” I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:2,9, 10 NIV)
Before God can make a move to fulfill His part of the promise, we must fulfill our part of the promise. When we don’t, He won’t. And we see the truth of this in a number of places in scripture. Even though the qualifier to receive, the “if” is always there, we must see the “if” and then get mad at God because we refuse to obey.
Remember what was told to Joshua? “If you keep my commandments, then whatever you put your hands to shall prosper and you’ll have good success.” (Joshua 1)
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14)
In the NIV translation, the word “if” appears 1640 times–and much of it to do with God’s promises to us.
A covenant–an agreement between two people–is a promise to do something and if both sides keep their word, then both sides will enjoy the conclusion of the matter. Within the covenant of God’s Word, He promises to do certain things if we keep our part of the agreement to keep His commands. His commands, as summarized by Jesus are very simple–love Him and love others. If we love Him, we will do nothing to oppose Him; if we love others, we will do nothing to harm them.
Have we kept our part of the covenant? If not, why are we so surprised at the constantly unfolding consequences in our lives? Instead of blaming God, as the naysayers who claim they don’t even believe in God, we should look to ourselves–under a microscope–and see if we are truly keeping the covenant. Are we obeying God in all that we do or say?
From the looks of things–on a daily basis–as they are reported in the media, I would venture to say we have a long way to go to get into agreement with God before we can start to think we can receive the promises. We are out of agreement with God when we promote or encourage others to live in opposition to His Word. We are out of agreement with God when we waste our time debating His Word with those who have no relationship with Him. He never tells us to “debate” with others what He means. God said what He meant and He meant what He said. That is the totality of the matter.
In fact, He tell us through Paul not to engage in strife over The Word, debating genealogy (the ancestry of our Lord) with those who are simply looking for opportunity to stir up strife. When we are promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the good news about repentance, the Work on the Cross, and salvation, we are told if people won’t receive it–to shake the dust off our feet and keep it moving. I find this to particularly true of instigators in online forums. The naysayers will randomly select a person talking about Jesus and interact with a seemingly innocuous question to engage our attention. DON’T ENGAGE! They hope to get people rattled and then sit back and laugh at the confusion they start and they garner assistance from others who think the way they think.
Hmmm! Confusion stirred in the minds of Believers–doesn’t that sound like the devil at work since we know that God is not the author of confusion? If we are truly in Christ, we have the mind of Christ, and we have the discernment of Him who guides us and we can know when the enemy is at work.
The bottom line for us is this–if we are not seeing God’s promises fulfilled in our lives, we need to do a thorough investigation of self–to see where we may be falling short and we may discover–we are in agreement in all things and it is simply a matter of being in God’s timing to receive. Hallelujah! Let’s choose to dwell with Him and say, “He is my refuge.”