It was a crazy weekend here in the Sunshine state. Tropical Storm Debby debuted on Sunday morning in the form of wind and rain, rain, and more rain. Tornadoes touched down in a few places and some homes and businesses have been damaged in the midst of the storm, but the sunshine is beginning to peek through and the rain bands are becoming less of a threat. And although the wind and some rain are still at our doorstep, it appears as though we will weather this storm safe and sound.
This assault on our calm weather produced a reminder of a dream the Lord set before me years ago, and it seems a good beacon of light for us in the midst of life even now. There was a tornado spinning violently on the horizon, a storm with deadly force. In this dream I found myself yelling, “Run for shelter!” to a large group of church goers who were within hearing distance. They believed in and loved Jesus; however, when they heard the warning, they gathered like a herd of cattle and ran directly to a gymnasium for shelter. To this day I can still remember the look on their faces, and I distinctly recall the alarm in my spirit concerning their choice of shelter. They sincerely thought they were safe and had sought shelter with wisdom. There was a look of non-concern about each and every one of them as they stood in a peaceful manner under the gymnasium roof.
If you’ve ever lived in a tornado or a hurricane-prone area, then you know that a building with a large expanse-style roof, such as a gymnasium, is NOT the place for shelter. It can actually increase your potential for harm or death, as this style of roof can be torn quite easily from its beams in the midst of the turmoil.
This herd of Jesus-loving Christians ran to the wrong shelter in the face of the upcoming storm. They were satisfied with their decision to stand in the gymnasium. I, on the other hand, looked on in horror, calling aloud, “No! You’ve gone to the wrong shelter. You’ll get hurt there.”
Then the dream ended.
Its warning calls aloud to me today as the Lord has graciously been drawing me closer through this time of one-on-one with Him during our transition to a new home. It hasn’t been easy being “alone”, far from the familiarity of friends and our church family. It’s been a time of learning where to run to when the storm is on the horizon and I hear the call, “Run!” After all, the devil, our stormy adversary, is always there, ready to kill, steal, and destroy.
Every day in our lives the Run! alarm calls out. Have you ever consider that? Every day the Lord desires to be our strong tower, our shelter. Are we going to run to our own solutions, the strength of what we are able to discern and accomplish, or are we going to allow the strength and counsel of the Holy Spirit to be our shelter, our refuge? Are we going to run without concern to a gymnasium of emotional decisions, comfortable or logical decisions, or a prideful “I can do it myself”, or will we run to the shelter of our Most High Tower, waiting on Him? Think of the strength displayed, and glory given to the Lord, when we allow the consideration to grace His throne. Think of the heights above evil He will take us to when we run to Him!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the [consistently] righteous man
[upright and in right standing with God]
runs into it and is safe,
high [above evil] and strong.
Proverbs 18:10 AMP**
The Lord has been dealing with me in such an area lately. He’s calling that He wants to be my shelter in even the simplest decisions of life. I can’t begin to tell you in words the joy that leaps in my heart about this. I’m at a point in life now that I want to give Him my all. I want Him to be the shelter of even my simplest decisions and direction in life. You see, it’s been really easy to run to my own gymnasium of sorts, relying on my own strength to make “logical” decisions. At times I’ll run and not even consider asking the Lord God. In fact, my husband and I did that recently with a decision to return to our home in North Carolina. We made the logical choice for the children and I to move back there for a few months to save some money while my husband finished working in a couple of out-of-state locations. However, the peace of the Lord was not in that decision. We had simply run ahead and made the decision without consulting Him.
I praise the Lord that He lovingly took our spiritual hands and called us to reconsider that future decision. We did, and that decision has been reversed. We want to be in the midst of our strong tower…and nowhere else. We are staying put in FL for a bit while praying for the next “home” the Lord has for us. We’ll move when He calls us to step out. He’s trustworthy. (And thank goodness He gives mercy when we’ve run to those gymnasiums of our own choices.)
It’s time to go deeper in our relationships with the Lord. He simply wants us…to rely upon and trust Him in everything, even the simplest of life’s affairs. Are you willing? He wants to be our shelter, our tower of refuge, our true Strong Tower. He wants to hear our praise and enjoy our company as we simply sit in His shelter. He wants to be the strength that fights those storms on the horizon as well as the day-to-day little ditties.
Let’s encourage one another to run to the Most High where we will be safe, high above evil, a place where we will truly be strong. Let’s hold one another accountable, questioning decisions that seem “gymnasium-like.” Let’s encourage one another to pray daily, placing our requests and petitions at the foot of the cross, trusting that they will be answered. Let’s get real with each other and encourage one another to wait upon the Lord versus running with our own strength.
Can you hear my passion in this? I hope so, because these keys are clicking away and the Spirit churns within me. Friend, it’s time for more. It’s time to go deeper. Don’t be afraid. Trust Him and draw close. Run to that strong tower called the Lord. Let Him be your safety. Let the Lord be your strength, not your own capability.
You may have several action steps in mind in response to this post. If I might throw one out for you: get an accountability partner or a mentor…or both! Ask them to hold you accountable, someone who will ask those hard questions to make you squirm a bit.
And….a second one. Stop “trying” with your own power. Set the situation at the foot of the cross in prayer and worship, trust in and enjoy the strength of the Lord to see your situation through. Live your life, loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I will be praying for you this week. Be encouraged my sweet friend.