A refuge is a place of shelter, safety and trust. The principal words used in the Old Testament applied chiefly to God as a “refuge” for His people. Taking refuge in God is somewhat of an abstract concept because, unlike a European castle-like fortress, God does not have an address. Finding that place of refuge in God involves a few key principles.
Taking Refuge in God always involves release. Psalms 62:8 says
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."Three years ago I was faced with the trauma of dealing with a crisis on the high seas when my wife became paralyzed from the waist down after we boarded the a cruise ship. I vividly remember the crisis and how God spoke to me about letting go ... He whispered these words to me "You cannot project manage your way out of this. You need to flow with Me in this and give up control". Taking refuge in God always involves releasing control of your life ... release is the doorway to God's refuge.
Another aspect of entering Refuge involves worship. Psalms 64:10 says
" Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!."I can vividly recollect a time in my life when worship became a mode of survival for me. I was in my early forties and my first wife was suffering from a failing heart and failed kidneys. I felt so afraid and alone. I remember times of solitude ... singing along with worship tapes … weeping uncontrollably … pouring my heart out to the Lord ... and taking refuge in His presence to make it one more day. In a deeper way I understood that His strength is made perfect in weakness … I have never been the same person. When we worship we take refuge in God.
The Fear of the Lord is another way that we take refuge in the Lord. Psalms 2:12 puts it this way
" Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."During a very difficult episode in my career I was dealing with an injustice done to me … thoughts of revenge overwhelmed me … the Holy Spirit began to make me aware of what was going on. One day, as I sat at my computer composing an e-mail message to an executive in my organization, I heard Him whisper to me "You can go there if you wish … but if you do I will not go with you." I'm not sure that I can adequately put into words the sense that came over me. I can only describe it as the fear of God. The Fear of the Lord is a place of refuge … walking in this fear keeps us safe.
The scriptures are a place of refuge. Psalms 18:30 says
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.Walking in obedience to the scriptures is a place of safety. I am consistently challenged by Jesus’ instruction in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus always goes to the heart of an issue and more importantly to the heart of man. We enter God’s refuge when our heart motives and the scriptures are in agreement.
Lastly I want to say that there is a blessing to the one who enters God’s refuge. Reiterating the last part of Psalm 2:12
"Blessed are all who take refuge in him."It is good to remember that we are blessed when we release control, worship the Lord, fear Him and align our hearts with the scripture.