Psalms 11:1-3 ESV
“In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
‘Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
if the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?’”
Taking Refuge vs. Fleeing
Under the New Covenant, how do we take refuge in the Lord? What is our refuge? Jesus Christ is the one in whom we take refuge when we trust in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives, so he is our refuge (fortress, protection, stronghold), as well as is our salvation from sin. So, when we are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and daily we are dying to sin and walking in obedience to the Lord, we are taking refuge in the Lord Jesus.
So, if someone is trying to tempt us to take matters into our own hands, or if he is trying to convince us to solve our own problems, apart from God, we must not listen. For what that person is attempting to do is to pull us away from putting our trust fully in the Lord and to get us to give way to fear, instead. For Satan loves to instill fear in our minds to try to convince us that God is not getting it done for us and so we have to do it ourselves.
Or someone might try to tempt us, not necessarily to resolve our own issues but rather to escape from them into a fantasy world. Rather than face issues and difficulties, many people will retreat into TV shows, movies, video games, secular music, social media, and/or porn, or they will escape into drugs, alcohol, day dreaming, and just wasting time, etc. – anything in order to avoid responsibility and having to do the right thing.
Fleeing to False Faith
And another thing that many people are tempting others to do today is to flee like a bird (escape, retreat) into a false gospel message. Rather than dying to sin daily and walking in obedience to our Lord, they are being led to a gospel which makes no such requirements. All one has to do is to pray a prayer or to confess Jesus as Lord or to just call on God (not explained) and he is promised that his sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed.
Now, I am well aware that the Scriptures do say something along these lines, but we must read those Scriptures in the context in which they are written, for the Scriptures are not going to teach us opposing gospel messages. The gospel message has to agree with itself, so it is not going to tell you that all you have to do is just to call on God and now you are saved from your sins for eternity regardless of how you live your life on earth.
For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
He also said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. He said, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:21-23).
And then we are instructed to walk by the Spirit so that we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. And then we have a list of such sinful desires, which includes sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, fits of anger, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. Those who are doing such things in practice, deliberately and habitually, will not inherit the kingdom of God no matter what confessions of faith they have made in the Lord Jesus Christ.
[Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14]
So, obviously taking refuge in the Lord Jesus is more than just lip service. All throughout the New Testament we are being taught dying with Christ to sin and living to God and to his righteousness; no longer living under the control (dominion) of sin and Satan, but now living to please God with our lives; now living in freedom from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we can now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness.
For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him, and that we might honor God with our bodies since Jesus bought us back for God (redeemed us) by his blood (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).
The Wicked Bend the Bow
If we are following Jesus Christ with our lives in submission to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master), in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and in the sharing of the truth of the gospel, and especially in exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, the wicked are going to be opposed to us. Not all of them will directly come against us, but some (or many) will. And please know that the wicked are all those who do evil (in practice), so they can be professing Christians, and some of them may be pastors, too.
Since this false gospel makes no requirements for death to sin and walking in obedience to our Lord in surrender of our lives to the will of God for our lives, those who are teaching it or who are following it are going to be opposed to us if we teach walks of holiness and righteousness as required for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. Yet, we are not to flee their attacks against us by retreating or withdrawing. We must persevere in our walks of faith and in telling the truth and in exposing the lies.
For many people are being deceived by charlatans who are telling them what their itching ears want to hear. And many are following these “pied pipers” to destruction because they refuse to submit to Christ as Lord and to follow him in obedience and to forsake their sinful practices. But time is running out. If we pay attention to what is going on in the world we can see the signs of the last days in front of our eyes. So don’t be one of the ones who hears Jesus say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Forsake your sins and obey the Lord from now to eternity.
An Original Work / May 1, 2011
Tick tock, tick tock, time is a passing.
The time on the clock keeps ticking
While the church is fast a-sleeping.
Satan’s on a rampage
‘Cause his time is running out.
Will you worship God the Father,
God the Son and Holy Spirit?
Will you obey all of His
Commands for you today?
Jesus died to pay your ransom,
So that you could be forgiven.
Won’t you come to Him in truth
And penitently pray to Him?
Tick tock, tick tock, time is a wasting.
The cross of our Lord awaits you.
Won’t you come and share His table,
Drink the cup and eat the bread
In memory of Him?
Take a heart examination,
And accept our God’s salvation.
Humbly bow in adoration
And proclaim His name.
He wants for you to believe in
Him who interceded for you
When He died for your sins
And He rose from death in victory.
Tick tock, tick tock, time’s end is nearing.
How He longs to take and keep you,
In His arms He wants to hold you,
If you will but come to Him
And call on Him today.
His desire is that you please Him
In all of your life’s ambitions;
Be a living sacrifice
And be transformed today.
Let Christ’s love and grace sustain you,
And His promises prepare you
For His soon return to earth
To gather all His saints to Him.