Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Within the Mighty Fortress

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters His voice and the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come, behold the works of the Lord, how He has brought desolation on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire. “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”    (Psalm 46- ESV)
This Psalm speaks so much about the character and nature of God. 

1.              God is my refuge

2.          God is my strength

3.          God is  my very present help (or also my well-proved help)

4.            God is the Most High

5.          God dwells in holiness.

6.           God is the Lord of hosts.

7.              God is with me.

8.             God is my fortress.

9.             At the voice of the Lord- the earth melts.

10.      God makes wars cease.

11.       God breaks the bows and shatters spears and burns chariots with fire.

12.   God will be exalted over all the nations and earth.

Think for a moment. God is my fortress. My strength. My refuge. I immediately think of castles. They are beautiful and magnificent. Equipped with towers, winding staircases, secret escape passages and rooms. Walls were 15 feet thick in some castles. But at some point the castles fall and were defeated.

But think about when God says that HE is OUR FORTRESS. He cannot be defeated. If I were in a secret tunnel deep within the earth I would feel pretty safe. But think- The Lord God Almighty is my Fortress. I am in Him- is there a safer place to be?
Knowing who God is and that He is our fortress, our refuge, strength and help will cause us not to fear.

WE WILL NOT FEAR THOUGH…… the earth gives way. Mountains fall into the sea.waters rage and mountains tremblenations rage and kingdom’s totter...
As believers we should have no fear because we are hidden in the mighty fortress of our God. We should not even fear even the ending of the world.

There are 4 things that this Psalm calls the believer t o do:

1.              We will not fear or (do not fear.)

2.          Behold the works of the Lord

3.          Be still.

4.            Know He is God.

These 4 commands are all connected. We should have no fear because when we know and believe God as the awesome, all powerful fortress that He is it will cause us to be fearless. But knowing God comes when we are still before Him and we behold Him as He is. So often we are not still- knowing He is God and beholding Him as   the all-powerful God and the outcome of not beholding is fear. Whenever we are not delighting and dwelling on the nature and character of God our natural inclination will be to fear and doubt God. The root of all fear is believing a lie When we are not believing and thinking upon the Truth- how easy it is to fall into one of Satan’s lies. When we are beholding God as our refuge, our fortress and help and strength then why will we fear?

How I worry about the littlest of things. Money, jobs, what I am going to do or wear, friends, a future spouse or even, safety and the thought of potential danger or loss of someone that I love. It says that we will have no fear even if the world is to give way then why am I fearing and worrying about the littlest of things when I have Jesus?

Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You keep him (or her) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he or (she) trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  (Isaiah 54:10)
We may not have armies attacking us like David did in the time this psalm was written but what is coming against us? What are we fearing? What lies are we believing? Why aren’t we beholding and being still before the Lord?

Our fortress as believers is the blood of Jesus Christ. If we are in Christ Jesus, we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Nothing can separate or snatch us out of His hand. We can be still be for the Lord, resting in perfect peace because we are within the Mighty Fortress of our God.
I'll end with one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite godly women- Elisabeth Elliot-

"Yet the God who controls the wheeling galaxies and who spoke before the foundation of the world must be the God who holds the smallest circumstance of your life in His hands. We are encompassed on all sides by the Almighty. "His tender mercies are over all His works." "steadfast love surrounds him (or her) who trusts in the Lord," and underneath are the Everlasting Arms." Over, around, underneath. We are enfolded. Can you think of a safer place to be?"

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