Take Refuge in God

Psalm 31:1, 11-13 NASB

“In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me…
Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.”

In today’s world, this describes the persecuted church. And, she is being persecuted because of her faith in Jesus Christ, and because of her stand on the truths of scripture, and because she is also proclaiming those truths in opposition to the lies. And, so she is being strong-armed (pressured), via various manipulative and cruel means, into changing her stance, and into recanting her testimony, and into supporting the lies, instead.

But, it isn’t just the faithful of God who are being persecuted. It is all who will not bow to the beast New World Order, and who won’t be strong-armed into submission to the beast world system, whether it be governments of various nations or corporations or whatever. For some are being threatened with punitive measures if they will not conform to the New World Order.

Many are having their livelihoods threatened. Many are being smeared with lies and slandered for no fault of their own, but just because they are standing for what is right and because they are saying “No” to the beast world system, and its one world order, and its one world religion.

But, it isn’t just people or governments or corporations who won’t bow to the beast who are being persecuted, but it is the gospel itself which is under persecution, and which is being slandered, discarded, twisted, and rejected. For, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being accused of being false teaching and works-based salvation, and it is being accused of being legalistic, judgmental, and intolerant. For, the truth is being promoted as lies, and the lies are being promoted as truth.

So, for the persecuted follower of Christ, this is a prayer for deliverance from an oppressive enemy force. This is a prayer seeking deliverance from all adversaries. This is a prayer seeking the truth to be revealed and for the lies to be exposed so that the follower of Christ can be free from accusation and can be exonerated, and for their life on earth to be saved out of the hands of their enemies.

But, we must know this. There are no guarantees in this life that we will be delivered from persecution other than through death. I am not saying it won’t happen, but that our Lord told us we would be hated and persecuted as he was, and he was delivered over to death. Yet, sometimes the Lord does bring us relief on this earth, and he does exonerate us in this life. But, if he doesn’t, we still need to trust him.

But, he will deliver us from the persecution taking us out. He will give us all the strength we need to endure, and the wisdom to know how to respond to our persecutions and to our persecutors. And, he will give us inward peace that surpasses all human understanding, and he will fill us with his joy even when we are being severely persecuted for our faith. We just have to keep trusting the Lord, and keeping standing on the truth no matter what.

Psalm 31:6, 13-18, NASB

“I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the Lord…
For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.”

Well, I don’t believe we should hate anyone. We can hate what they do. We can hate what they stand for. But, we must love and forgive them. But, forgiveness does not turn a blind eye to nor does it tolerate sinful rebellion, especially as it regards doing harm to others, especially to the innocent. So, we can forgive our persecutors, but that doesn’t mean we make allowances for them to continue in their sin, or that we approve their sin, or that we make compromises with them in order to make peace with them.

Instead, if possible, we should lovingly confront them with their sins, if we have knowledge of specific wrongdoing, and we should call them to repentance and to obedience to Christ, and to being reconciled with those whom they have injured and with God.

For many live as enemies of the cross, just doing what their evil hearts desire. They are gluttonous, living in willful rebellion against God, addicted to sin. They are sluggards who have no qualms against sinning against others or against enticing others to sin with them. And, they have no problems taking advantage of others without conscience, either.

And, the sad reality of this is that we are not just talking about people out in the world. We are talking about people and pastors and church leaders within the gatherings of the church who are living like this, taking advantage of others for their own sinful pleasures, who are being abusive, and who are covering up their sins with lies, even lies against those they are sinning against.

Many of them are false teachers who are bringing the gospel into disrepute, who are convincing people to reject the true gospel in favor of a cheap grace gospel that makes no demands for repentance, submission or obedience, and which gives free license to continue in sinful practices without guilt. And, thus they are leading people straight to hell while promising them heaven.

And, then there is the cheap grace gospel itself which is luring people into sinful rebellion against God and into living immoral lifestyles. It is very seductive and manipulative and deceptive in its claims that you can be “saved” from your sins, be guaranteed eternal life with God, but that you can continue living in sin without it impacting your eternal life with God.

So, this again is a prayer for deliverance, not just from persecution, but from deception, and from temptation to be lured into sinning against God. For, the cheap grace gospel and its creators are very much interested in destroying our lives so that we go to hell while being convinced we are going to heaven. So, we as the people of this world need to have our eyes opened to this deception so that we are not taken captive by charming deceivers.

And, this is a prayer for the liars and their lies to be exposed for what they are and for the truth to come out so that the veil of deception is lifted from people’s eyes, so that they will believe and follow the truth, and so that their lives will be saved for eternity. And, this is also a prayer that the lies being spread about the Lord’s servants and messengers also be exposed so that his servants and witnesses might be exonerated.

Psalm 31:23-24 NASB

“O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.”

So, the encouragement here is for all of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ to truly love our Lord by walking in obedience to his commands and by walking with him in holiness and righteousness. It is for us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to our Lord. And it is for us to be faithful to our Lord in all our ways, too, and to not give the devil a foothold in our lives in any way.

And, this is also a warning to all who are living in sinful rebellion against God, who are continuing in sinful addiction, living to please the flesh, who are being spiritually lazy, and who are inviting immorality into their lives due to their own negligence and their own openness to temptation to sin.

We are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; cf. Rom. 2:6-8; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

So, know the truth which will set you free. Reject the lies of Satan, and believe the truth of the gospel which says we must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to righteousness if we want to have eternal life with God.

The Ninety and Nine

Lyrics by Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868
Music by Ira D. Sankey, 1874

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold;
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare;
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me.
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry;
’Twas sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder-riv’n,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

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6 thoughts on “Take Refuge in God

  1. Amen!
    Sue, I am so glad to have come across your blog. Wow! You are bringing home the point with regard to how Scripture is being fulfilled in today’s world and how we can see the coming together of the prophecies of one world government and one world religion. In February 2019 the pope went to the United Arab Emirates to form “Chrislam” (the Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council), sign the “Document on Human Fraternity for world peace and living together”, and start the foundation of a new religious center which will house a church, a synagogue and a mosque to be built in Abu Dhabi and open in 2022.
    You are so right that we will be hated for Jesus’ name and persecuted. For us living in North America it is more like soft persecution in that neighbors will avoid us or shut us up = silencing the Christians, or make fun of us that we could believe in something like God.
    The other thing that gets me are the Mega Churches where it’s all about the money. They twist the truth to fit their agenda. False teachers are among us. Jesus warned us over 60 times: “do not be deceived; watch out; be careful; test the spirits”.
    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3 NKJV)
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
    Blessings, Elfriede

    Like

    • Elfriede, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. All glory to God for what I shared here. Yes, we are seeing the fulfillment of scripture in our day, so yes, we must be very discerning and test everything.

      Liked by 1 person

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