Trusting You

Psalm 9: 10

And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, O Lord, has not forsaken those who seek Thee.

I feel like naming every devotional lately “Good News.” I think it’s because I’ve been in a time of need and these verses have helped me get through a challenge. I particularly take comfort in the last phrase of this verse. I hope you do too.

Last week we looked at Psalm 9: 9 and found that God is an impregnable fortress in which we are completely safe in the day of trouble. This, the very next verse, shows us the relationship side of that fortress of protection. Imagine, if you will, that beautiful, wonderful castle that God built just for you. You are standing outside of it when you see Pharaoh’s army marching towards you. You turn and look at the castle, but instead of running towards it in relief, your heart becomes gripped with fear because you are not sure that it is really going to protect you against this danger. You fear that God really has forsaken you and that the castle is just going to crumble around you. I get it.

In real life we cannot see the fortress of God and may not have developed our trust in His protection. Therefore, in the day of trouble many of us either tremble with fear and worry or attempt to defeat the enemy with our own puny weaponry. When we have learned to trust Him, then we run into His fortress although in a sense it is a figurative fortress. The truth is that He really is a fortress, and you really can, in real life, run into His protection. You must first know Him, know beyond a doubt that He has not forsaken you and trust that He really will protect you. When you have that kind of trust, you really will be able to stand against the forces of the enemy completely safe and protected. You will watch as God defeats your foe, and you will have never even lifted a finger.

Those who know His name will put their trust in Him. His name is Yahweh. Now you know.

Safe Place

Psalm 9: 9

The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Sometimes we, as Christians, think that we have to be beaten up by the world. That could not be more misguided. Just look at this scripture. When the trouble times come, He becomes our stronghold. Now think of a stronghold. You may have a different image in mind, but I picture an impregnable castle. God is saying to us that even as we see trouble on the horizon, we retreat into the fortress and that trouble will never reach us.

Imagine yourself standing on the ramparts of your castle. Off in the distance you see the forces of Pharaoh marching towards you. Immediately you order the gates closed. No matter what Pharaoh brings against your fortress, nothing can harm it or penetrate it because it is the perfect fortification of God. God made it with His own hands, and nothing can get at you when you are within His protection.

This is the reality of God’s protection. He is that impregnable fortress. In the day of trouble you run into it and hide until God defeats your enemy. When you emerge, there is not even evidence that your enemy was ever there. God is your safe place into which you run and thereby avoid the intended onslaught of the enemy.

Is there trouble seeking you? Do you need a strong fortress today? Do this. Take a deep breath. Exhale until there is no air left in your lungs. Let the stress leave your body with the exhalation. Now, close your eyes and picture a stronghold. Keep that image in your mind as you begin to speak with God. See yourself enter in and feel the sense of security in your heart. You now have your own safe place you can run into any time you need.

Fortress Dweller

Psalm 61: 1 – 3          NLV

O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

This sounds like every one of us. We’ve all been in this place and we need the reminder that we can shelter in the towering rock where God is our refuge. While this is a good reminder, I am struck that it is more than an emergency beacon. I wish to suggest this is an everyday prayer.

This week, we looked at our victory in Jesus. God has provided everything we need to live victorious, healthy lives. We, however, must partake of all He has given. Revelation 12: 11 is where we learn that overcoming status is achieved through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. In today’s passage I hear a victorious testimony crying out. “Father, you are my towering rock of safety. You are my safe refuge. I am safe and secure in you because you are my abiding fortress. You keep me safe from all my enemies. Father, I praise you and thank you that, in you, my safety from all harm is assured.” You get the idea. But that isn’t the end of what occurred to me as I read this passage. A question presented itself.

Who are our enemies? We are not like King David who was, literally, chased around the desert by people who wished to kill him. He was hunted as prey. We may have some folks who don’t like us very well but most of us do not have identifiable enemies. Or do we? What of disease and sickness? What of economic pressures? What about family and other relationship issues? There is an enemy, the Bible tells us. 1 Peter 5: 8 makes is very clear that we have an enemy and identifies him, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Be sober and alert! Be aware! There is an enemy prowling around looking for prey. He has weapons like cancer and job layoffs. We, however, have greater weapons. We have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6: 17). We have the blood of the lamb and we have our testimony. We can proclaim that we are safe from disease because of our strong tower. We can declare in Jesus’ name that our refuge protects us from the fiery arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6: 16).

You can pray this prayer every day and proclaim your protection, and I believe we should be doing just that. Picture yourself in an impenetrable tower and confess your faith that God is protecting you.

Sanctuary or Prison?

2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Today, we hear God tell us that the weapons of the Spirit are divinely powerful and will destroy fortresses. Think of the word fortress also as stronghold. The Word of God will utterly destroy the stronghold of the enemy. But, guess who else has strongholds. Sure, all of us. We have mental and emotional strong holds that need to be defeated. The Word of God is sharp and sure and you can use it to destroy your own strongholds.

