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Are There Holes in Your Hedge?

hedge

 Recently I was speaking to a friend about bad things that can still happen to us as believers and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that the reason for these things happening is because of holes in our hedge of protection.

What is a hedge of protection?  I have studied Scripture and come to the conclusion a Godly hedge of protection is when you are surrounded in such a veil of protection that no evil can befall you.  In this place there is nothing but blessings.  I have found a couple places in the Bible where God refers to a hedge of protection.  The first is Isaiah 5. “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it” (Isaiah 5:3-6, NKJV). This passage talks about the removal of Gods protection and blessings from Israel and the men and woman of Judah.  He describes a vineyard which is Israel and the plants inside are the men and woman of Judah. The passage begins with the care of the Lord over His Church (Israel). The vineyard needed to produce good fruit; (which also includes thoughts, words and actions, in line with the Spirit of God). It brought forth bad fruit. The people of God stopped listening to Him and became disobedient.  In verse 13 it shows how they had no knowledge and God allowed them to go into captivity. This entire passage shows us that sin, producing bad fruit, as well as not listening to God and doing things our way can cause our hedge of protection to disintegrate. When we strive against God and remove parts of the Gospel from our lives we open ourselves up to the enemy. In this passage instead of the fruits of goodness, gentleness, patience, love, and humility operating there is pride, discontent, malice and contempt of God.  Instead of prayer and praise there is cursing and swearing. As followers of Christ we need to listen to the word of God and obey it. God let them go into captivity because of their disobedience towards Him.  When we stop listening to God, He stops talking so in turn we are left to our own devices. We can no longer receive His knowledge until we repent and again draw near to God.

In Mark 12:1-9 I again found mention of the vineyard. God is the owner and the Jews were the vinedressers who were put into the vineyard as tenants to tend to it.  They were protected with a hedge. God (the owner) sent His messengers to gather the fruit for His share when the Jews beat and even killed some of them. God then sent His heir (His own son) to gather the fruit believing that they would not touch the heir.  They killed him too and his body was thrown outside the vineyard.  God then said that He would destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  This represented how the Jews rejected Jesus and in turn lost their provision and protection. It was then handed over to the Gentiles. It also shows us that if anyone rejects the Lord Jesus (His Son) which includes His word in any shape or form then you run the risk of losing completely that hedge of protection.

The second place I found reference to His hedge of protection is in Job. Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land (Job 1:10, NKJV). One day satan was roaming around looking for someone to afflict when God challenged him to consider Job.  God told satan that Job was a perfect and upright man and that he feared God and resisted evil. Initially satan wasn’t keen because he saw that God was blessing Job and protecting him with a hedge of protection. This shows me that this hedge prevents any attack or affliction from satan himself. Satan accepted the challenge from God and told Him to put forth His hand and touch all that Job had and if He did that then Job would curse God to His face.

God accepted satans challenge and removed His protection and blessing from Job knowing the heart of Job and that Job would never curse God to His face. God then opened the door for satan to work and he did unimaginable devastating things to Job and his family.  Job complained and questioned God all the way and his own friends even turned against him and blamed him for doing something wrong, but eventually Job came to the conclusion that God was God and that He had to humble himself and repent for even questioning why God did the things in the ways that He chose.  In that whole time Job never once cursed God and turned away. We too need to come to that place where we accept that God is God and that His ways are higher than our ways. We need to choose to continue to love and follow Him even when we do not agree with Him or understand what is happening to us. We need to also forgive and pray for those around us who have judged us and do not understand what is happening. God’s wrath was aroused against Jobs friends who spoke about God, ‘things that weren’t right’ and told them His wrath would be quenched against them if Job prayed for them, because Job spoke about God, ‘things that were right’. God restored all the losses (and even doubled them) after Job prayed for his friends. And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10, NKJV). This shows us that God sometimes allows satan to test our loyalty to Him even when we haven’t done anything wrong by removing our hedge of protecton so that at the end of the time of testing we are blessed beyond measure. More than anything else God is interested in our heart and these things represent the testing of our heart toward Him. He wants for us to be a people who believe what He says rather than what other people around us who don’t know Him say.

In these examples we see that rejection of God, His Son, His word and any of His ways can result in the hedge of protection disintegrating, or being removed completely from us, with the worst case scenario, being taken into captivity with no ability to receive His knowledge. Scripture shows us that there may even be a testing taking place (as in the story of Job) where you have done nothing wrong but He is allowing the devil to test your heart and commitment toward Him. Part of this may also be seeing how we respond to those around us who may be speaking against the things of God. We need to always be in a place of prayer and praise and total commitment to Him so that we can overcome.

(PRAYER) – “Father God In the name of Jesus I pray that my family and I are surrounded in the fullness of Your hedge of protection. I repent for all the times I have not listened to You or followed You.  I repent for bearing bad fruit and for all other sins that have caused the fullness of my God-given hedge of protection to be removed. If I have gone into captivity because of any of these sins I ask that You would rescue me from this place and bring me back inside my God-given hedge of protection. I ask that You would also cause me to again be receptive to Your knowledge. If you have tested my heart and allowed satan access to me as part of the testing, I repent for all offence I carry toward You and forgive you for allowing this and acknowledge that You God can do no wrong. I forgive those who were not in agreement with the ways of God in my life and spoke against You, and also in judgment toward me. I pray blessings for each and every one of them. I decree that You are God and Your ways are higher than my ways.  I repent for all the times I complained and moaned instead of offering You worship and praise. I am sorry for all the times I pulled away from You and developed a hard heart toward You.  I love You and trust in You and Your goodness. I believe in Romans 8:28 ‘that all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose’. Please reveal to me and my family all things in our lives that may cause a breach in our hedge of protection, so we can repent and walk in unity with You. I pray that You would also repair any damage to our hedges of protection.  Thank You, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

   

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