

As I look back over about 50 years of such periodic mornings, I am amazed how the Lord Jesus has preserved my life. And my ministry. The temptation to run away from the stress has never won out, not yet anyway. This is amazing. I worship him for it.

Instead of letting me sink into a paralysis of fear, or run to a mirage of greener grass, he has awakened a cry for help and then answered with a concrete promise.

Here’s an example—this is recent: I woke up feeling emotionally fragile. Weak. Vulnerable. I prayed: Lord, help me. I’m not even sure how to pray.

An hour later I was reading in Zechariah, seeking the help I had cried out for. It came through the above passage.

There will be such prosperity and growth for the people of God that Jerusalem will not be able to be walled in any more. “The multitude of people and livestock” will be so many that Jerusalem will be like many villages spreading out across the land without walls.

Prosperity is nice, but what about protection?

To which God says in verse 5, “I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord.” Yes. That’s it. That is the promise. The “I will” of God. That is what I need.

And if it is true for the vulnerable villages of Jerusalem, it is true for me a child of God. God will be a wall of fire all around me. Yes. He will. He has been. And he will be.

And it gets better. Inside that fiery wall of protection he says, “And I will be the glory in her midst.”

God is never content to give us the protection of his fire—he will give us pleasure of his presence.

This daily devotion is a part of YouVersion’s Daily Devotions by John Piper. You can access these from your smartphone, tablet, or computer with YouVersion and the free Bible App.

Dr. John Piper is one of the country’s most influential Bible teachers. You can find more resources from him at Desiring God. Dr. Piper preached at Mars Hill Church in March of 2010.

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