When I started our new series, Believing God, I have to admit I didn’t expect such a huge response. Apparently, I’m not the only one who struggles to fully trust and believe God. Last week, we discussed not running ahead of God and trying to solve our problems on our own. This started a large discussion online about how difficult it is to fully believe God will fulfill His promises, because we can’t physically see God at work. We must choose to trust Him even though we can’t see anything happening.
As I prayed about this, God kept bringing to mind my favorite psalm, Psalm 91. If you aren’t familiar with this particular psalm, I encourage you to take a moment and read it. Verses 1-2 says, “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!’” What then follows is a litany of promises of what God will do in our lives if we simply throw ourselves on the mercy of God and make Him our refuge. Not only is the word “refuge” used three separate times in sixteen short verses, but in verse nine we see a new name for God – Jehovah-Machsi, which means “my refuge.”
So, what does refuge even mean? In the simplest of terms, it means a place that provides shelter or protection from danger. Think about that. God is a place of safety for us. It reminds me of when I was a kid playing tag with a group of children. We always had a safe place where we could go when we needed to take a break from the game. It was called our safe zone; no one was allowed to touch us when we were in the safe zone. In the same way, God is like this. When we let Him, He is our safe zone. God promises to protect us, BUT we must step into the safety zone. God will never force Himself onto us. It’s our job, when problems arise, to run to God and ask Him to protect us, and therein lies our problem. When faced with a challenge, few of us immediately cry out, “God, I’m stepping into the safety zone! It’s Your job to protect me.” Yet look at all the promises God gives us in Psalm 91 when we do just that!
My favorite promise is found in verse 7 when it says, “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you.” It’s not always evident that God is protecting us, but just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean He isn’t at work. Every morning before I start my car, I pray and ask God to protect me and my car as I drive. I ask Him to be a shield and protector from all things – be it another car, an animal racing across the road, or something falling off the back of the truck in front of me. Last week, as I was praying about how we can believe that God is working in our lives, God showed me the truth of His promise in Psalm 91:7. On three separate occasions as I was driving to work, something happened to the car in front of me. The first time was a car having a tire blowout. The second instance was a car wreck just a few cars ahead of me. The last incident involved a policeman pulling the car in front me. It was then I realized the truth of verse seven. A thousand may fall at your side, but it shall not approach you because you made God your safe zone.
God has things He wants to do in our lives, but it’s up to us to choose Him. We must let go of the need to be in control and make God our refuge. And it’s a daily choice. It’s getting up every morning and saying, “God, no matter what happens today, I run to You. You are my refuge, my place of safety. Take care of me. Protect me. Shield and defend me as only You can do.”
God is Jehovah-Machsi. He is my refuge, my safe place. Is He yours?
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” ~Psalm 62:8
© January 19, 2017