Psalm 18:30c, “He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”
[Here is another statement of the perfect partnership you desire with us, Lord: your powerful protection is predicated on our premeditated hiding in you. If we choose to rely on ourselves, refusing to flee to you, to seek your wisdom, to obey what we know to be true, to run in your Way–we place ourselves outside your shelter.
But if we run to you for help, thinking Truth, praying for guidance, offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving, submitting to your Wisdom–then you swing your shield of protection over us, keeping us safe from all true harm. “He who DWELLS in the shelter of the Most High will REST in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). If we don’t dwell there, we can’t rest in His protection.
How do we run to you? Primarily through four actions: praise in all, praying in all, preemptively thinking your Word, and persistently obeying it.
It means taking seriously such statements as “I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:9), and “…call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psa. 50:15).
It means implementing Philippians 4:6,7 “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God [our part]. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [shield] your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” [God’s part].
So, for example, when we are sick, taking refuge in you means our first move is to praise, thanking you for the situation, knowing you have allowed this for a reason; then asking for your help and healing. Then going to the doctor if necessary. This declares our dependence on you, gives you glory and opens the way for you to work through whatever means you choose to bring healing at the right time.
The opposite of this is seen in the life of King Asa: “Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians” (2 Chron. 16:12). And he died in his illness. To flee to the wrong place can be deadly. So let us flee to God instead.
More on this to come on this tomorrow.