REFUGE BEGINS WITH TRUST
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, Psalm 91:2-5
Have you ever played a trust game? You know the ones where you have to fall into someone's arms or fall off of a table into the arms of a group of people. Or maybe the one where you have to reach out to one person and catch each other and push yourselves back into a standing position. Over the years I have seen, participated and led these games as a way to build trust and connection with any group that I am with. It may be a leadership training, a camp or just a youth worship where we need to press a point about trust. As we continue to dig into the word REFUGE this week, I fully belief that REFUGE first begins with the word trust. There has to be an inkling of trust with the person or place that we seek or find refuge. It is a surrendering of our authority over to someone who we TRUST to take care of us in our time of need. There is something huge about that understanding of surrender that will continue to guide us along our refuge journey. We have to be willing to place our lives into the hands of others. We have to have faith to trust that they will help us to overcome our situation. We even have to surrender our pride and our hearts over to God if we are going to ultimately give Him our full trust and authority over our lives.
I know that may sound a little difficult for all of us, but the reality is that we have to be willing to surrender ourselves into the hands of others if we are truly going to feel safe and secure. Just like the trust games I mentioned earlier, there is a point where you have to let go of your life.. your fear... your control and rely on others to help fully complete the exercise. You
cannot catch yourself. You cannot lean on yourself. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to fully understand the background of the trust game if you are incapable of letting go and surrendering your life into the hands of someone who is there to help. That is a valuable lesson that we all need to learn from time to time. We have to recognize that there is so many other things that we are willing to put our trust in that let us down all of the time. In doing so, we are seeking things that we can still control, and when we are in true need of refuge, we have found ourselves so out of control that we cannot handle the situation. Yet, we are still trying to control it all and not willing to let God take over. Why? Why do we find ourselves in such a battle with ourselves when God is so ready to help us through providing shelter and strength. It is not until we fully trust and surrender it all that we are capable of finding true refuge for our lives.
As we read the words from the Psalmist today, we are reminded of the sheer control that God has over every situation. The commentary says, "God is a shelter, a refuge when we are afraid. He is capable of carrying us through all the dangers and fears of life." Do you hear that last part. God is capable of carrying us through ALL... not some, but ALL the dangers and fears of life. This is a picture of trust, trading all our fears for faith in Him, no matter how intense the situation may become in our lives. In order for us to receive this refuge there is a caveat. We must be willing to dwell and rest with Him. This decision we make is not one where we just say that we are going to be with God until this certain situation is over, but the fact that we are going to dwell and rest in God's refuge forever. It is a mentality that we have to take hold of and a lifestyle change that we have to make. It is fully letting go of our lives and finding the peace and comfort of dwelling with God. Refuge is something that we all seek from time to time and most of us only find for a season. The Psalmist is saying that if we are willing to fully surrender our lives to God, we will be able to dwell in His house of refuge for eternity. Yes, we will continue to face many battles and uncertainties, but we will do so with the full comfort and authority of God walking with us every step of the way.
Today I am asking us all if we are truly seeking refuge... if we are truly seeking to find peace and safety, then we have to be willing to step out and trust God to be God. Refuge first
starts with trust and allowing ourselves to let go of any and all situations and allow God to take control. We must be willing to recognize the true joy and peace we will find once we step over that threshold and begin walking together with Jesus. By entrusting ourselves to His protection and pledging our daily devotion to Him, we WILL be kept safe. I know that sounds completely mind blowing to think about, but all God is asking is to trust him and surrender all of our lives- heart, mind and soul- over to Him. Seems like a very simple price to pay if we truly desire to find REFUGE from this world. Who is ready to take the first step...