Where Do You Live?
I know that most of you reading this now live in Residential Care Homes. However, at some point in your life, you lived in a place that you had chosen. Be it a single-family home, a townhouse or Condo, or even an apartment, you chose it, for some important reasons. I know that for us, shelter and security were important. When we moved to Oklahoma, we wanted a house that was really solid and strong, because of the violent thunderstorms and tornados that affect Oklahoma. That was really important to us. When we moved back to the Chicago area, again one thing was important to us, shelter in terms of insulation. We knew that Chicago winters could be brutal.
We had lived in the Chicago area during some of those worst winters ever, the blizzard of ‘68 and then the cold and snowy winters of the late 70’s. We knew that we wanted a house with good insulation. And once we bought one, we immediately replaced the old furnace with a new, more modern unit. Certainly, we wanted to be secure in our place of refuge and shelter. All of you have made similar choices in your home.
God can be a refuge and a fortress for us. Many of you might think of that great hymn by Lutheran Reformer Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress is our God!” This theme of God as a refuge and fortress is reflected often in the Psalms. Psalm 46 was the inspiration for Martin Luther. Another one is Psalm 91 titled, My Refuge and My Fortress. Listen to the opening verses. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (vs 1&2)
The Psalmist is making the point; you can live with God as your refuge, your shelter and even your fortress. This Psalm says that God will protect you, He will be your security in all things, and He is the force, the thing that will protect you against all of the troubles that will confront and affect you. The Psalmist is saying to put your trust in God; just like you did in whatever home you bought. God will be with you and protect you.
The Psalmist brings this point home as he concludes this Psalm. Here the Psalmist records the word of God speaking to those who have put their faith and trust in God. Listen to what God says: “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (vs 14-16)
Where should you live? In the shelter of the Most High! Where God is your security, your fortress and your refuge; that is where you should live. For this is where there is salvation and eternal life. If someone asks you, “Where do you live?” give this answer. “I live in the shelter of the Most High God.” Then tell them how they can move there, by knowing and confessing Jesus Christ as Lord.
O God, my shelter, my security, my refuge, I am so thankful I live in your shadow and that you care for me. May I continue to hold fast to you in love knowing that you have taken care of me in the past and will provide for me throughout eternity. Help me in all circumstances of life to know that I am held in your loving hands and that you are always with me. I am so thankful for the gift of your Son Jesus who has done everything I need for my salvation. I offer this prayer in thanks to you for being my mighty fortress. In Jesus’ name. Amen