But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love. - Psalms 5:11-12
I don't know about you, but there are times when I need to take refuge from everything around me. And by refuge I don't mean completely "checking out" from my responsibilities or relationships.
By refuge, I mean spending time with God, alone, in prayer, praising Him, and allowing a shield of love, His love, to protect me and our time of fellowship.
Trying to balance work and home life, focus on key relationships, and invest in the key areas of my life that help me love, lead, and serve with purpose can often be overwhelming. The tyranny of the urgent fights for my attention with such ferocity that life (especially during the holidays) can feel out of control or that it is spinning so fast.
If I'm not careful where I choose to take refuge though, I can actually do more harm than good - experience more pain than peace - and feel more stress than renewal.
My sinful nature pulls me towards anything that will take me off purpose. It confuses my thinking and makes me feel as though I need to escape. This escape may come in the form of focusing on low-payoff activities, staying up late watching TV, or caring more about my favorite sports team than the people I love and the work I am called to perform.
The LORD is not a god of confusion though. He is a God of revelation and relationship. We see this longing for relationship and protection in Psalm 5: 11-12.
It is a prayer that does not include a plea for escape, but rather a plea and praise for God to enter into current reality and provide protection, blessing, shielding, and refuge.
It is a praise reminding me to remain engaged in the world while focusing my attention on the only One that can bring me peace when life gets crazy. Remaining in the world - focused on my responsibilities and the people I love and lead - while remaining obedient to the LORD.
When I take refuge in the LORD and obey his commands - live life by the Spirit - then I remain forever protected by this love.
When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love. - Jesus (John 15:10)
When I venture away from the LORD - allowing the tyranny of the urgent to rule my life, for it to take me off purpose, and when I cease to live life by the Spirit, I struggle and falter as a follower of Christ.
Its not that I have lost the love of the Father but I have made a choice to find refuge in something other than him - something that cannot provide a shield of love, which I so desperately need if I am going to be a purposeful leader.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your shield of love that surrounds me each day. Holy Spirit, help me to make wise decisions that keep me under the wing of your protection - help me to choose life in you, rather than life according to my sinful nature. Jesus, teach me to obey your commandments - help me to have the faith and perseverance that you had to remain in the love and protection of the Father.
- Where do you take refuge when life and work get crazy?
- What do you need to change in your daily routine to help you start your day focused on the LORD?
- Are you creating a culture at work and at home where those you love and serve find refuge?
Make it a great day!