November 15, 2014

Running to the Refuge {Day 15}: Refuge from Shame

I am so sad I was not able to get to this post on Saturday, but some family things came up that took precedent.  Then I couldn't get into my blog to write when I did have the time.  Sigh.  But I know you all are forgiving, so I thank you!

I have been looking forward to reflecting on God as our refuge from shame, because I live too often either in the shadow of shame or in fear of being shamed.  The Lord does not want you and me to live that way. 

Truth is, no one I know wants to be shamed or feel shame; we try to avoid those experiences or keep them secret at all costs  How, then, is God a refuge from shame, so we can stop being afraid of it?!

He is a refuge from shame in two ways, because there are two different definitions of shame,* as I have been alluding.   One is "a feeling of guilt, regret or sadness that you have because you know you've done something wrong."  The other is "dishonor or disgrace."  Usually we bring the first upon ourselves and the other is done to us.  In either, we can run to God our refuge, because He is our Redeemer and our Defender.

As our Redeemer, God forgives our sin and restores us to righteousness.  He is a refuge from guilt, regret, and sadness that result from wrong-doing, because He is the only hope for freedom from those feelings.  He declares, Your sins are forgiven and shame must retreat, taking condemnation with her.

The Lord redeems His servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 34:22

Our Redeemer gives us refuge from shame, because shame cannot dwell in His I-freed-you-from-guilt shelter.

As our Defender, God surrounds and protects us.  He is a refuge from any way that an enemy might try to shame us.  Boldly the Psalmist prays:

In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Psalm 71:1

And he goes on petitioning God for rescue, deliverance, protection, and refuge from wicked and evil men.  He knows, as all believers should, that God is our only true hope for honor and grace.  When external forces, tangible and intangible, threaten to dishonor and disgrace us, it is the Lord who will defend our cause, when our cause is His.

Our Defender gives us refuge from shame, because in Him we find real honor and grace.

God is our refuge from shame caused by our enemies and shame caused by our sin.  Is that good news for your weary soul?  It sure is for mine.  Thinking about these things is filling me with joy!  Feelings of shame grow exponentially in the Petri dish of fear.  In the refuge of the Lord, fear evaporates and shame dies for lack of food.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Running Orders:

  • Is shame a prominent feature in your life?  Do you hide or fear rather than running to the refuge?  Take some time to write down ways shame is keeping you from the refuge, then give those things over to God prayerfully, maybe even physically ripping up the list.
  • As I was reading, I spent some time in Psalm 31:19-20 (below).  God has goodness stored up for those who fear Him.  His heart is bursting with desire to pour out His good love on you.  Rejoice and be free!
How great is your goodness
which you have stored up for those who fear you;
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence
you hide them from the intrigues of men;
in your dwelling you keep them safe
from accusing tongues.


No comments:

Post a Comment