Tag Archives: refuge

All I Really Want

In Psalm 142, we read a statement that some people really couldn’t truthfully speak if saying what was truly on the heart. It is a statement that makes a decision that we each have to make. Some people will never reach this prayer.

First, the Psalmist prays, “You are my place of refuge.” We often will embrace this. We often will pray for this refuge. We will claim God is the One who provides safety and protection. But the Psalmist continues, “You are all I really want in life.” This separates people. This divides families. This causes chaos at work and school. This bold statement overflows from the heart of one who truly desires God. This is the desire we should all have.

Can you today say God is all you really want in life? Or is your life still the “God and … life”? Can you pray this prayer or is there something still between you and God? Is He all you really want? Ask the Spirit to reveal anything that may be keeping you from this prayer. Ask Him to remove anything that hinders this desire. May He be all you really want.

“Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, ‘You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.’” – Psalm 142:5 [NLT]

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But As For Me

In Psalm 59, we read about people who wander about for food, growling when they are not satisfied. What imagery we get from the Psalmist. It is easy to picture. The Psalmist continues, “But as for me.” I love it. “But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love.”

Life is difficult. Indeed. Even so, we have the choice to embrace God and the life He’s given us—to move forward as He leads. Or we have a choice to grumble in dissatisfaction and roam around growling.

Today, do you want to be a grumbler like the Israelites? Do you want to growl in dissatisfaction? Or will you be one of the few who say, “But as for me”? You have the choice. Do you look around and thank God for where He has placed you and His many blessings? Do you feel unsatisfied and complain? Will you sing with joy about His power and love?

God calls us to share the Good News with the whole world. Consider how many you reach with your grumbles and growls. Consider how many you reach with songs of praise and thanksgiving. When God gets the glory, eyes are pointed to Him.

“But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love. For You have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” – Psalm 59:16 [NLT]

Close Embrace

I was sleeping so well. All of the sudden my eyes were wide open. It was National Dog Day. But that wasn’t why Max woke me up. A storm with lightning and thunder was in our midst. Max was having an anxiety attack. My overweight dog was in big baby mode. I called him onto my bed and held him in a close embrace to calm him down. He has a special storm jacket or thunder jacket. I call it a storm trooper jacket because it’s the only way he is a good trooper through storms.

As I lay unable to sleep with my panicked canine, I considered the close embrace of our heavenly Father. When we embrace someone closely, eventually we let go. We start to feel hot. We want to change our position. We cannot spend all day in one place. We have things to do. Sometimes it is a challenge embracing anyone at all. But with God, it’s different. The embrace is never-ending. Forever, we are in safety with the close embrace of God.

God “takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV). The psalmist said that God covers us with His feathers, that under His wings we find refuge (Psalm 91:4). Today, consider the close embrace of God. Nothing can snatch you from His hand (John 10:28). Settle close to Him for refuge. Enjoy His presence. Appreciate the close embrace.

His Perfect Timing

God’s timing is always the best timing. Oftentimes we consider how we don’t receive a particular blessing until just the right time when it is needed, but He also keeps us from seeing or experiencing things until it is the proper time as well. Not only can we look at His perfect timing when it comes to the blessings we receive, but we also can look at His perfect timing when He protects us or keeps us from something until the timing is more appropriate or better for His great work.

This past week was Holy Week. It was a full on week of preaching and ministering. Throughout the week, I kept myself fixated on God’s Word, continuously in prayer, and I tried to balance out things so I had rest built in within the busy schedule. But in the midst of it all, God was not allowing me to see things that would throw me off course as well. We don’t often consider how He is fighting for us, moving behind the scenes to ensure His children stay the course and run the race before them. He is a faithful God. He is a merciful, gracious God.

God’s timing is always perfect. Today, consider what you do not get to see happening—the protection of God, the hand of God keeping you from items hidden from your view. The Lord embraces you—covers you with His protective wings. It is not by chance that you missed a particular newspaper article. It is not by chance that you caught that red light that didn’t seem to go off like the normal traffic timing at that time of the day. Everything is under God’s control. Today, thank Him for His protection. Thank Him for seeing things through to the end. Thank Him for using you for His great work and for never letting you go. He is faithful! He is awesome! He is Lord of all!

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” – Psalm 91:1-4 [NASB]

 

Don’t Let Go

Once a person is with Jesus, He doesn’t let go. He never lets go. Read today’s passage. Read this again, “And once that person is with Me, I hold on and don’t let go.” If you accepted Christ as your Savior—if you have given your life to Him—He has taken hold of you and He will never let go. It means that you were running to Him and now you are His.

