This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at where you find your refuge. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.
(10) Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, security?
This is the question that Psalms invites. It digs out your false trusts, your escapisms that substitute for the Lord. Many “addictive behaviors” are helpfully addressed by this question. They often arise in the context of life’s troubles and pressures, and function as false refuges.
In what we take refuge becomes evident when troubles and pressures arise in our lives. The thing(s) we turn to in order to escape those pressures are our false refuge. When pressures arise at work, or in your marriage, to what do you turn for help? Do you turn to a mistress, a drink, or gambling? Do you lose yourself in your work hoping to avoid the situation by working late? Do you let the pressure build until you burst in uncontrollable anger? Do you begin to abuse an illegal substance like marijuana or cocaine hoping that it will relieve the pain?
All of these are ways we can deal with the troubles and pressures in our life, but they are all false refuges. They only provide momentary relief, and often times create more problems than they fix.
We must repent by realizing that God is our only true refuge. The Psalmist makes this clear because God is the One the Psalmist consistently turned to over and over again. He knew God was his refuge because God alone provided him with escape, safety, security, comfort, and pleasure.
In Psalm 27:1, the Psalmist writes,
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
And in 27:5, he writes,
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
We too must find our refuge in the Lord, and we must repent of our unbelief. When we make other things our refuge, we show that we do not believe God has the power to protect us, to provide us with a refuge. We must cast off our unbelief by preaching the gospel to ourselves daily. For it is only in the gospel that we realize the power of God. Paul tells us that the same power God used to raise Christ from the dead is available for those who believe. He says,
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above very name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come (Eph 1:19-21).
If God is able to raise Christ from the dead, seat Him at His right hand, and give Him authority over all of creation, He certainly has the power to protect us. We must realize this and repent of our unbelief.
Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider where you find your refuge: Pss 23, 27, 31, 46.
All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.