There is a controversial statement that has carried me many years as a believer. “The safest place to be is in the will of God.” I stand on that statement. Some question the trials of Paul, Peter, John, Joseph, Daniel, etc. as to the validity of the statement. Yet, despite what each walked through, they were safe unto death as they walked in God’s plan and purpose for their lives.
The biggest problem with questioning the safety found in the will of God is that we have a distorted view of safety. We interpret the Bible based on the current definitions found in the English dictionary, not the root of the Greek and Hebrew languages that the words were originally written in. We view safety as protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost. With this idea in mind we rightly question safety in the will of God. It doesn’t even fit with regular activities of Christian living like:
- Pruning – God cutting away things from our life, good and bad to promote growth. Pruning causes harm and loss. The very act of cutting away, even if for our own good is painful.
- Discipline – God correcting us. Disciple even though it helps shape and form us, is painful.
- Refining – God pulling the impurities from our life. God refining us by fire involves risk, if only to the flesh. The heat required for refining destroys all the impurities. Destruction is certainly painful. Having part of us destroyed creates loss.
- Storms – We face many storms, the tests, trials and temptations. They create turbulence in our life that feels unsafe.
With all these good things that cause Christian’s pain and what seems like harm, how can we say the safest place to be is in the will of God? Because, we are still safe in God’s hand.
I won’t pretend to be a Hebrew scholar, I am not. There is a wonderful online tool called the Blue Letter Bible that helps shed light on the original meaning of words in the Bible. It is full of information that makes exploring God’s Word so much richer and meaningful. The Hebrew word for safe is: sagab
I. to be high, be inaccessibly high
1. to be (too) high (for capture)
2. to be high (of prosperity)
1. to be high
2. to be set on high, be (safely) set on high
3. to be exalted (of God)
1. to set on high, set (securely) on high
2. to exalt, exalt (in effective hostility)
D. (Pual) to be set (securely) on high
E. (Hiphil) to act exaltedly
Nowhere in the Hebrew definitions is there anything about harm or pain. When we submit our lives to God and walk in His will, we are high above the enemies tactics. It doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t attack. It doesn’t mean that he won’t harm us. One only need read the story of Job to know that the enemy can harm us and those around us. However, our ultimate status in God is one of safety because we are inaccessible to the ultimate destruction by the enemy. We are safely above his ultimate goal of destruction in our life. Even Job was safe, God used the attacks of Satan to prove that Job was his faithful servant.
I know that the safest place to be is in the will of God, because despite what has come against me, I am still standing. My life hasn’t been easy, although I will admit I haven’t suffered like Job, Paul, Peter or Joseph. There were many times that I questioned if I could make it through, but I gave my heart to God as a child and God kept me safe despite my own short comings and regardless of how the enemy tried to destroy me.
Paul knew this too, regardless of what He faced. Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He knew to go on living was for others benefit, tied to Paul’s purpose on earth. He knew he was walking in God’s will for life and that he was safe unto death. Paul knew at death, his purpose on earth would be complete and then he would be united with God forever. Satan can not touch our soul once it is safely in the hands of God. We are eternally safe in His will.
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