Each day we face the world and all it brings our way. No matter what comes, Jesus is there. No matter the temptation. No matter the trials. No matter the bad things. No matter the sickness. No matter the stress. No matter what time of day. No matter who you are or the mess you have made. No matter what. If you have ran to Him, He promises that He won’t let go.

Remember this today. He is never leaving go of you. No matter how hard it gets. No matter what hardships come your way. No matter how horrible you think things are in life. He won’t let go. He is going to hold on and not let go. Trust Him. Feel the embrace. Understand that His firm hand is holding it all for you. The troubles may come but no one will snatch you from His hand. Never.

“Jesus said, ‘I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.’”
-John 6:35-38 [MSG]

When to Run

There are moments when we are supposed to press forward in a particular direction and moments that we should turn away from a situation. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “choose your battles.” It takes good discernment to know when to continue forward and when to run in another direction. Proverbs 22:3 states: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

There are times in our lives when it is best for us to not continue forward down a particular path. Perhaps a person or situation will not be beneficial to our spiritual walk. Perhaps there is danger lurking and God has another path for us. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas found out that there was a plot to stone them and they ran. They took off and went to another area.

It is important to know when to stand your ground and when to move onward. We might not always make the right decision. Always ask yourself, does what I am doing give glory to God? Does what I am doing further the Kingdom? Or is it simply fighting back in a battle that is not ours? Remember that Christ already has the victory. We are meant to share the message of Christ, not force it upon people. There were moments when Jesus Christ left particular areas. He was focused on His mission; so too, we should stay focused.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” – Proverbs 22:3 [NIV]

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Cat Meets Dog

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” – Psalm 91:4 [NLT]

When walking the dog, a cat came into view. My dog immediately got excited to “make friends” with the cat. I do not think that the cat was too eager for this friendship and she ran away. What struck me as funny was the fact that she ran and stopped beside her family’s dog and got herself comfortable beside the dog, as if the relax in her protection. She looked at peace lounging beside the dog. My dog noted the change of situation and kept on walking. It’s not so often that I see a cat lounging at peace beside a dog.

As the dog offered great protection to her family’s cat, so God offers us great protection. We are able to run to Him and rest in Him. We can be sure that when we are covered with His wings, we are safe—we are secure. Nothing can pluck us from His hands (John 10:27-28). The Bible tells us over and over again to fear not. Why? Because He is with us and He is in control (1 Corinthians 3:16, Proverbs 19:21). Because He loves us and He has promised us a hope and a future (John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11).

Today may be one of the hardest days of your life—rest in Him. He will bring you comfort. He will bring you strength. He will provide you all that you need. He always does.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” – Psalm 46:1 [NLT]

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Real Security

This past week I moved, because I wanted for my children to be in a safer area. We all have needs and one need that we have is a sense of security. We want to be safe and we want to know that everything is going to be okay. At the same time, we actually have no control over the things that could very well threaten our security. We can prepare. We can try to prevent certain things from happening. However, the only security that we have is in Jesus and in the promises found in His Word.

Last night, after not even a week at my new place, I woke up in the early morning to hearing loud shouts, mostly curse words. I looked out the window to find some young man running around nearly naked screaming. The man was ripping the boards off of a neighbour’s fence, tearing it apart and tossing it feet away. He then went houses down the street and took a patio chair, tore the cushion apart and tossed that as well. He was making animal noises, grunting and yelling as he was doing all of this stuff.

Even though I spent ten years working in the medical field and dealt with mental health patients, I was a bit fearful. This wasn’t in some institution– this was outside my front door. As I think about this now, anything could have happened. The police came for the man, who happened to try some new, popular form of marijuana that is currently in the area, one that causes people to go crazy.

This event shows that bad things can happen anywhere. We cannot run and hide, thinking that if we are in a certain area we will be safe and secure. We could spend our lives not driving because we are afraid we will get in an accident, and a car could run up onto the footpath and run us over. We can put safety helmets on our children so when they fall, they won’t get hurt, but the child could get hurt elsewhere.

The only true security that we have is Jesus. He promises no matter what to be with you. He promises forgiveness, peace, salvation, treasures in heaven, life abundantly, healing, reward, blessings, cleansing, great joy, comfort, justice, rest, love, friendship, power, companionship, etc. You can purchase a home security system, practice all of the safest health measures, reside in a particular area, and read all of the safety findings found online, but nothing– NOTHING– will provide you the security you need except for Jesus.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

– Psalm 18:2 [NASB]