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  • Battleground

    1 posts, 1 voices, 628 views, started Nov 17, 2011

    Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Denise Richardson


    • Diamond

      "Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You."Psalm 16: 2
      (Hebrew text)

      Take Refuge - God is the ultimate refuge for His children. No place on earth, no alliance with men, no surrounding army can offer the safety and security that God offers. We all know this, but until we take into account the author of these words, we may not truly appreciate it.

      David was Israel's greatest king. When he ruled, Israel's borders were enlarged beyond any previous or subsequent monarch. David was a fearsome warrior and he conquered wherever he went. This was a man of great power and prestige. Certainly, he had nothing to fear. But David wrote these words. That should remind us of the desperate helplessness of the human condition. If the most powerful man in Israel recognizes that only God can offer him real refuge, how much more must we acknowledge our utter dependency? We need to pay attention to the author and the author's status if we are going to appreciate the enormous impact of these words. In the end, there is no safety except in the Lord.

      The verb here is chasah. It paints a picture of the battlefield. In hills and caves, soldiers found shelter. Perhaps that's why this verb is associated with words like stronghold, secure height, strong rock and place of escape. When the battle turns against you, you better have a place to run to. David found that place in his trust in God. God becomes the strong Rock, the safe height and the place of escape. The verb emphasizes the essential insecurity of life and points us toward our only true stronghold. Safety isn't found in numbers (as David learned). It is found in the one true God. When He shelters us, nothing can harm us.

      David's insight is easy to assert but often difficult to apply. Certainly, in times of desperation, we run to God. Acutely aware of our vulnerability, we seek refuge in Him. But applying this insight in good times is really the key to divine security. The trick of the enemy is to lull us into a false sense of security by providing tangible distractions to our true condition. We pile up wealth, health and friendships, imagining that somehow these will protect us in a storm. Of course, they won't, but that doesn't prevent us from acting as though they will. There is nothing wrong with securing these resources, as long as we recognize that they are nothing more than God's gifts for Kingdom purposes. It's easy to forget how fragile life really is if we become distracted by these substitutes for refuge. In fact, if the distractions begin to occupy our attention, God sometimes needs to remove them in order for us to see the truth. David and I share personal experiences in this corrective process. It's a wake-up call that I sincerely hope you will not need.

      Most of the battles in the enemy's territory begin right here – knowing our vulnerability and God's reliability. The enemy wants all of us to think we are generals. The truth is that we are all just foot soldiers, slogging it out trying not to get shot. When we start thinking that we are secure at headquarters, the enemy has won a great victory. Refuse his ploy! Look at your feet. They are covered with the dust of battle as you follow in the footsteps of the Messiah. You are preserved by His reliability – and nothing else.


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