“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Amen! That was taken from the New International version, but the Amplified Version gives us even more insight:
“GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 AMP).
Wow! That is rich, don’t you think? The Lord has promised that when we face difficult times—when we face a persistent, ever present evil—that He will be our ever present help; He will never leave when we are struggling.
The phrase “ever present” means “always here, always available, with unlimited access.” What I am trying to say is that the abiding presence of the Lord is always in us. So if He is ever present in us, then He wants continual conversation with us. He wants us to talk with Him; to “walk with him” no matter where we are: on the job, with family, with friends, even with nonbelievers.
I know everything I am saying is nothing new to you. You have heard it over and over before and I know I am not alone in this, but I refuse to accept the lie that Satan has fed so many of the Lord’s people today: that the Lord has stopped speaking to us. The enemy wants us to think that He has allowed Satan to grow in power and influence, but that He hasn’t equipped his own people with greater authority. No, never! Scripture says, “When the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight” (Isaiah 59:19). It doesn’t matter what the devil brings against us. Our Father’s power will always be greater than Satan’s assaults.
The Word of God is the standard—a banner or flag—that we can wave in front of the Devil’s sharp pointed nose, and he will flee!–He can’t stand against the Word! (James 4:7)
Are you facing anxiety? Our Father will drive it away!
Are you suffering depression? The Joy of the Lord will give you strength!
Are you confused and frustrated? The Lord will bring His peace which is beyond our understanding or experience!
That verse from Isaiah refers to the flag-bearer who rode ahead of Israel’s army. When the enemy came in, the Lord always led His people into battle behind His own mighty standard—His own banner. He does the same today! Our God has a glorious army of Heavenly hosts who ride out under His banner, ready to execute His battle plans on our behalf.
Oh I hear you asking. “So how is He going to bring us help in our troubles?” It really doesn’t matter how he does it, don’t you think? But his help comes in the gift of his Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and works the Father’s will in our lives. Paul tells us again and again that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the Lord’s dwelling place on earth.
Of course we repeat this truth every time we worship. But many of us still don’t take it seriously. We are willing to sing the songs, but we don’t understand the power that resides in this truth. How can I say that? Easy. If we did grasp it and trust in it, we would never again be afraid or dismayed.
I admit that I haven’t mastered this lesson perfectly myself. Even after all the years of walking with the Lord, there are times when I am still tempted to think I have to work up some emotion in order to hear from God. I have to live this out, just like you, but the Lord is telling us, “You don’t have to spend hours waiting for me. I abide in you. I am present for you, night and day.”
Listen to David’s testimony: “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:7–8). What a confession and confidence: “God is always present before me. And I am determined to keep him in my thoughts. He faithfully guides me day and night. I never have to be confused or afraid.”
Father, keep me safe because I have come to you for refuge. You are my Master! I know that everything good in my life comes from you.
You alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; because even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. You show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever (Psalm 16)