Sunday, September 23, 2012
Post # 52 - ERECTING A HEDGE of PROTECTION
“Have You not made a hedge (wall) about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Job 1:10-11
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!’” Hosea 2:6–7
Here are two different hedges or walls of protection from the Old Testament that God placed around people He wanted to guard and defend. For Job the hedge protected him, his family, and all of their possessions from misfortune, evil, and against the attacks of Satan and his helpers. In the Hosea passage, the hedge of thorns restricted sinful temptations from Gomer because she had the tendency to pursue other lovers. In Job’s case the barrier kept the enemy out, while for Gomer she was hedged in.
As it was then, so it is now. We are living in the midst of a raging spiritual warfare where God’s arch enemy is seeking to prevent the Kingdom of God from advancing by attacking His people with calamity, misfortune, temptation, destruction, conflict, immorality, and whatever other tactics he and his demonic helpers devise.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail …” Luke 22:31-32a
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
In the western world of today, hedges tend to be shrubbery that either decorates the exterior of a home or highlights the border of one’s property. But in the Bible, thick hedges of thorns were frequently used to keep wild animals away from livestock or to protect a home. In John 10:1 when Jesus spoke of being the door to the sheepfold, He was alluding to being the only way in or out of a hedged sheep pen that was commonly used by shepherds to protect their flocks from wolfs and other predators.
Ephesians 6 makes clear that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). This chapter goes on to exhort us to take up the full armor of God, so that we will be able to resist in the evil day.
When Jesus wrestled with Satan after His forty day fast we are told that angels came to Him and took care of Him (Matthew 4:11 J.B. Phillips N.T.). Hebrews 1:14 tells us that angels are ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. Psalm 34:7 indicates that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. The Hebrew word for encamp could easily be translated surrounds. And in Acts 5:19 it was an angel of the Lord who opened the gates of the prison allowing the Apostles to escape.
Interceding before God and asking him to construct and maintain a hedge or wall of protection has proven to be a very effective in this battle against Lucifer and his fallen angels. We can ask God to erect a shielding wall composed of His holy angels. After taking this initial step we can ask Him, daily if possible, to maintain this hedge. It’s essential to be specific in asking God to send His holy angels for your protection because Satan himself is a fallen angel as are the demons who are under his authority. (See Matthew 25:41).
Guillermo and Andrea are two laborers I met at a conference in Santiago, Chile. Several weeks after the conference they wrote asking prayer and counsel because they were filled with fear and deep anguish due to the presence of robbers and other evil people in their neighborhood. I wrote them back suggesting that they first go room to room in their house, commanding in the name of Jesus Christ that any demonic spirits leave the premises. They anointed the doors and windows as possible entry points with oil in the sign of the cross. Then I encouraged them to pray and erect a hedge of protection made up of God’s holy angels to protect each person in their family, their home, and their possessions from evil and the attacks of the enemy. I added them to my prayer list as did others who had attended the conference.
About a week later, I wrote and asked Guillermo how it was going. He said that the fear and anxiety about robbers and calamity was completely gone ever since they dedicated their house to the Lord and prayed and erected the hedge of protection.
Here’s some specific instruction and sample prayers you can adapt to your situation.
First cleanse your home and dedicate it to the Lord. Cleansing your home is going room to room, top to bottom, and commanding in Jesus’ name that any and all demonic spirits both original (who gained access through the builder or former dwellers in your home) and subsequent (who may have gained access since you moved into the house). Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. After you have cleansed a room it’s a good idea to anoint the doors and windows with oil symbolically with the sign of the cross. Whoever is in spiritual authority over the home and family (usually the husband) needs to pray the prayers of authority over the principle entrances to the home (front and back door and also sliding doors).
Then pray the hedge of protection into place. “In the powerful name of the True Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth I want to pray and ask You to send Your Holy Angels to construct Your hedge of protection around me, my spouse, my children (name each one), our finances, the tasks we work on, and our possessions … against all of the fiery attacks of the enemy.” I like to visualize the property lines of our home as the place where the hedge is in place. Our house has a fence in the backyard, hedges, and the sidewalk in front. After you’ve constructed the hedge, you can pray daily / regularly for God to maintain the hedge.
To be even more thorough you can also pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that warrior angels sent by the one true God to be placed to stand guard at any holes or access points that might be in the hedge.
Holes in the hedge can be caused by yet to be dealt with sin, trauma or wounding in the lives of the people who dwell in your home. Access points could be your TV service, Internet, cell phones, home phone or other communication devices you have in your home.
If you have neighbors over or visits by salesmen, neighbors, relatives, babysitters, or people who work on your home (painters, plumbers, carpenters, etc.) you can exercise the authority of Christ and in His powerful name command any free, unbound, or wandering spirits that may have gained access through them to now leave and get out beyond the hedge of protection.
Other creative options might be to read and pray through Psalm 91 during the initial cleansing and dedication of your home. Praying through Ephesians 6:10-18 and putting on the whole armor of God is also a good action step.
By Rusty Rustenbach
September of 2012