Taking Refuge

Life can be scary and painful.  We face horrible dangers and devastating losses every day, but as believers we never face them alone–

God is a shield for all who take refuge in Him! 

A shield from the darts of the enemy and his attacks. A shield which will protect me and keep me safe from every attempt to harm me. A shield which guards my heart, my mind and my soul.  

But, I have to choose to take refuge in Him! I can’t try and shield myself and I can’t try and do everything on my own. I must put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  I must choose to take refuge and remain in Him!  

I also must remember that this doesn’t mean that I will never face physical challenges or hardships.  I can’t blame God or doubt His protection when the evil of this world and the consequences of sin somehow pierce my life.  

My soul finds rest in God alone and I will have eternal peace and everlasting joy one day.  But right now, in this life with trials and tribulation, my heart and my mind are guarded in Christ Jesus and I have the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, (Philippians 4:7).

And I can have this peace even in the pain and through the struggles of this life.  God is still my refuge and my shield.  The things of this world are blocked from my soul and the evil thoughts and desires do not have to take root- His shield covers me when I choose to take refuge in the LORD!    

Heavenly Father, Your way is perfect and Your Word is flawless. You are my shield of protection and my refuge.  Thank You for arming me with strength and making my way perfect even when I can’t see or understand in the moment.  Strengthen me, Lord to take refuge in You.  You are my God, my Rock, my Provider, and my Protector–thank You!  I praise You for Who You are, for what You have done, and for all You do in my life.  In the precious name of Jesus, Amen! 
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.  (Psalm 18:30-32)

How has God been your shield?  Can I pray for you somehow? Please leave me a comment below!

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Dusty Armor

God knew before time how hard today would be. He knew the struggles I would face and the emotions I would feel.   He knows the battles I face both now and those to come and He has given me everything I need to not only survive but to have complete victory, complete peace, and complete joy!  To fully experience this though, I must prepare and use the weapons and protection He offers me! If my armor is dusty, it’s no wonder I feel the darts so much!

I was reading Exodus 14 this morning and I am so grateful for a God who goes before me to lead me, but then will move behind me and separate my enemies from me for the night, just as He did for the Israelites against the Egyptians. He held back the Egyptians while He parted the sea for the Israelites to cross on dry land.  They crossed over in full light while the Egyptian army was held back in the dark! That’s our mighty God who is fighting for us.

My enemy is just as real and I am in a daily battle. Ephesians 6 tells me that my “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” But just as God told Moses in Exodus 14 to “not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring today” God will deliver me from my enemies as well. In fact, He already has. To walk in daily victory thoughI need my armor and it is my responsibility to put it on every day.  I have a shield of faith, but I must put it up and use it. I must choose to listen to the truths God sings over me and not believe anything else! I must ignore the lies of the enemy.

Just as God told Moses to stand firm against the Egyptians, I can stand firm against my enemy and I do not have to be afraid, but I do need the protection and the weapons God has given me and I need to use them. It is up to me every day to put on the full armor of God.  If I fail to do this every day, then I am setting myself up for failure. Now the enemy can’t take my faith, but he can sure mess with my emotions and keep me from being effective. I can become so consumed with my own problems and struggles that I forget I am already victorious. Rather than live in the joy and peace that is mine, I can become consumed with fear, insecurity, and a host of other lies if not covered by the armor of God. I must listen to God and let His voice be louder than any other sound in my life.

Lord, help me to stand firm against the schemes of the enemy. Help me see that You go before me and behind me. You give me the weapons and protection I need when it is time to fight, but You also go between me and my enemy when I need time to prepare and go forward to a new place. Lord, help me listen only to Your truths and to ignore the lies. When I feel defeated or depressed, help me remember You have already overcome. Help me soak in Your Word and bask in Your goodness. You love me with an immeasurable love- help me not only feel Your love today, but even more than that, help me know to my innermost being, the depth of the love You have for me! Jesus in Your mighty, all-powerful name, AMEN!

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still Exodus 14:14

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.