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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A refuge like no other

1-2 God, the one and only— I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I'm set for life. 
(Psalm 62:1-2 The Message Bible)

1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
(Psalm 62:1-2 The New International Version)

David spends a good deal of time in this Psalm addressing his enemies, those he considers to be is close friends, and even himself.  He is proclaiming his position in God - impregnable, immovable, solid.  When one finds that they are mobile - they are capable of being moved - changeable in mood, appearance, or purpose. When one is immobile - there is a fixed position in mind - incapable of being moved or not moving at all.

David was surrounded by enemies - the battle was ON.  Though surrounded on all sides, he declares that he is fixed on God and will not be moved as a result.  Sometimes the afflictions in our lives become so much like huge weights that serve the purpose of pulling us down.  When we see them through the eyes of Jesus, we realize that they are meant to help us dig deeper into Christ, not to crush us or bury us alive in the mire of the pit.

When affliction comes, we have many responses - one of the most common is fear.  Fear is an open door for Satan to enter.  Fear demonstrates a lack of confidence in our stability - we are admitting that we have the capacity of being moved or shaken.  If we are grounded in Christ, why does fear enter in at all?  Well, it comes because we have some forces at work in our life that want to make us believe that what we believe in, who we believe in, and the very foundation that provides in our lives is faulty.

Satan is constantly working to move us to DO wrong - he wants us saying wrong things, thinking wrong thoughts, demonstrating wrong actions.  He knows that if he can do this, he takes us out of step with God.  He places us on ground that is less secure and our movement forward is impaired.  If he gets us moving ahead of God's timing, or lagging behind when God is asking us to move forward, he gets us in a place where we are no longer on solid ground.

Sin in our own lives affects our solid foundation - tempting us to move in ways that are not honoring to God.  Whenever things like envy, anger, bitterness, revenge, lust or greed become the focus in our lives, we are on shaky ground.  These things pull us down faster than we realize.  We also have temptations that seek to destroy or damage our foothold that are more subtle, not always noticed for the effect they have.  Things like wrong types of friendships, pressure to conform to a peer group's values, or the pressure mounted by the media to conform to the societal values of the time are also placing this undue pressure on us to question our position in Christ.

There are some key points in our passage that we need to latch onto in order to avoid the pitfalls that make us movable, less "fixed" in our position in Christ.  First, our soul MUST find rest in God and no other source.  When there is rest, there is a purposeful cessation of activity - we stop trying to do what God has already done for us in the work of salvation.  Second, we must come to a place where we trust him at ALL times.  Trust is a total, unwavering reliance in his character, ability, and strength in our lives - we become dependent on him, not ourselves.  Third, we must pour out our heart and soul to him.  God desires intimate communion with his children - allowing all that is within (even our fears) to be expressed freely in his presence.  Last, but certainly not least, we must find God as our REFUGE.  He is the shelter we need - the escape and protection from danger we long for.  He should be our resort in times of difficulty, just as he is to be our enjoyment in times of great joy.

Get FIXED on God.  Get FIXED in God.  Then let God get FIXED in you.  You will find great safety, strength, and assurance in that foothold.