Depending Fully on HIM???

Today I am going to write about a serious topic, one that directly affects my own life.


How far would you go in order to feel safe?  How far is too far?  What is acceptable and what is not?

I do ministry in the darkest, most dangerous area in Tel Aviv; yet I have never felt unsafe while I was there.  Mind you, I am usually there during the day, but now that winter is approaching and it’s getting dark earlier, I will be finishing at night.

I have been told by some that I need to carry protection with me…..pepper spray, stun-devices, or even a gun. (As a disclaimer, I DID have a gun while I lived in Africa.  Technically it was a  gun for animals, but he could have easily done a bit of damage on a person as well. I also wouldn’t even be ALLOWED to carry a gun here.)

I am constantly being reminded of how “it’s not safe for you to be there” or “you shouldn’t be there at all at night“.

I’m not saying that this information is not true. I am NOT going to run out and get a gun….by no means, and no, it is NOT safe there at night; but it does bring up an interesting thought. As a believer in God and His protection on my life, do I forgo any other means of protection and depend fully on Him?

And there it is: DEPEND FULLY ON HIM!!!

Sometimes this is extremely difficult to do, especially when you are faced with having outside options.

But what about using those options as “back-up” just in case??? (These are words that are swirling all around me…not just from others, but from my own head too.

Its easy to say to someone: Depend fully on Him.  But when reality hits you in the face as you literally “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” each night coming home, its a tad more challenging.

So please give me your opinion.  I’m struggling a bit in this area, and my doubts come not from fear, but from advisement on what I should do.  I want to be full of faith in my Father, and at the same time I also want to be full of wisdom as well. What do you think???

About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

24 responses to “Depending Fully on HIM???

  • Traci

    Beautiful post… I think that, as with anything, we need to depend fully on Him.

    But, I do believe, it is important (an certainly wise) to carry some form of protection.

    I do not believe that this would be a “lack of faith” step forward…

    But you have to do what the Lord is telling you! Thank you for serving, so faithfully, in the place you are at, this moment!


  • notjustlaura

    I’d say that depending fully on Him could include using the resources that He has put at your disposal whether that’s pepper spray or prayer.

  • Sarah W

    First off, I had no idea you were packin in Africa! 🙂

    Second, I think maybe something like Pepper Spray would be find to have on hand, but I agree that our prayers probably offer more protection than that spray! Say a prayer coming and going and know that He has the largest of angel’s guarding you. I’ll be praying for you as well!!!!

  • Joseph

    I often think HE gives us the mind and ability to do what is best for us and our safety.

    Your gut instinct and heart are his gifts to you….use them. If they are telling you that safety is needed, then it is needed.

    I think we far to often rely on him to keep us from things or protect us from above. Many times he has sent us little messages to tell us what to do, we just kind of ignore them.

    For example, I have a great friend who was unemployed. He is in construction and I kept having neighbors who needed odd construction jobs done. He would not do them because he was trying to find a full time job. When speaking to his wife one night she was distressed over money and said that she knew that at some point God would step in and provide. I simply looked at her and said “he has been trying all throughout my keep ignoring him”. Kind of like the fish story but it is true.

    Look to see what God is telling you today. Your heart probably already is warning you or telling you what to do, you just have not realized it is God speaking to you.

    That, or, if a little man walks up to you tomorrow and says “You need pepper spray and I have it on special” that is a message as well 🙂

  • @ngie

    I run before the sun gets up. My husband has asked that I carry pepper spray and always go with a friend. One time he and I were walking at night and my purse was robbed by a drive by. I recieved flesh wounds but God helped us to recover the purse including the two tickets to the US. The only other time I was robbed it was in the full light of day in a public place when I was with a group of people. The kid had a knife and cut the strap of my bag but I wasn’t hurt. I share these instances to tell you that even if bad stuff happens God is still faithful. Trust Him. Listen to how He leads.

    Just wait until one day if you have kids and you have to make decisions about vaccinations, insurance and keeping them “safe”; especially if you choose to raise them in a third world country.

    • moweezle

      When I lived in Rio I was also robbed by gunpoint on the bus in broad daylight. It was just one of those things. You just learned never to carry anything valuable with you.

      Kids: I know….lots of decisions. Ish!

  • Krissie

    That’s a tough question. I think with so many things in our life and walk with God, it’s about balance. I agree God gives us instinct and wisdom, and I don’t think that it’s wrong to protect yourself in some way, but I do think you can also go to far with it, and depend too much on your own means.

    So, I don’t really have any answers…. but I will pray for you, for your safety, and that God would give you an answer to your question that you feel comfortable with from both perspectives.

  • pablo

    Do you lock the door or you leave it open? that’s a not lack of faith in my opinion. God protects us all the time, even though we don’t see Him or we don’t realize when or how He is protecting us; doesn’t matter if it is winter or not. God can protect you against animals too, but you had a gun, that’s not a sin.
    I would probably use pepper spray or something like that in your situation, but FIRST of all I would try to find another solution like not going alone, or I would try to find a way to finish EARLIER, if it is possible, that could be part of your prayers too, not just if you have to use weapons or not, nothing is impossible for God; but I wouldn’t doubt. It is not illegal to use those things and it is not a sin either, but in a difficult situation you have to know how to use those things, and when, is not necessarily easy for a woman, not even for a man.
    Praying, and praying for protection it is always the first and the best decision, it is something every Christian must do no matter where they are, because the spiritual enemy could attack everywhere, not just in dangerous neighborhoods.
    In my opinion it is not wrong to use those sprays or stun guns, but they are not “the solution”, I would ask God for another options too, but I would use them, I am a man, so it is not necessarily the same; but the truth is that you are braver than me because I wouldn’t even go during the day to that neighborhood.

