Shelter in Place
By Joan Walker Hahn
But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. Psalm 5:11 (NASB)
So often when big news events occur, certain catch phrases become common. With the spreading of COVID-19, a common phrase is, “shelter in place.” It is meant to convey the need to go to your place of residence and remain there. The intent is to stop the spread of a communicable disease. If people aren’t around each other, they can’t spread the disease. But this phrase offers Biblically sound advice, as well.
When we receive Christ as our Savior, we receive the actual Presence of God, the Person of the Holy Spirit, deposited within us. So, the Living God is in us, and we are in Him. Therefore, the Lord is our shelter, our place. We can shelter in place with Him, and He can shelter in place within us.
The problem is we sometimes forget. We sometimes neglect staying under the shelter of the Lord. We leave the protection of His dwelling place. When we do that, we can get infected by the evil of the world. We become sick with unconfessed sin. We then need to return to the Lord in repentance and faith. He will cleanse us, forgive us, and once again we can enter into the shelter of His grace.
The advantages of sheltering in place in the world is that the spread of the disease will slow and hopefully, cease altogether. When we shelter in place with the Lord, the more we are in His presence and allow Him to control our lives, the less the sinfulness of the world can influence us. We allow the Spirit that lives within us to determine our comings and goings, our thoughts and emotions. Sin is still present in our world, but we will be protected from it.
Another catch phrase as a result of the pandemic is, “social distancing.” The focus is to put distance between ourselves and others so that the transmission of any germs from person to person can be avoided. Likewise, in our Christian life we are to practice social distancing.
We are told in 2 Corinthians 6, that we are not to be bound together with unbelievers. We are told to come out of the world and to be separate from it. As a result, God will make His dwelling place among us.
As Christians, we are called to be different. People should be able to tell by the way we live our daily lives, that we belong to God. That may mean staying away from those who want us to practice a lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of Christ.
While dealing with the pandemic, sheltering in place and social distancing are meant to be positive things in a negative situation. It’s causing people to have to make big changes in their daily lives. Again, it’s the same spiritually. When we receive Christ, we have to allow God to make big changes in our lives. Some of those changes, some of the molding and shaping God has to do to us, may be uncomfortable at times. But very necessary for our good.
Allow the Lord to be your shelter, your place of refuge. Allow Him to draw you away from the things the world tries to offer that are ungodly. Seek after Him and the ultimate reward will be a permanent shelter forever with Him.
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3 (NASB)
Heavenly Father, thank You for being our shelter and place of refuge. Help us to remain within the protection of that shelter and distance ourselves from the ways of the world. May we allow You to make whatever changes You need to make within us to get us fit for Your Kingdom. And Lord, we thank You that we have that hope and assurance that You are even now preparing a permanent dwelling place for us to spend eternity with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Joan at joanwalkerhahn.com.
© 2020 by Joan Walker Hahn. All rights reserved.
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