What are some strongholds that people often have? Well, we carry around all kinds of emotional baggage for starters. Strongholds can be little areas we retreat into when we are threatened. Strongholds can also be old and outdated traditions. Sometimes we adhere strictly to traditions that no longer make any sense. Maybe you lock yourself away in a fortress of fear. Even sickness and injury can be strongholds. Frankly, sometimes it is easier to be sick than to get up and fight to get well or whole. I know. Perhaps you rely on someone else to your own detriment. There is always a balance between leaning to heavily on others and being self-reliant to a fault. There are probably innumerable strongholds that we hide away in but the Word of God is strong enough to destroy all of those secret fortresses. While we have used those strongholds to protect ourselves, in truth they are keeping us from being whole. They have a high cost. They keep us disabled. They prevent us from reaching our true potential. Most importantly, they rob us of ever having healthy relationships with our Father and with others. They were convenient for a season but now it is time to break out of all those little dark fortresses we have built up within ourselves. They keep us from truly experiencing the freedom that we could have in Christ. Most of them are built out of lies and misconceptions anyway.

You no longer need a made up fortress to protect you from hurt. You are an adult in Christ now and you can take on the biggest baddie that the devil ever created because you don’t have to fight anything in your own might any longer. You don’t have to hide away in fear any more. When the light of the son shines on those old fears, you will see them for the lies they are. You will see how much greater the son is than those problems. You can truly be free and you can develop into the person that God intended you to be before those things interfered with your development. Let the light of the Word shine and vanquish those little demons that have plagued you for so long.


Psalm 18: 2

The Lord is my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

This is not an unfamiliar scripture to you nor is the concept foreign. What we may not have considered, though, is the practical application involved and implied in this verse. One of the things I am doing these days which is bringing enlightenment to my thinking is that I am reading verses from a very pragmatic perspective. Beyond the poetic verse, and the almost ethereal ideals, there must be a practical application in order for these verses to have gravity in my very present life. “Thanks, David, for showing us your relationship and interaction with the Father but how do I apply that to my here and now?” That is the continual question I endeavor to answer on a daily basis.

I like to think that the Lord is our refuge and fortress as well but when David wrote, “in whom I take refuge” what do you suppose he actually did? Was this just a figure of speech or was there something affirmative he did? I think for us to run into the refuge of our hiding place we must actually engage in some kind of intentional act. Perhaps that act is prayer or meditation. I do not think that accepting the concept of God as our rock, shield and stronghold is the same as taking refuge in Him. I perceive from David’s words that when the pressure was on, he stopped looking to himself as the source of strength and instead went to the Lord in his spirit, in his mind and in his prayers. I think his retreat into the Lord was so real that it was all but a physical sequestration.

There is a level of surrender and release in this escape into the fortress of the Lord. It calls on God to be the strong savior while we rest in the shadow of His presence. We can, quite literally, I believe, hide ourselves away in who God is.

This taking these verses literally instead of figuratively is where the revelation begins to pour out like a summer rain and we begin to see real world application for what otherwise might be mere poetry to others. In all these high ideals there is the real world and God is one for real effects. What seems like a purely spiritual idea is really a God idea that is effectuated through the Spirit but with real impact on real lives. We, therefore, can read the Bible with that in mind and thus find the means for it to change our lives forever.

Page Two

Lamentations 3: 22 – 25

The Lord’s lovingkindesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.

I didn’t want to leave you with the woe of Israel. Some of you remember Paul Harvey and his radio broadcasts. He used to say, “Page Two” as he moved on with his story telling. There is often a page two in life. As you see in these verses, Jeremiah knows, and tells, “the rest of the story.” He knows from where salvation comes. And let us not only think of salvation as the divider between heaven and hell. God wishes to save us from every unfavorable situation. In these verses, God’s saving grace is exposed and proclaimed.

There is trouble in life. Jesus told us that. Read David’s psalms and it becomes clear. Of course, there is an entire book of lamentations. However, at the end of the day, at the end of the book, behind every worry there is the faithfulness of God. He is always there to scoop us up and carry us away from the turmoil and tribulation. He is our shield and our fortress. We really can hide in Him while the world spins away.

In the Old Testament, specifically the Psalms, we read about our Father as the stronghold, the fortress, our refuge. These are all places into which a person can retreat and find security. In the New Testament, Jesus calls this being “in Him.” In Christ and in the Father, is fullness of compassion and hope. We have a promise here in Lamentations that God shows His goodness to those who wait for Him, to those who seek Him. So, the way I hear this is that God has little choice. I have power in this situation. If I seek Him, if I wait for Him, He will pour out His good upon me. I mean, the formula is already there, just plug in the variable over which you have control and it has to produce its equivalent counter-part which is the goodness of God.

Our father waits on high to pour His goodness out upon us. He longs to show us His tender mercies and benevolence. He is so overflowing with lovingkindness that it is without end or limitation. Each day He begins with goodness to give to us. So, though there is trouble in the world, there is goodness, salvation and kindness is our Father. We do not have to reside in the trouble, we can choose to move into God’s loving nature.

Let Him pour Himself out to you. He is without end. Everything you need or want in this hour is in Him. Seek His face, even right now in this moment. Let Him hear your voice and let Him be a loving Father.

Word Shield

1 Peter 1: 5

…who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It is important for us to remind ourselves that God has provided for our protection. It is his power that saves us but that power is at work through our faith. His power is activated and operated through our faith. When we speak words of faith, we activate his power in our lives. We say out of our mouths that God is our fortress and our protector; he is our shield and our refuge. When we do speak these strong words of faith, the power of God comes on the scene to fulfill its role. God said that his word never returns to him void without having accomplished that for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). So when we boldly profess his word regarding protection, that word must bring about God’s protective forces. His angels are standing by to do the works of the Lord and they hearken to His word. Appropriate all of God’s blessings for yourself by boldly declaring all that God has promised you.