(Here are the devos for our small group this week.)
Hola mis amigas!
I hope you all had a good, restful weekend!
Have you been practicing the Meeting Place this week? What has He been saying to you? I would suggest that you keep a journal and write down the things that the Lord says to you. It can often be very encouraging to go back and re-read the things the Lord has spoken to you and over you. Especially when you find yourself in the midst of the battle or the storm.
I know many of us are walking through places of difficulty or battles right now. Some days we feel like we have a big target on our backs.
Psalm 55:5-8 says,
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest—
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert; Selah
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
When the tempest blows, when the storm rages, when the arrows are flying, when you get the rug pulled out from under your feet… there is one place where you can run. He promises time and time again that there is shelter in the shadow of his wings. In Jesus we find our refuge.
When I was a kid, I was afraid thunderstorms. Even though I was in the shelter of the house, the thunder and lightning were still terrifying. But if I focused on something else, like if we played a game or watched a movie, then the storm lost some of its power over me. We can hide in a shelter, but still focus on the storm and it is still scary. To be able to rest in the midst of the storm, we have to focus on something else.
When we hide in the shelter of his wings, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Only when we focus on him do we find peace and rest in the midst of the things that rage around us. In the Song of Solomon, the beloved is said to have the eyes of doves. Doves cannot move their eyes… they have a fixed gaze. To look around they have to move their heads to look at other things. We need to have eyes like doves… we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and not look away.
So what are some practical ways to fix our eyes on Jesus as we take shelter?
The Meeting Place. This is a great way to actually look Jesus in the face and fix our gaze on his face. Psalm 17:8 speaks right to this… it says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…”. The apple of the eye is when you are so close to someone that you can see your reflection in their pupil. Dare to get that close to Jesus as you hide in the shadow of his wings. Rest there.
Meditate on his Word. Psalm 48:9 says, “Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.” What does it mean to meditate? Think about it, mull it over. Let it consume your thoughts. The best way to do this is to begin to memorize Scripture. Hide it in your heart so that when the attack comes, you can tell that mountain to move while you stand firm on the Rock.
Make sure your armor is on. Do you put on the armor of God each day (Ephesians 6)? When we are in the middle of the fight, we need to make sure that it is on and secure. So how do we do that? By spending time with him and in his Word each day. We have to make sure that we get our daily (sometimes hourly) battle plans from him. You can only do this by looking to him for his leadership.
Have a plan. Like Wendy shared with us last week, when the enemy keeps going for the same spot, when he knows a point where you are weak, ask the Lord for a plan to fight back. He will give you one. Write it out, and keep it somewhere that’s handy. Then, follow the plan and watch the storm quiet. When you know how to react, you will keep your focus on Jesus and not the problem.
Praise Him. Hebrews 13:15 tells us about a sacrifice of praise to be offered to the Lord – “the fruit of lips that confess his name”. Sometimes what we need to do is lift our hands in praise and proclaim the goodness of our God. When we fix our eyes on his goodness instead of our troubles, our perspective changes. The storm no longer sounds as scary when we sing about how our God is mighty to save and can move mountains.
Take time out to rest. This is a tough one for us in our culture, but it is so important to take time alone with Jesus and just rest. It is important to have time when we don’t go to him with our lists and requests, but when we wait on him and let him minister to our hearts. It is like Pastor Selanga shared with us in church on Sunday, we need to be filled with the living water in order to pour out to others. But we also need to take time to be refreshed, as well! Events like The Well on Wednesday nights and Quiet Waters coming up November 8-9 are great places to do this.
Stop struggling. Sometimes we just need to stop fighting. I know it sounds counter-productive, but it was what he called me to once. I was trying so hard to figure everything out, to hear him, and to fix everything. But he wanted me to just stop, and let him work. He didn’t call me to more quiet time, or more prayer… he called me to just stop and relax. When I finally stopped wrestling with everything, he began to make himself known to me again.
You need to ask Jesus what he wants you to do in the midst of your battle. He has the plan, and knows what is best for you.
Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
So let’s all go hide in the shelter of his wings, fix our gaze on him, and let him minister to us as the storm rages outside.
Hidden in Him,