What imagery comes to mind when you hear the word refuge? Do you think of a concrete-laden bunker, equipped with barbed wire and the works, or do you think of your childhood home, with parents and siblings close by? I’m sure we could come up with tons of visual images for the word refuge, but they all will depict some form of safety.
Refuge is defined as, “shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.; a place of shelter, protection, or safety; anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape.” When I read these definitions, I can see why God is declared as being our refuge throughout the book of Psalms.
“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” Psalm 91: 2 (NLT)
This verse gives such a powerful declaration of who God is in the life of the psalmist. This should be a declaration for every follower of Christ as well. Let’s take a closer look at this declaration and see how we can apply it to our lives.
He Alone is My Refuge
From the definition above, we see that a refuge is a shelter or protection from danger. The psalmist declares in the verse that God alone is his refuge. He is saying that God is the only place he can run to and find shelter from any danger he faces in this world. This is true for the psalmist, but is it true for us? I fear that for so many believers it is easy to make other things our refuge and not allow God to be our only true refuge in times of trouble. The enemy is constantly scheming against the people of God, hoping we would choose another refuge. We, however, have somewhere to run when danger is right before us. We can run to the Lord during tough times and He will protect us better than any other refuge we could think of.
During a storm, the stronger the shelter, the more secure you will feel while you are in the shelter. The almighty God who can hold every galaxy in place by the power of his word will be your shelter. There is no stronger shelter we can run to! The Alpha and the Omega promises to be our refuge. He is the safest, most secure refuge we could ever ask for. Knowing this should help you want to declare along with the psalmist that, “God alone is my refuge.”
He is My Place of Safety
After the psalmist says that God alone is his refuge, he then goes on to declare that God is his “place of safety.” Again, as believers, we can be tempted with making everything else our place of safety except the Lord. I think it is easy to do this because the Lord is invisible and the things that can pose as a place of safety are visible, and right before us. People can make all sorts of things their place of safety: a spouse, their jobs, books, drugs, alcohol. You name it and people can run to it if it appears to display some sense of security and safety.
The problem with running to all these other things is the false sense of security they carry. They were made into a place of safety by the work of your hands. This is done because we all have a desire to feel safe. Although we have this desire, any “refuge” we create will crumble when the right storm comes along. A man-made refuge is not built upon a sure foundation. It will not be able to withstand the storms that are sure to come in this life. The winds will come and the haven we create will surely disintegrate right before our eyes. But if we make the Lord our place of safety, we will truly be safe.
Listen saints, you never have to create a safety net around yourself when you walk with the Lord. You can rely on Him to be your safety net. You don’t have to protect yourself when your heavenly Father is your protection. Allow the Lord to be your “place of safety“, and experience the peace and hope that true safety brings.
He is My God, and I Trust Him
The last section of Psalm 91:2 says, “he is my God, and I trust him.” Although it is the last portion of the verse, this portion is the key that allows the psalmist to make the previous declarations. The key is trust. The trust that he has for his God is crucial. His trust enables him to run to an invisible God and know that he is safe. To make the Lord Jesus your only true refuge, you have to trust in him to get the job done. If you don’t trust him, you will not place your life in his hands.
But I have great news for you saints! Jesus can be trusted to be our refuge. As believers, we can place our lives in his hands, because he is the creator of life itself. The Lord’s hands are strong enough to uphold us and the entire world. There is no safer or more secure place, than in the hands of Jesus Christ. We can trust him to be our refuge. You can trust him to be your refuge.
Allow Him To Be Your Only Refuge
Have you ever been guilty of finding safety in things other than the Lord? Have you created your own safety net in hopes of protecting yourself from danger? I implore you to release control and trust in the only refuge that can be trusted during any storm. Flee from every false sense of security you cling so tightly to and rest in the one who can be your true place of safety. Run to him in prayer and obtain safety from all fear and anxiety. Run to His word and allow it to anchor you when the storms of life rage. You will receive peace and complete security in the Lord your God.
The Lord says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrew 13:5) Knowing this truth, we can declare with the psalmist, “He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”
Safe in His Arms,
- What things do you try to find security in other than Jesus? Why do we often look to these other places before we look to God?
- When or where do you feel the most insecure? In those times, how can you practically draw near to God to gain security in your heavenly Father?
- When or where do you feel the most secure? What is it about this time or place that makes you feel secure? How can you invite God into this space more?