The “I Will” of God


“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4–5)

There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible.

It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Or maybe after a lot of expectations that have deadlines, and that seem too big and too many.

As I look back over about 50 years of such periodic mornings, I am amazed how the Lord Jesus has preserved my life. And my ministry. The temptation to run away from the stress has never won out — not yet anyway. This is amazing. I worship my great God for this.

Instead of letting me sink into a paralysis of fear, or run to a mirage of greener grass, he has awakened a cry for help and then answered with concrete promises.

Here’s an example. This is recent. I woke up feeling emotionally fragile. Weak. Vulnerable. I prayed: “Lord help me. I’m not even sure how to pray.”

An hour later I was reading in Zechariah, seeking the help I had cried out for. It came.

“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4–5)

There will be such prosperity and growth for the people of God that Jerusalem will not be able to be walled in any more. “The multitude of people and livestock” will be so many that Jerusalem will be like many villages spreading out across the land without walls.

Prosperity is nice, but what about protection?

To which God says in verse 5, “I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord.” Yes. That’s it. That is the promise. The “I will” of God. That is what I need.

And if it is true for the vulnerable villages of Jerusalem, it is true for me a child of God. That is how I apply the Old Testament promises to God’s people. All the promises are yes to me in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). There is a “how much more” after every promise for those who are in Christ. God will be a “wall of fire all around” me. Yes. He will. He has been. And he will be.

And it gets better. Inside that fiery wall of protection he says, “And I will be the glory in her midst.” God is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he aims to give us the pleasure of his presence. I love the “I wills” of God!