God’s chosen and redeemed people have this promise found in Psalm 34:7 “The Lord’s angel camps around the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them.” As NT believers we have the indwelling Holy Spirit that will encamp around us as if we had a hedge about us. Even Satan said to God about Job “Have you not made a hedge around him…” Yes, Beloved, we can trust in our God that because he loves us he has chosen to put a hedge about us to protect us just as a parent puts a hedge about their child. But, as believers we are given a choice to stay behind that hedge of protection or we can step out and then we are left defenseless against the foes of darkness.
Exodus 23:20 “I am going to send an angel before you to protect you as you journey and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Take heed because of him, and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him. But if you diligently obey him and do all that I command, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an adversary to your adversaries.”
There are some principles we can glean and practically apply to our lives today from these verses in Exodus. One is that we are to beware of him–or to fear him. We remember from Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Secondly, we are to obey his voice for in his voice are the words of wisdom. Again this is the voice of wisdom and discernment. Thirdly, we are not to provoke him for “my name is in him.”
So how does this fit with the NT indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit? We recall two verses: 1Thess 5:19 “Do not quench the Spirit;” and Eph 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Thus the same OT principles apply to the NT believer. The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide and protect us. He is within us speaking “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
Beloved, is there some place you have stepped out from behind the hedge of protection that the Lord has placed around you? Know this: you are now open and vulnerable to the arrows of the enemy, the adversary. Quickly run and hide behind the loving protection of the Holy Spirit. Put your armor on Beloved and stand strong. The indwelling illuminating Holy Spirit is your protection and he desires one thing: obedience that he may bring you into God’s loving presence pure and holy. Will you take heed of his voice? Will you obey him?