Revive Our Hearts Podcast

True Shelter

Leslie Basham: During the storm, where is the safest place you can go? This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, April 21 st. If you've ever been outdoors when a storm blew in, you probably ran for the nearest shelter you could find. Where do you run when you're faced with other kinds of storms? When you're faced with loss, worry, or fear? Today Nancy Leigh DeMoss will tell us about a shelter we can always turn to, no matter what the situation.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Yesterday morning in my personal time with the Lord, I was led to meditate on some verses in the psalms that talk about the wings of God. Have you ever thought about the wings of God? When I think of wings, I think of birds ... and hens ... and mother birds taking care of their little ones.

Most of the time I have a wreath on my front door at home, and it's interesting how often birds find that wreath to be a great place to make a nest. I've had so much fun over the years watching during that season of the year as the bird not only makes the nest but then lays the eggs and guards those eggs and sits on them and watches over them. And then those eggs hatch these tiny, helpless little birds. And I watch that mother with her instincts to provide protection and care, taking those birds under her wing and providing for her young a place of protection and security. Those wings become a shelter and a refuge.

In fact, I heard a story recently about a hen that apparently perished in a barnyard fire; but after the rubble was cleared out they found, under that hen, the baby chicks, alive. The mother's wings had protected those little ones; she had laid down her own life, and those little chicks under the hen were safe and were preserved.

Now as we look into the psalms, there are a number of verses that talk to us about how the wings of God provide for us a place of safety and security and refuge. Today and tomorrow I want to look at some of those verses, to just see what God's wings provide for us. I think this will be encouraging to you, wherever you are, as a child of God, as a young one with Him, to find security and protection and blessing under His wings.

The first thing that I see in these verses is that the wings of God are, for me and for you, a place of satisfaction, and a place of refreshment when we're in the midst of a dry place. Psalm 63 is a psalm that was written by David when he was out in the wilderness of Judah. The early verses of that psalm tell us that he was in a dry and thirsty land where there was no water. He was in a dry, parched place. And in the midst of that dry place, he found the wings of God to be a place of satisfaction and a place of refreshing.

Let me read, beginning in verse 3 of Psalm 63. He says to God, "Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You." Now remember where David is. He's in the wilderness, in a dry place where there is no water. But instead of focusing on the dryness and what he doesn't have, he looks heavenward, and he finds something very rich that he does have--the lovingkindness of God. He says, Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is better than life. In other words, if I perish out here in this wilderness, I have something that is more enduring than life itself. So, he says, I'm going to praise You by faith.

Verse 5, "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and abundance." Now he's not in a place of abundance; he's in a place of need and desperation, but he says, In Your presence and in Your love, I will be satisfied as if I had plenty and more than enough, "and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips."

Then verse 7, "Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice." He finds under the wings of God a place of satisfaction, a place of refreshment, even though it's a dry land. He goes on in verse 8 to say, "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me."

You see the same thought in Psalm 36. In verses 5 and 6 of that passage, David talks about the mercy of God, the faithfulness of God, the righteousness of God, the judgments of God. And then he says in verse 7, "How precious is your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." Because of God's lovingkindness and care, therefore we find our place of satisfaction and refreshment under the shadow of His wings.

He goes on in verse 8, "They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures." In a dry and thirsty land, the presence and the wings of God provide for us a place of satisfaction, a place of abundance and refreshment and joy.

Now I'm reminded as I read these passages that you and I will never find true, lasting, deep, soul satisfaction in anything or anyone other than God. And I think that's one of the reasons God presses us into wilderness places--to realize that we need Him, and that in Him we have everything that we need.

The other thing these psalms say to me is that you and I can have joy and fullness, we can have abundance, even in the midst of the desert. Even in a dry and thirsty land. It may be the desert of an unbelieving mate; it may be the desert of endless demands and questions and jabber from your three or four toddlers--that can be a desert experience some days--the physical exhaustion and weariness that comes with certain seasons of life. But in the midst of those deserts, as we put our trust under the wings of God and take our place under His wings, you and I find satisfaction, refreshment, abundance, and joy.

