Refuge in the tumult

I have been taught that God’s refuge is where I live if I am making godly decisions. Psalm 91 takes another approach.

If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’ and make the most-high your dwelling,

If I say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’, I am choosing not to make anything else my refuge. There are many choices available- money, people of power, the law, … These refuges beckon us, and in danger, we are driven to them.
If I make the most-high my dwelling, then I live in Jesus’ presence, he speaks to my heart and gives me peace.
Bringing these together, I see the false choices would be a betrayal of the one who loved me and gave himself for me. If I have experienced dwelling with Jesus, then his peace keeps fear from driving me from his refuge.
The psalm goes on,

no harm will come near you, no disaster will come near your tent,

‘No harm’ is not ‘no threat’, ‘near your tent’ is not ‘in your land’. The appearance will be challenging but we have God’s promise, and rest in that assurance.

for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:9-11

We might appear naïve in this place of refuge, but the Lord is active; He commands his angels to intervene. We cannot see a rescue, but then we can’t see angels.
In the political turmoil help me, Lord, to take refuge and dwell in you!

Rest in God’s shelter

When I choose to ‘rest in the shadow of the almighty’, waiting for Him to intervene, then I am ‘dwelling in the shelter of the Most High’. (Psalm 91) This is not passive; it is a call to urgent prayer.  I had always thought these words meant, Stay close to God and you will feel safe. Now I am being trained to understand a deeper significance.

Lately the Lord has been teaching me not to intervene but to pray and wait for Him. It began with situations where I had no right to intervene yet the suffering I observed made the temptation overwhelming; still the Lord restrained. As the situations have come closer to home I have felt the right to intervene, yet when I have done so it has gone horribly wrong – such is the training.

Today I felt a duty to intervene, yet as I did I was restrained by Psalm 91. I realised that to ‘rest in the shadow of the almighty’ is not a consequence of ‘dwelling in the shelter of the Most High’ but a choice. When I see injustice I have to choose between my intervention which brings pain and defensiveness or waiting for Jesus who transforms not only the situation but the abuser. If I jump in I deny Him the opportunity.

Occasionally, in this place of waiting on God, He creates the opportunity to speak in His time. The hearer is receptive, violent words unnecessary and I become part of His intervention.