November 7, 2014

Running to the Refuge {Day 7}: Refuge of Deliverance

This is day 7 of a month-long series.  Links to previous posts can be found here.

This week I have been sharing with you attributes of God our Refuge.  Scripture tell us God is the best refuge, the eternal refuge, the saving refuge, the loving refuge, and the strong refuge.  Taking refuge in God the One and Only means you are surrounded!  Above, below, before, and behind He protects you.  Taking refuge in Him means throwing all your eggs in His basket, entrusting yourself to Him and placing your faith in Him alone.  When we do that and as we walk with Him from there through the rest of life, we find not only salvation, love, and strength, but also deliverance.

God is the refuge that delivers us from evil.  Oh, that phrase is familiar isn't it?  In many churches on Sunday mornings the prayer Jesus taught His disciples is prayed, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name ... and deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray to God for deliverance.  He wouldn't do that if God were not able to deliver.  Real, true, complete deliverance is found in God and with Him.  I touched briefly on Psalm 18 yesterday, but would like to share more of it with you today.  Now, I know you are not a king appointed by God to defeat God's enemies in the world like King David, who wrote this.  And you're not being chased by the former king who wants to kill you.  But you are a child of the King like David, chosen by God to belong to Him.  As His child you also have an enemy who wants to destroy you.  Think about how these words apply to your life.

I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The chords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The chords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in my day of disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.
Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19, 30-36

Throughout the course of the Psalm, David testifies to how God delivered him from his enemies and enabled him to subdue them.  Throughout all of Scripture we read story after story of God delivering His people from the world, the flesh, and the devil: Israel from Egypt, Israel in Canaan, Israel in Esther's time, demon possessed men and women, prostitutes, the blind, lepers, proud Pharisees, murderers, the poor.

God is in the deliverance business.  Need more proof?  The manger and the cross reveal how extreme His desire is to deliver His people.  If you find yourself feeling trapped by an enemy or enemies today, now you know who you need to talk to!  For example, the time change is still messing with my sleep this week; I'm waking up too early and not always able to get back to sleep.  Being tired makes me weak-spirited and more inclined to believe lies rather than Truth.  Whether I have enough rest or not, I know after meditating on these things, that my first, best, and only hope is to ask God to deliver me from dark thoughts and fill my mind with Light.

It's time for some ...

Running Orders!
  • Read all of Psalm 18 and, if you have time, Psalm 144.  What phrases or concepts in those Psalms are of comfort to you today?  Jot them down and give thanks for God's comforting Word.
  • Are you yearning for deliverance today?  Talk with God about your situation and apply what struck you from the Psalms to prayers for that situation.

Only one more day in our week of Refuge of posts!  Next week we'll be considering what God is a Refuge from.

Happy weekend to you!

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