Now I see also in the psalms that the wings of God are a place of shelter and refuge from storms. That was quite a storm we had here last night. I was lying in bed listening to that wind and wondering from the sound if this could be the makings of a tornado. I don't know this part of the country very well, but that was quite a storm, and I was thinking about how we find refuge and safety and shelter under the wings of God.

Psalm 57 paints for us a picture of the wings of God providing us refuge. The setting of this psalm is, again, David speaking when he was fleeing from King Saul, who was a violent and insanely jealous king. So he cries out to the Lord, Psalm 57, verse 1, and he says, "Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by."

I would not want to have been outside in that storm last night. I'm glad I had a shelter in the midst of that storm. And David is saying, Lord, there's a storm passing by; there are calamities that are pouring in on my life. But I have a shelter. The shelter is the wings of God; that's a refuge, and I'm going to stay in that shelter until these calamities have passed by.

We see the same thought in Psalm 61 [verses 1 and 2], where David says, "Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed." We don't like to be in places where calamities are passing by or where our hearts are overwhelmed. But more often than not that's what it takes in our lives, I find, to get us to the place where we cry out to the Lord. When there are no storms, we can just go through life without ever thinking about God! But when the storms come, that's when we think, I need a refuge! I need a way to get out of this storm; I need some protection, a shelter in the midst of this storm!

So David says, In the midst of this storm I will cry out to You, "when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings" [ verses 2-4].

You see what he keeps coming back to? Lord, You have provided a shelter, a refuge for me. So what do I have to do? I have to run into that place, and then I have to trust. As those little birds, those little chicks come under the wings of the mother, the wings of the hen, and trust, and wait on that parent to meet their needs.

A few moments ago some of you shared some of the storms, some of the challenges that you're walking through in your life. There are a number who mentioned physical challenges and health issues. Someone mentioned that a daughter's marriage is in crisis. Some of you are facing the challenge of an empty nest (no pun intended here). And then some were challenges and storms even bigger than what we have mentioned. I was just reminded, as we were listing these challenges: you and I have a safe place, a refuge, a shelter in the midst of the storm.

So we come to the Lord and we say, "Lord, I come to find refuge under Your wings. You are enough; You are sufficient; You are my hiding place; and in You I am safe."

Leslie Basham: I don't know what situation you find yourself in as you've listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss speak today. Maybe you're in the middle of a storm right now. We all need to seek shelter under the wings of God. Nancy will be back in just a minute to lead us in prayer, thanking God for the safety we find under His wings.

If you know someone who would benefit from hearing today's program, why don't you call us and order it on cassette [or CD]? You can get a copy by calling us at 1-800-569-5959. When you call you can also ask about one of Nancy's favorite CDs, called Breath of God. The soothing music and Scripture readings will point you to the promises of God; it will help you find peace, even in trying times. It's also available on cassette.

We hope that you'll get a chance to visit our website, ReviveOurHearts.com. There you can order books and tapes you hear about on the program. You can listen to past broadcasts and find out more about the radio ministry. And there's a place on the website to exchange prayer requests. If you have a need, let us know, and our staff will be praying. You can also read our requests and learn how to more effectively pray for this program.

Tomorrow we'll hear how trusting in God can help deliver us from fear. We hope you can be with us. Now here's Nancy to end our time in prayer.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Thank You, Father, for Your wings, for Your protection, for Your care and Your compassion for Your young ones. We just acknowledge this day that we need You. Thank You that in You, and under Your wings, we find satisfaction and refreshment; that we can have abundance and joy even in the midst of our desert experiences. Thank You that in the midst of the storm there's a place we can run, a place we can hide, a place we can be safe; and that's the place under Your wings. Help us to trust; not to try and figure it all out ourselves, but to know that You know best and that You care and that You are ever there to meet our needs. Thank You for Your wings. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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