What to Repent From — Continued...
God as Protection
Earthly Sources as Your
Protection and Refuge!
You Can Depend on God!
One example of what God considers "other gods" are the places, people, circumstances, and things in which we seek refuge.
The Bible says, "And He will say, 'Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge...Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place! See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me'" (Deut. 32:37-39).
God wants you to hide yourself inside His closeness to you. The way God sees it, anything else is idolatry.
That God wants to be your God means it is His full intention to be to you what you need as a strong place of refuge! David said, "I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge" (Psa. 71:7). The same can be true for you!
In today’s language a place of refuge has to do with the ways we feel secure and soothe ourselves. It is right that you want to feel secure. God designed you to need a safe place of refuge. He also designed you to love your refuge. It is just that God wants to be your refuge—not anything else.
The Bible shows a direct relationship between making God your refuge and quenching your thirsty desires with His presence.
"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light" (Psalm 36:7-9). Please note that the people who "drink" God's presence are those who make Him their refuge.
You can find refuge in God's presence because the Bible says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." (James 4:8). Repentance is about softening your heart into believing and acting on that wonderful truth.
Making God your refuge is all about hiding yourself inside His presence here and all around you. King David wrote, "But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge..." (Psa. 73:28). We need to depend on the "nearness of God" because when we find refuge and security by earthly means, it is always close to us—a child’s blanket, our personality, our doctrines, the money in our pocket, hard shells of self-protection.
God designed you to need something close to you in order to find refuge. God knows what you need! It is His desire to draw near to you and be your God--more fully than what you may have ever known was possible.
When you get hurt—for whatever reason—soothing yourself with God’s presence is far more effective than anything else you could depend on.
Repent of trusting the nearness of earthly sources to you. The refuge that you need close to you is God. Everything else will hurt you. Everything else is idolatry.
You Don't Have to Hold Back!
The Bible tells us, "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart" (Psa. 24:3,4a). That verse is not intended to make you feel hopeless.
Think of repentance as purifying yourself by turning from earthly ways of finding refuge and drawing near to God. It is the people who purify themselves by directing their heart to depend on God—as their only and most loved refuge—who are the ones that God invites to enter and drink from the fountain of God.
You don't have to stay away! The Bible says, "...none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned" (Psa. 34:22). When it is your intention to make God's presence your refuge you don't have to hold back or stay away because of fear. Get your heart to believe it!
Don't worry that you may not know how to draw near to God as these verses describe. Doing so is something you will learn because of repentance. I will go into greater detail on how you can draw near to God. But don't underestimate how much repentance will help you. Directing your heart toward God helps you to better understand spiritual things--that is just how it works.
Let me quote it again, "And He will say, 'Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge...Let them rise up and help you, Let them be your hiding place! See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me'" (Deut. 32:37-39).
Make God your God--make it your intention to repent by continually receiving God's presence and loving His closeness as your most enjoyed place of refuge. Delight in His closeness as what soothes, reassures, and makes you secure. Make Him Your God.
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
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What to Repent From — Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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