The Lord Is My Shepherd II
by Onyekachukwu Ukeje
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“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil....” – Psm 23:4(NIV)
On Monday, the 16th of August 2010, I was headed back to my base, Enugu, from Umuahia in Abia State all in Nigeria. As we got very close to the Abia State-Enugu State boundary we started to hear gunshots. Lo and behold we were being attacked by armed robbers.
One of the robbers got out suddenly from the bush and while we were still a little bit afar off opened fire on us. We were sixteen in that bus including a two month old baby with its father and mother.
The driver of the Peace Mass Transit Nigeria Limited bus, which we had all boarded at the park in Umuahia, on discovering what was going on continued to speed on. By the grace of God that move was what God used to bring us all out from the trap of the fowler that day before our tyres went flat, and we all had to leave the bus and cross the boundary on foot to the next police checkpoint on the highway.
The testimony? With bullet holes in that vehicle and at least about two flat tyres God brought us all alive out of the reach of the robbers who obviously where prepared to kill. A lady sitting in front with the driver was scratched by a piece of glass on her chest – she walked down with us. If she hadn’t told anyone we wouldn’t have known in any way except for a little bleeding. The driver, some say, was bleeding in the leg and that he was got by a bullet in his leg. However he left the bus with us and stopped after a while and hung around his bus till the army team attached to the police at the checkpoint got to him.
Another testimony? We were not even robbed. And all the glory goes to Jesus our Lord.
Now, when God has made investments in your life He is under obligation to preserve you unless you have become reckless with your life that even God Himself cannot control you anymore – you would have become an investment gone bad.
Psalm 91:1-3 says, ‘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….” (NIV).
Literally the fowler is a professional bird hunter or catcher who sets traps for the birds. In some methods, if not most, when one or few birds are caught in a trap they start calling out to others for help, and when they come around to offer whatever help they can they too become trapped by the fowler in his snare. This continues until the fowler has caught so many birds and is satisfied. This the fowler does not for the birds’ own good but for his own good.
Now, even under such extreme circumstance God promises to save us from the fowler’s snare. The birds were going about their business, being the birds God created them to be but the fowler who has not their good in mind but his comes and sets a trap on their way.
Why would God go through the stress of preserving, protecting and saving you from trouble, shame and disgrace? Psalm 91:14-16 says, ‘“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”’(NIV)
I addressed this issue of divine protection in my book ‘The Will of God’.
We should be careful to know if we have a place of relevance in God’s programme. I believe that the reason why Job lost all his children during his time of testing was because they were more in the party spirit than in the purpose spirit – enjoying father’s wealth. So God considered them dispensable. Also, I believe if his servants who lost their lives were more a people of purpose and rarity God would not consider them dispensable, replaceable. And the wife who even told him to curse God and die was spared because not only was she being tested too but she had been the woman beside or behind the man whose success the world had known and was not considered dispensable(replaceable) for the next level of work to be done in God’s programme. Although there may be no hard and fast rule to this but think about that, after all it is the one with the ball that is tackled (Job 1 and 2).
So I encourage you to align yourself in accordance with the will of God for your life making Him your Shepherd, your Dwelling Place, your Fortress, your Refuge. If you have already I encourage you to remain stuck to Him for then what readily happens to others will not [readily] happen to you. God bless you.
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