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My young sons and I sat on the couch, memorizing Psalm 91 many years ago. I don’t know if they – as grown men – remember it or ever think about those weeks we spent in God’s Word learning about leaning on Him instead of trusting in ourselves. But I do.
I think of the young boys they were – so trusting in me and their father to lead them in the right way. And so willing to believe that God’s way was the right way. Now, following after Him as men with families of their own, I pray they will remember the lessons of Psalm 91, even if they can’t recall the words.
- God is God alone, the Most High, the Almighty, and there is none like Him.
- The only safe place in this life is in His presence – under His wings and in His shadow as the psalmist puts it.
- That abiding in Christ and calling on Him in prayer are both privileges and responsibilities of the child of God.
These are good lessons, although not always easy ones to learn or live.
My favorite verse, if I can choose one, would have to be verse 2: I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”
As poetic as this psalm is, as lovely as the words and images, and as beautiful as the promise, it is just as much difficult to live. What does it actually mean to place my trust in God, to have Him be my refuge and fortress? I don’t have all the answers, but after walking through some storms with Him over the years, I have some ideas. Here then are 7 steps you can take to actively trust in the Lord and make Him your refuge.
- Of course, stay in the Word and in prayer. This is basic, but the admonition – to those who love Him and love His Word – never gets old because we all need constant reminding of the importance of these daily blessings.
- Create a visual of all the words of strength, protection, and care that the Bible uses to help us as humans understand God’s great love for us. A word cloud is a great visual, and you can make one for free on www.wordclouds.com and maybe others I don’t know about.
- If you’re artsy, or want to be, try drawing an image expressed by this psalm, or other passages that encourage trust in the Lord. A tower, an eagle’s wing, a shield, a shepherd. Hang the visuals you create (from #2 or #3) where you will see them daily – on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on your closet door, or some such place.
- Sing songs – and play Christian music – that extol the virtues of trusting in the Lord. There are thousands out there, but one of my current favorites is Oceans (You Make Me Brave) by Bethel Music
- Memorize and meditate on verses about trusting in the Lord. Why not start with Psalm 91:1-2?
- Make a list of all the things that are holding you back from pursuing a dream – the fears and self-doubt that we all struggle with – and counter each, in writing, with promises from God’s Word.
- Confess your fears and doubt and difficulty in trusting the Lord to a close friend or family member, ask them to pray for you and with you, and then have weekly (or daily? Or bi-weekly) check-ins with that person to hold you accountable. Accountability may be the ‘secret weapon’ for spiritual growth – try it!
These are just a few ideas – what do you do that helps you to make trusting in the Lord easier and more real to you?