Refuge!

“The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:40 NIV)

Who does the Lord help and deliver? The righteous–those in right-standing with God can count on The Lord helping them and delivering them from all that attempts to hold them bound by the temptations influenced by evil. He delivers them from the wicked and saves (those in right-standing with Him) because they seek refuge in Him.

Every community should be a “safe haven” for those who live in it, but we know that does not always happen. Evil lurks, seeking whom it will attack and devour in our times, just as it did with the walled cities of old. The difference then is the cities had the watchmen walking the walls, looking for the attempts by others that meant danger to those who lived inside. When danger was seen, the alarm sounded and everyone knew what they had to do.

In addition to the walled cities for the majority of the occupants in a region, there were also cities built as a place of refuge for those who had been estranged from their place of origin or for those seeking shelter from the harm of others because they had accidentally killed someone (Numbers, Joshua).

I remember that in one neighborhood where I used to live, my home became the apparent refuge for children seeking shelter from harm by those living there who were certainly not law-abiding. There was drama unfolding on one particular evening and I looked out the door to see my porch full of children who were trying to get out of harm’s way. Most of these children participated in my “porch” bible study during the summer and I was glad they felt my house was a safe haven–a refuge from harm.

In the midst of stormy weather, we are told to seek refuge in low-lying areas and for those of us who have basements–to run to the basement for shelter. In the Midwestern regions–open ranges, they have storm cellars in which they seek shelter from the storms.

In the storms of life, filled with uncertainty and confusion, Our God is our refuge–a place where we can go and no one can harm us. When we are in right-standing with Him, there is nothing we cannot expect from Him–safety from those who would harm us, deliverance from things that would distract us, provision when we are unable to provide for ourselves, wisdom when we lack it and ask for it, mercy and grace we cannot earn, and love overflowing–when we are emptied out and need replenishing.

If ever there was a time we needed to know where we can find refuge, that time is now. Dangers are all around us–bone-chilling weather, icy road conditions, mindsets in opposition to God’s Word–all dangers that should cause us to run to The Lord, seeking refuge in Him to avoid the consequences of staying on the path of the wicked.

Don’t linger in the face of danger–RUN to the Lord and seek shelter in Him!

The Safe Place!

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9 NIV).

Imagine–the One Place–where safety resides,

For all who trust the Lord and in His Word abide,

In good times, bad times, when the enemy’s thoughts reign

In the minds of those who have forgotten just whose side

They should be on–The side of right, justice, mercy and love,

The only One who can save us from His throne in heaven above.

All the chaos and confusion that tend to influence delusion

In self and government and family and friends, until finally

Rage rises and roils in tumult and foils and we believe the end

Is now, but when we read His Word, we succeed, knowing all these things

Must come to past before the end is really the end, before determined fate

Is made, here’s a chance to get things right and know the power of God’s might

When we choose to live with Him and for Him, in The Safe Place,

We know victory and with our confidence in Him, know we win!

The Lord is My Refuge!

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11 NIV);

Who will command angels to guard us? The Lord will, if we say, “The Lord is my refuge” (vs. 9) and make the Most High our dwelling place, “The Lord” will make sure no harm overtakes or comes near us.

If He is our refuge–our shelter from harm–and we live within the safety of His arms–we have no need to fear anything. Not only will He make sure that nothing harms us, He won’t let disaster come near us. Say it now, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When Wall Street comes tumbling down or soaring high, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When doctors give us an uncertain prognosis, “The Lord is my refuge!”

In the middle of storms of nature or emotions, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When it seems like all hope is gone, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we cannot see solutions because of the problems, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more questions than answers, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more bills than money, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When spouses don’t act right, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When children or grandchildren get on our last nerves, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When lawmakers don’t do their jobs, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When preachers won’t preach the Truth, “The Lord is my refuge!”

This should not just be a mantra, but a way of acknowledging who we believe and trust because when we make this acknowledgment, He will encamp angels all around us to keep us from harm. He will remind us that by His Spirit we have access to all truth and He will direct our paths. He will bridle our tongues before we say anything stupid if we just say, “The Lord is my refuge” first.

Our angels have been given an assignment, to protect us and guard us in all of “our ways” so no harm can come before us. If we will do what He says, He will do what He has promised. Are we going to do it? No weapon formed against us shall prosper because our angels will intercept and deflect any of the fiery darts that the enemy sends our way. Hallelujah!  “The Lord is my refuge!”

Why Do We Practice?

A refuge/safe haven from all that is wicked can be found in the Lord.

In schools, we practice what to do to keep people safe from harm.  We have fire drills, storm drills and lock-down procedures that must be conducted–for most schools–10 times in a school year.

We have storm alerts set up throughout communities and encourage people to have drills at home as a safety measure.

We practice these things so when the storm is upon us, we’ll know exactly what to do.

When do we practice running into the arms of the Lord to protect us from all the wickedness that surrounds us?

What I see–we practice embracing wickedness–involving ourselves in all manner of darkness, influenced by the enemy and when the attacks come–we don’t know what to do. We have allowed the darkness to envelop us and when the enemy comes to seal the deal–there is no escape.

Life does not have to be this way!  We are warned repeatedly–throughout God’s Word–of the wickedness, the deception, the infiltrators, and counterfeiters (disguised as  ministering angels).  We simply choose not to stay in the Word or live as God has designed us to do.  We choose to live in darkness.  God’s choice–“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for you to have a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Do we have a future with hope?

Depression and oppression are signals that people have lost hope.  Suicide is the result of those who have lost hope.  Did they practice avoiding the traps of the enemy or did they embrace his tactics–all of the negative devices he uses to get us off track?

In spite of all the enemy has done and will do–there is hope–there is a light that can outshine and overcome the darkness that invades the minds of those who need more practice.  Read The Word–daily.  Meditate on the Word daily.  Live life according to the Word and watch your light shine in the dark places and lead others to the safe haven in Jesus!