Pastor’s Corner: “Avalanche Zone”
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV) – 1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
A skier was having a great day on the slopes. There was a lot of fresh snow and an already deep base. It was just the kind of day an experienced skier would hope for. But then this one skier decided that they wanted more. They skied onto another part of the mountain; a section that was clearly marked with a large skull-and-crossbones sign; a warning about going any further written in bold print: “You may die – You decide!” It couldn’t be any plainer than that. Sadly, that skier decided to ski where they never should have gone and that’s when the massive avalanche came that buried this person in a snowy grave.
This person deliberately chose to go out-of-bounds into the forbidden zone. They ignored the warnings, and tragically, paid for it with their life. Sadly, there’s a tragedy like that being repeated every day by many, many people. They’re out-of-bounds, they’re in the avalanche zone, and when it comes the results are devastating.
That’s actually a picture of the spiritual condition of those who have wandered outside of God’s hand of protection. The Bible says every one of us has decided to live our life outside of God’s boundaries, even the most religious of us. If we are honest with ourselves, there are countless times when we’ve all settled for much less than God’s best, haven’t we? God says we can have no other gods before Him, but we’ve pre-empted Him as the center of our life and many times pushed Him to the edge and put something else in the center of our universe. The result opens doors for pain and destruction to enter our lives (avalanche zone). It may not happen right away, but the longer we linger outside God’s protection, it is a certain invitation to be buried by the world’s ways and consequences.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV) – 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. We’re all aware of the destructive consequences associated with poor decisions or lapses in judgment. We don’t plan to mess up. But it can easily happen if we try to navigate life out from underneath God’s protection – a life without guardrails. It’s not enough to hope God will protect us. He doesn’t usually keep us from the consequences of decisions we make freely. His protection comes when we seek and apply the wisdom that He’s provided in the Bible. God isn’t being cruel or mean. He has given us the freedom to live as we choose. But He has also defined a way, His way that leads us toward protection, peace, contentment and away from regret. Whoever 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.” – Psalm 91:1-2 – He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91:4
We can be confident in God’s protection, but that does not give us license to act foolishly or recklessly. As Jesus said, don’t put God to the test (Matthew 4:7). God will watch over us, but don’t be so arrogant to think we can do whatever we want (test God) and still be under His umbrella of protection. Don’t act innocent and surprised when the avalanche comes – pretending we did not see the warning signs (all 25 of them!) Just turn to God and be honest – humble – repentant…..and He will joyfully and lovingly receive us by His Grace. He will cover us with His mighty right hand of protection showing us His beautiful and wise way of peace in this crazy world – this is guaranteed!
In His Grace,