I was recently asked what scripture I would choose to be framed as a picture, because it currently meant something special to me. My reply was immediate, because God had intimately spoken to me through the above text. When it duly appeared in a small frame, I was delighted. To know that God is a refuge and a fortress is one thing, but to know that He is my refuge and my fortress is another. One is knowledge; the other is experience.
Refuge and fortress are words that speak of shelter, protection, safety and trust. When life is unpredictable we may have our own hiding places, which can come in the shape of people, relationships or material things that we think will bring some peace, order, relief or happiness into our present confusion. But there’s only one true refuge and fortress – the one true God who’s unchanging and steadfast, and who will never fail.
The Bible tells us several times that our God is able. He’s omnipotent, so He has unlimited power; omniscient, so He knows everything; omnipresent, so He’s present everywhere at the same time. We have an amazing God who works everything for His own glory and chooses to include us in His plans and purposes.
‘He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20). This means He works beyond our prayers and dreams by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because there are mysteries between God’s sovereign will and our prayers, our heart’s cry and the words of our lips should always be, “Your will be done. Lord, today, in my life and through my life, work Your own eternal purposes to Your own glory.”
‘He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus saves completely, because Jesus is alive. He continually offers forgiveness, restoration, redemption and intimacy with His Father, to whom He intercedes on behalf of His children. If you’re saved you’re saved completely and you belong to Him forever. One day we’ll see Him and be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. In the meantime, isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus, who’s at the right hand of the Father, never ceases to pray for us.
‘He is able to keep you from falling and present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy’ (Jude v 24). Life’s road can sometimes be quite rough and hard, but we’re never alone. We don’t have an onlooker, but a faithful Saviour, who never leaves us. He walks beside us with comfort and compassion, giving us all the strength we could ever need, and He’ll never ever leave us. It’s very releasing to realise that, in your own strength, you don’t have the resources for the uphill road, or, indeed, for anything that will truly please the Lord. It’s also comforting to know that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He alone can keep us from falling.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You’re a rock and a fortress, and You’re, also, One who’s filled with compassion, tender love and keeping power. In my weakness, I turn to You today for your strength to be made perfect in my weakness. In the power of Your Holy Spirit, please use me today for Your glory. I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
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