  • alece

    i know i too often underestimate the power of God’s protection. i ignore it. i don’t ask for it. i forget that there are angels (and demons) all around me. i’m not mindful of psalm 91, and the myriads of other promises in His Word.

    as if i can do a better job protecting me than He can.

    i don’t know that there’s a blanket “in every situation” answer. absolutely, i need to actively trust God more (regardless of steps/precautions i may or may not take). He’s also given me wisdom and discernment. and to ignore those is also to ignore Him.

    depending fully on Him doesn’t mean acting in foolish presumption. it means depending on the richness of all He is — His protection as well as His wisdom.

  • Jaime

    I think that “Depending fully on Him” and depending on yourself and the “back-ups” you have at your disposal are actually one in the same. In our daily lives we are given so many wonderful gifts. Including impeccable instincts, friends and acquaintances with knowledge and experiences that can be shared, and best of all, comfort in knowing we always have God on our side. To rely on only one of these gifts would be like going through life only using one hand and ignoring the fact that you actually have two. Although there are several things you can do with only one hand (as a mother, I have tried lots of them! lol!), there are just as many that simply cannot be done without both.
    I have always believed that God provides us with everything we need at exactly the right time. So if the people He has brought into your life are giving you warnings about where you are or what you are doing and you are being provided the tools to help keep you safe from these potential dangers, I say use them all. God has given these gifs to you for a reason, just as much as He has given you the gifts of faith and prayer. Embrace them and be grateful for these and all the other wonderful blessings that He provides every day.
    Hope you are well and safe every day in your journey.
    God Bless

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    When I was a missionary in a “bad part of town” in Hong Kong, I didn’t think twice about safety. There was actually a homicide in the “ghetto” compound one evening I was doing “church” there.

    Maybe I was young, so I thought I didn’t worry about safety.

    Now, I would definitely take precautions and take whatever safety measures I can.

    Including pepper spray and a stun gun (I had one in college).

    I think it’s smart to protect yourself through any means. I don’t see it contradicting faith.

    They key is that you are putting your dependence in God fully by committing your safety to Him, in serving Him and giving your life. And that you are not fearful because God would direct your pepper spray, stun gun, or whatever it is you’ll have on you.

    The gear is just being smart, in my opinion.

    I’m totally okay with guns. So, I’d be the first to congratulate you, if you take a gun shooting course and carrying arms. 😉

    If you ever happen to have an esp. safety heightened situation, shoot me a tweet. And I WILL pray for you. Seriously.

  • moweezle

    Great thoughts all!!! I’ve loved hearing your takes on this topic!

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    I’m a BAD person to ask. I’m fearless. Danger isn’t a deterrent to me, because I’ve put my life in the Lord’s hands and I trust Him. I’ve told Him I’ll go wherever He sends me, and I do.

    That said, I do use common sense about not needlessly exposing myself to danger. Be careful, be bold. 😀

  • Tim

    Trust him! Be safe! Lots of prayers!

  • Katherine

    Ok Mo… lots of good responses here. I’m glad you said you’re not motivated by fear because that wouldn’t seem like you! 🙂 If someone came up to me, I would speak the name of Jesus. Everything has to bow at that name, and anyone in the mind to steal or kill someone is under the influence… of the enemy. Also plead the blood of Jesus over yourself. I know you’ve got big angels walking next to you! 🙂 And who knows, maybe some people there can see them, and know to leave you alone!

  • Theresa

    I moved to Reno at the age of 21. I was by myself. I worked graveyard and I walked the half a mile to and from work. I would get paid and would cash my check, putting the whole thing in my pocket. I would wander around the alleys to get to places at 3 or 4 in the morning. People use to scold me for doing this.

    I basically had a few things that I told them…
    1. God is with me.
    2. I don’t have Victim written on my forehead.
    3. Thank you for your concern.

    Reno is by no means Tel Aviv. I think one of the biggest protections that you have is that you are aware that where you are is dangerous. Knowledge is power. I also believe that being intelligent and arming yourself is from God. Just as you commented above…You lock the doors even when you are home.

    You relying on God for protection is smart. But remember to use the tools he gave you for that protection. Sometimes it is more then just prayer. If you were being ruled by your fear you wouldn’t go at all…You are already showing your faith in the Lord. Be Safe My Friend! You are in my prayers for continues protection….I am also petitioning for the biggest Angel of all to be with you!!

    Are you going to write a memoir? Something more in depth then the blog? Just curious.

  • mandythompson

    This really speaks to me. My husband and I looked at a few houses in a “less-than-safe” area of town… I was so torn. We want to be in the midst of the real side of town… But, one day, when we have kids, will we be able to stroll down the road in our neighborhood? Will I be able to sleep at night?
    We were totally at odds with those questions. I still don’t have answers.

  • Brandon Armstead

    “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding ; in all your ways acknowledge Him , and He shall direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6 These passages of scripture came to me when i read about your concern, hope that they are of some help.

  • annie

    AMEN!! I think you’ve got your head screwed on straight. 🙂

  • Joyful

    This is really hard to say.
    As we trust fully in God we also need to have wisdom to do the right thing.
    Does wisdom mean carry a gun or not?
    We have never had a gun in our house. But as terrorism gets worse, as well as gangs. Does owning a gun mean we do or do not trust God for safety?
    Very good post.

  • Ruth Ann

    I’m visiting you blog as a result of Saturday Evening Post, and I find your predicament very challenging. Here are my thoughts.

    I don’t think either choice would be morally wrong.

    That said, I admire the notion of total trust in God’s providence.

    Packing a pistol or other form of protection can backfire. It could give you a false sense of security. On the other hand, total trust in God does not mean something bad will not happen. What I think it does is give total peace no matter what happens—good or bad.

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