I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. – Psalm 91: 2 (NIV) Psalm 91 continues with a bold declaration from the Psalmist of what we need to be boldly declaring as Christians. The Psalmist could have simply stated that God is his refuge and fortress, but instead, he introduces the subject as a directive of what we should say. The usage of “I will say of the Lord” is the public declaration that we need to make as believers to interject the power of God into our lives. What will you say of the Lord in your life? When you are facing a bad medical report will you say of the Lord He is your Healer? When you are surrounded by enemies on all sides will you say of the Lord that He is your Banner? When you are laid off in this economy will you say of the Lord He is your provider? The Psalmist here, which most scholars agree is Moses, certainly knew how to grab a hold of the promises of God. The Psalmist cites three things in this verse that he will “say of the Lord.” The first is that the Lord is my refuge. The dictionary has three definitions for the word refuge: 1) Shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm. 2) A place of shelter, protection, or safety. 3) Anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape. The Lord is all of these things beloved. He is our protection from danger and trouble. He is where we take refuge from the storms of life. He is a place of shelter, protection and safety; a recourse for aid, relief and escape. God is there when we need to run to Him. my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. – 2Samuel 22: 3 (NLT) The one who saves me. Shield, protection, and a place of safety. Too often we try and face the evils of this world alone when we do not need to. Often someone will relate to me a situation they are going through and my first question is always – have you prayed? Have you taken it to God who provides a peace that surpasses all understanding? How often do we seek refuge elsewhere first when the storms of life come? How often do we seek the advice of friends, even unbelieving friends, before we take it to God? Or even worse, we take it to Facebook and air our problems out for all to see. There is no refuge on Facebook beloved, or even with our friends. Only God can truly weather the storm for us and provide us with the His peace. He is our refuge. But Christ is also our fortress. Why does the Psalmist differentiate between the two terms? The dictionary defines fortress in two ways: 1) A fortified place, especially a large, permanent military stronghold that often includes a town. 2) Any place of exceptional security; stronghold. The key word for us in the first definition is “permanent.” Where as a refuge refers to the ability we have to run to God for safety and security, the Psalmist is making a clear distinction between that and living within that security. Not only is God where we can turn to for refuge, but that refuge can also become a fortress for the believer! We can see the distinction clearly in Jeremiah: O Lord, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, - Jeremiah 16: 19a (NKJV) Jeremiah delineates between the Lord being a fortress and a refuge. As a refuge, Jeremiah refers to the Lord “in the day of affliction”, indicating again the need for refuge. The fortress however, is the permanent provision of safety and security for believers! When we say the Lord is our refuge, we are saying that our God is where we can turn in the day of affliction, or trouble. Where we can seek refuge. When we say the Lord is our fortress though, that refers to a permanent state we can live in with God! This is a recurring theme throughout the Word of God: The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. – Nahum 1: 7 (NKJV) That brings us to the third item the Psalmist declares of the Lord. In Him will I trust! Why does the Psalmist declare this? The answer is in the previous two declarations! In this one verse, the Psalmist has shown that God almighty is where we find our safety and security, permanently, and when the day of affliction comes against us. God is an eternal residence as well as the shelter we seek during the storms of life. If we know those truths in our hearts, how can we not declare, “My God; in Him will I trust.” You may think this sounds elementary but how often do we see Christians trusting the things of this world before trusting God? How many still struggle with alcohol, drugs, pornography, prescription medications, or any of the other lies this world sells? How hard is it for us to put down the worldly solution we have placed our trust in and just trust God? Will we truly say of the Lord – my God in Him will I trust! What we say matters in who we are. If a child says they are inadequate, they will feel and be inadequate. If an adult says they will never amount to anything, there is a good chance they will never walk in the power God has for them. What we declare in our lives matters. It matters to God and it matters to who we are. We spent so long confessing the ways of the world, but somehow we do not translate that over when we become saved. What do you confess of the Lord? Who is the Lord in your life today? What is He Lord over? Have you given Him control over everything? Do you walk with him as your fortress but fail to bring the most violent storms of your life to Him? Do you have no problem seeking Him as a shelter and refuge, but find yourself lonely during the more mundane parts of your walk? Will you say of the Lord that you will trust Him? Will you let Him in to be your refuge and your fortress and will you declare it! Will you confess it! He is knocking. Rev. Anthony.