November 25, 2014

Running to the Refuge {Day 25}: Refuge unto Blessing

This is day 25 in a month-long series.  Catch up on previous posts here.

When I think about running to the refuge, I think primarily of the relief of the refuge, getting away from whatever it is from which I need protection.  This week, as we wrap up the series, I am moving us away from thinking only of our Refuge in that way, to meditating on what God has for us to do when we know Him as our Refuge.  What is He a refuge unto?

Yesterday, I shared about praising God.  He rescues, protects, shelters, and saves us.  We respond in praise and with rejoicing.  God has been so good to us!  Today, it's blessing.  God is our refuge unto blessing.  The blessing flows from God to us and from us to others.

Repeatedly the Psalmists talk about how good it is to take Refuge in the Lord, using the metaphors of being in the shelter of God's wings, on the rock that is their refuge, or in the walls of His strong fortress.   Trusting in the Lord, i.e. taking refuge in Him, is a safe place.  God has got not only our back, but our front, top, and bottom, too!

What is beautiful to me is that God not only provides protection, but Scripture gives the impression that He wants us to thrive and grow, prosper and flourish in His care.  As a parent to a child, God wants to bless us with good gifts.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 23:5-6

God is our Refuge who meets far more than our basic needs.  He blesses us abundantly!

Talk with any Christian you know and I guarantee they have stories of undeserved goodness and love that have followed them as they have run to the refuge over the years.  The Lord is generous with His children.  He takes care of us, often in surprisingly delightful ways!

If I wanted to, I could quit this post here.  I say, "Isn't it great that the Lord blesses us when we take refuge in Him?"  You respond, "Yes,  It is so wonderful."  But let us not stop there.  Let us look at those outside the windows of our fortress-Refuge and at our fellow refugees inside our fortress-Refuge.  Then let us look at the ways God has blessed us as we have trusted in Him - could be with material things or wisdom gained, could be with healing or spiritual transformation.  Look back to the people; look again at your gifts from God.

Now, start building bridges between the two.

God blesses us because He loves us and wants to express that to those who have taken refuge in Him.  He also equips us with those blessings to share with those around us.

What good works does God have in store for you because you have run to Him as your refuge?  I don't know.  But I am sure that He has even more joy, hope, and peace for you that will come from drawing near to others and sharing with them the many gifts He has given you, because He is your Refuge.

Be a builder of blessing-bridges!
Share out of the abundance of your Refuge-God!

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise -- the fruit of lips that confess His name.  And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Hebrews 13:15-16

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