The prophet Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem when King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian armies besieged the city. The year was about 600 BC and the people of the city were suffering horribly. There wasn’t enough food or water. The Babylonian army continually attacked the city with the weapons of that day. Fear affected everyone and disaster appeared inevitable.
Jeremiah faced persecution from his own people. The leaders tried killing him by confining him to a pit full of mud, but the Lord inspired an Ethiopian slave to rescue the prophet from certain death. It went from bad to worse for Jeremiah but, in spite of all this, Jeremiah proclaimed that “You are my refuge in the day of disaster,” Jeremiah 17:17. How could a persecuted Hebrew prophet make such an absurd statement that contradicted all appearances? Jeremiah found mental and emotional shelter in his Lord and the word of God! Consequently, in spite of his ups and downs Jeremiah remained hopeful in the day of disaster.
Toward the end of his life on earth Jesus predicted seemingly endless disasters as humanity practiced more and more rebellion against our Creator. Here’s a partial list of Jesus’ predictions for planet earth during the last days before his second coming:
- Deception that turns people from Jesus, Matthew 24:5.
- Wars and rumors of wars, Matthew 24:6.
- Famines and earthquakes, Matthew 24:7.
- Persecution because of faith in Jesus, Matthew 24:9.
- False teachers and widespread deception, Matthew 24:11.
- The increase of wickedness destroys the love of many Christians for Jesus, Matthew 24:12.
There are many, many other predictions concerning the awful godlessness of the last days, but we boldly proclaim that God is our Refuge in the day of disaster!
The Undefeatable Spirit of Jesus
Obviously, we are human bodies with human minds and emotions. But we are primarily human spirits.
Genesis 2:7 declares that God created Adam’s body but it was lifeless. Something was missing from this perfect and complete physical body. Then God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.” The Spirit of God created the human spirit in Adam which gave life to the physical person. Adam and God were both spirits and communed and communicated on the spiritual level. Adam knew nothing of fear, worry, anxiety or any other unpleasant thought. “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of man and he brought her to the man,” Genesis 2:22. Both Adam and Eve lived in a disaster free environment.
Jesus was truly human because he was body, soul and mind but his Spirit originated in Heavenly Father and was totally sinless. Jesus was like Adam before Adam sinned. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to experience temptation by Satan, attacks from the ungodly and inner battles with discouragement. But Jesus’ earthly trials perfected his human spirit so his resurrected Spirit could indwell every child of God. When Jesus’ Spirit moves into a born again human being, the human spirit comes to life!
When the undefeatable Spirit of Jesus moves into a person, that person becomes empowered to overcome every human weakness, every temptation to sin and every rebellious feeling toward God. The undefeatable Spirit of Jesus becomes your refuge against which no enemy can succeed.
Jesus, a Refuge for Our Thoughts
When Jesus’ Spirit moved into our human spirits, our spirits became empowered with divine energy to resist fearful, discouraging thoughts of hopelessness. God does not take us out of this world when we are born again—He equips us to overcome the world in which we dwell.
Obviously, bad news about disasters of every type permeate society. Radio, television, computers, cell phones and every other kind of electronic communication device flood our thoughts with fear invoking news. Nevertheless, with the mighty Spirit of Jesus in us we can control the effect this news exerts upon our thoughts. Actually, we should refuse to soak our minds with bad news. What’s the alternative? The first two verses of the Book of Psalms tells us to control the thoughts we permit into our meditation. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
God’s Spirit wants to serve as a refuge for your thoughts, your meditation! Refuse to saturate your mind in the bad news of this world. Don’t allow the things of this world that you did not cause and cannot prevent to occupy your meditation. Control your thoughts by reading God’s word, listening to it taught and preached, and rejecting the temptation to allow the news of this world to fill your mind. Remember God’s command to us in Isaiah 37:6. “Do not be afraid of what you have heard.” End of issue!
God, the Refuge for Our Emotions
God created us creatures of feeling as well as creatures of thought. We call these feelings emotion. Emotion is a very important part of our being and our relationship with our heavenly Maker. However, emotion can fight against us when not kept under control. So, God wants to serve as a refuge for your emotions as well as your thoughts.
The Spirit of Jesus who indwells your human spirit empowers you to say No to ungodly and unhealthy emotions. Through Jesus’ presence we can deny fear, hatred, sadness, anxiety and every other destructive emotion that attacks us.
Recall what Galatians 5:22 and 23 says about you. The Holy Spirit who dwells in your spirit empowers you to accept God’s emotions when you don’t feel them. You say No to destructive emotions and you say Yes to the beautiful emotions of God that indwells your human spirit. Let the Holy Spirit be your refuge which shields you from emotions that tear you down instead of build you up. Through the energy of the Jesus in you, you purposefully and deliberately choose the emotions that bless you and your walk with Jesus Christ!
Be greatly encouraged,
Pastor James Fields