About a year ago I posted this picture. This is part of the fortress in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I had breakfast just outside the fortress in the town. I did not go IN the fortress.
The scripture I embedded in the picture (thank you YouVersion) from Psalms is a praise to God. Here is more of it:
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.”
I didn’t go into the castle. I observed it. I ate breakfast in the shadow of it. I admired it. I took pictures of it because it was amazing and would look good on my blog.
But I didn’t go in. I never explored its rooms, never was protected by its wall.
But I told people about it! I can describe it! I have pictures of is and know facts about it.
But I never went in.
When the life of a Christian gets tough, and it will, we must find our protection IN God. IN Christ.
Consider this lament of Paul:
“Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Now hear the hope, watch the last three words.
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 7:20-8:1 ESV
Very often, the reason we struggle and get tossed around by circumstances is because we have grown distant from Him through our own negligence. We’re fighting outside the tower in our own strength.
We train our body but neglect our soul.
We’re careful about our diet but don’t make time to feed on Scripture.
We’re like a dry sponge that needs to soak, to marinate, but only splash water on the edges, leaving the inside dry. This is our soul when we try to get by on a chapter a day… and then skip that.
The cafe outside the tower was pleasant, the food was good, the view was wonderful. But just being at or near the tower isn’t getting IN.
Sit with God believer. Become his learner. Don’t just sit content to be a convert, a young seedling plant. Sit in the tower with your God, soaking up His word, listening to Him in prayer.
Then the circumstances of life will be more bearable and understandable because you’ll have more of His perspective than yours.