“A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.                                                                                                                                          (Song of Solomon 4:12)

Are you in a tight corner or at a dead end with no one to help you? Do you have no resource to tap into? Do you feel that the path is dark and dreary? The Lord will give you an answer to all your questions. There are three reasons for your shut in experiences:

  1. SHUT IN FOR PRESERVATION:

            “And they went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). In Noah’s time, the earth was filled with violence, and all flesh had corrupted itself upon the earth. Therefore God determined to destroy the earth by a flood, but  Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. His life was precious in the sight of the Lord, therefore God wanted to preserve this family from destruction. God gave him instructions to build the ark and to bring of every living thing of all flesh, two of every kind into the ark. After the Ark was built, God Himself shut them in. When the floods came, all living flesh was destroyed but only Noah and his family were preserved because they were inside the ‘Ark,’ a type of the Lord Jesus. The more the floods arose, the higher the Ark rose, till it reached its appointed destination, the Mount Ararat. Dear child of God, do you feel shut in because of your problems or circumstances, the Lord says, ‘You may not know the reason now, but you will know it later. I have a resting place for you. It is your adversity that will lead you to your destiny.’ After the shut in experience, God made a covenant with Noah and his family. “And I will establish a covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood” (Genesis 9:11). “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). After every shut in experience we go through, God gives us a blessing. The Lord says that it is only through trials and suffering that we grow in our spiritual lives.

  1. SHUT IN FOR PURIFICATION:

            “And Miriam was shut up from the camp of Israel seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again” (Numbers 12:15). Miriam was a prophetess was the sister of Aaron and Moses. She was a person who led others in praise and worship. She spoke against Moses, the man of God concerning the Ethiopian woman he had married. The Lord heard it and it displeased him. His anger was kindled against her and she became a leper. Although Moses did not complain to the Lord or resent it, the Lord took up his case. If we are silent in our own cause, God will be engaged in our cause and plead for us. The Lord hears every comment, every remark or gossip you make against any servant of God or the Church of the Living God, or against any of God’s anointed. The Lord is very zealous for His Bride, the Church and for His servants. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam. He said,“My servant is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.Wherefore then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”(Numbers 12:7, 8). When God’s presence lifted off the tent, Miriam became a leper. Because of her unwanted talk, she had to be shut out from the camp for her purification. That experience would have caused the fear of God to grip the hearts of the people of God that day. When we sin against God, He shuts us out of the camp, away from His presence, till we repent and turn away from our wickedness.

When a person becomes a leper, he is shut out from the camp of Israel for seven days and only after a priest inspects him, can return to the camp. God had to shut her up for her cleansing, for her to realize her sin all those seven days of her shut in experience and for her to repent. “And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received again”(Numbers 12:14). If God allows a shut in experience, we need to examine our lives, to see if we have sinned against the Lord and get right with Him.

  1. SHUT IN FOR THE PERDITION OF THE ENEMY:

            “For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in” (Exodus 14:3).When the Israelites came out of Egypt to go into the land of Canaan, God directed Moses to take them through the wilderness. When it was told to Pharaoh that Israel had fled, it affected him, because the people were at liberty. Israel’s deliverance was a heavy grievance to Pharaoh. Therefore he pursued them, to re-enslave them. As he was pursuing them, he was fulfilling God’s purpose in destroying himself. God changed their normal route, to the route by the Red sea. They had no way of escape, because on both sides were high mountains, before them the Red sea and behind them Pharaoh’s army. “But the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night” (Exodus 13:21). Are you standing before the Red sea? Do you feel there is no way of escape for you in your wilderness journey? Satan comes to us in different ways. Sometimes we feel our problems are too big for us to handle. Sometimes the wicked one is ready to take us captive. Some of us are asking the Lord, ‘Why this shut in experience for me? I am following you faithfully.’ God is taking you through that path not to destroy you, but to destroy your enemies from before you. Sometimes God brings us into straits to bring us to our knees. Some of the Israelites cried out to God, some cried out against Moses, but God parted the Red Sea in two. When the Israelites had crossed over, the Egyptians had come to the middle of the Red Sea, and the waters came together. The whole host of the Egyptians were drowned in the midst of the Red Sea. Those who follow God through the sea, can follow Him wherever He goes. Their shut in experience was for their preservation and for their enemy’s destruction. The Lord asks you this month: ‘Is your enemy following you? Are they trying to overtake you? Do not fear, you will successfully cross your Red Sea, but the enemies will be destroyed.’

            Sometimes we do not understand why God takes us through difficult, dark and lonely paths.  It is so painful but it is for our preservation, purification, blessing and destruction of our enemies. He wants to make a covenant with us, His people. Let us never grumble or murmur in such situations. Like Noah, let us obey God’s command, like the Israelites, let us be willing for God to lead us even when we don’t know the way and like Miriam, let us be willing to repent when God corrects us. There are many more examples of those who went through shut in experiences: Paul and Silas were shut in prison for the salvation of the jailor’s family. David was preserved in the cave to inherit the throne, Moses was preserved in a basket of bulrushes, to bring out the Israelites out of Egypt. Joseph was put in prison in order to be a blessing to his own family and the nation of Egypt. Apostle John was exiled to the isle of Patmos in order to give us the book of Revelation. God will not allow anything in our lives without a purpose. Let us yield our lives to fulfill God’s purpose.