A mountainous expanse of pine, fir, and aspen trees speckles this Colorado landscape where I find myself these next few days. I sit at picnic table that is perched along a hillside resting at 9000 feet in elevation. The majestic beauty of this place of refuge breathes joy and wonder into my soul. At any moment, I could break out and sing sweet praises to my God and my Creator. It’s easy to do that here. Truly.
Yet, I am struck by the stark contrast between the lush mountain vegetation I gaze upon and the dry, parched images I envision in God’s word. Amazingly, it is in the desert that another blessed refuge was found…
David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 1 Samuel 23:14
Unlike the Colorado Rockies where I am hidden away for a time of spiritual renewal and replenishment, David hid himself away in the desert in need of spiritual protection. The dry, barren desert crags served as shelter, provision, and refuge for David and his men from their enemies.
Would I choose such a refuge?
Would I select a place of barrenness to serve as my stronghold?
David not only chose this desert place but he remained in this desert place and called it his stronghold for as long as necessary.
Because he recognized that his God was there. And not only that – his God was speaking, his God was nurturing, his God was shielding, and his God was sustaining David and his men in this desert crag.
Saul continued his jealous pursuit to no avail.
God did not and would not give David into the hands of his enemy.
Do you need to know that about your God today?
Do you need to know that your God will not allow you to fall into enemy hands?
As you trust in Him and rest in his stronghold, you will not fall victim to any oppositional force that would seek to cause you harm.
How can this be? For I am certain you can think of countless examples of how others have experienced great loss, horrific victimization, incomprehensible cruelties and even death at the hands of a heartless world. You may have your own tragic story to tell and wonder if God gave you over – instead of shielding and protecting you in a proverbial desert stronghold by His hand.
As I consider David and the protection he depended upon from his God, I truly believe we also have access to and can count upon our God for the same kind of stronghold protection – even in a world that is heartless and cruel. I believe this because no matter what our circumstances, if we place our hope, our trust, and our life in Christ, our soul enjoys rest in his safety for all eternity.
David chose a barren place that was stripped of all form of man-made comfort and rested in the security of his Almighty God. This act is counter-intuitive to most of us. Wouldn’t we want to run to the comforts of home, to the comforts of the familiar, or to the comforts of our man-made initiatives and self-protective tendencies?
David did not.
He chose to trust in his God for deliverance from his enemy.
Will we do the same?
What are the oppositional forces at work in our lives at the moment?
For me, it is often lack of confidence and discouragement.
What about you?
What feelings, thoughts, or other oppositional forces seek to bring you down?
As David entrusted his life to his God and asked for protection and deliverance from his enemies, can we do the same?
Your enemies could be hunting you down from within or could also pursue you from the exterior…
Fear and Anxiety
Lack of Confidence
Difficult Work Situation
Really, there are any number of situations that could cause you harm.
Do as David did…seek your God in a place where only He can be found. Such a place isn’t necessarily a desert stronghold like David’s; but rather a place where you seek Him wholly for your need – stripped of all form of self-mannered dependence.
As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
You can count on that.
His example serves as a great encouragement to me. I hope his example blesses and encourages you too.