In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
In times of stress, uncertainty, or the heaviness of life what is our “Default Response”? First, allow me to explain the principle of the Default Response. It is our baseline response to any given situation or circumstance, that usually causes the least amount of resistance, yet may or may not help us to directly grow or benefit from that life experience. For example, if our Default Response is always to avoid conflict at all cost regardless of the size of the situation causing the conflict or whether that conflict is internal or external, we are most likely never going to learn to work through conflict of any kind. We will simply develop a deeper anxiety-complex related to conflicts when they do arise. However, learning to work through conflict whether it be work-related, marital conflict, family conflict, or internal conflict within ourselves – we understand that through years of studies and testimonies of therapists, counselors, and pastors there is so much to be gained through “conflict resolution.” God works through heart transformation and changes the lives of those with a willingness to surrender to the counsel of His Holy Spirit according to His will.
The Psalmist David is writing during a time of distress in his life and we see him both surrendering to the Lord, but also making some request of Him. As he writes, “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge,” we do not see evidence of David turning first to the things of the world to bring comfort and wise counsel as his Default Response. Next, we see him make a number of requests of God who he knows is his only hope in times of distress, “Let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” David demonstrates his trust in God for all these provisions and protections for the Lord is His God, and His promises have proven faithful & true time after time in his life. We are reminded in the book of First Peter that we do have an enemy who is actively searching for opportunities to set traps for us and to devour the hope that we have. “Be alert and sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
David’s final response is an essential step for you and I to take in our relationship with the Lord everyday as He writes, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.” David used the words “Into Your hands I commit my spirit,” to demonstrate his complete trust in God even in those times when his life was filled with extreme discouragement, chaos, and confusion, yet by faith he understood that the Lord was fully in control and able to care for him and direct the path of his life (Proverbs 3:5-6). This same phrase, “Into Your hands I commit my spirit’ was also used by Jesus on Good Friday as he was being crucified on the cross committing His spirit completely to the Father’s will. Today, we can begin this morning by committing our spirit to the Lord, inviting Him directly into our circumstances, asking Him to be our ‘rock, refuge, and strong fortress.’ Another essential part of our Default Response is laying our daily requests and concerns before God, allowing His “peace which surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) These proper responses of calling out to the Lord with our cares, recognizing Him as our Rock and Place of Refuge, in addition to committing our spirit daily into His hands will enable us to walk more closely with Him regardless of our immediate circumstances.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Lord, how difficult it can be some mornings to wake up and to start taking those all-important small steps of obedience to begin a fresh new day You’ve made when the stresses of life, the darkness of discouragement, or simply the heaviness of life are bearing down. Father, in these times remind us throughout the day that You are our Rock, our Strong Fortress, our Place of Refuge, and the ONE who Rescues us in our times of distress. In our times of trouble, strengthen us by and through Your Spirit as we commit our spirit to You out of obedience. May our Default Response be to call out to You today in complete surrender, placing our lives in Your hands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.