The Bare Soul -
May 4, 2008
Our Hiding Place
Psalm 32:7 - You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
I am so grateful to the Almighty for my life. My days are full of His presence, which makes times with those I love even more special. I am a fortunate man to be so blessed. I am equally grateful for the gift of running that He allows me to enjoy. For me, barefoot running allows me a feeling of closeness with my God and the ability to share my experiences with others through this unusual gift. It is as if God has given me two instruments of worship -- my bare feet -- that allow me the privilege of entering into His presence through a "secret door" where only I know the way. It is like a personalized place that seems to be full of His presence and His joy! (He will never have to say to me "Remove your shoes, for the place where you tread is holy".) I know that when I kick off my daily runs that the Lord Jesus will be there to run and pray and worship and praise with me, all along the way. Although I am out on busy roads and sidewalks during my runs, I feel hidden away and quite isolated with my Lord. It is a wonderful thing to be able to run, uninhibited, and to drink in His presence.
Have you ever considered what are the "spiritual tools" that the Lord has given you that allow you quick access to His presence? Some have told me that they have a special "hiding place" where they go and seek the Lord. This may be a small room or closet within their house that feels secure and welcoming to the Holy Spirit as He descends in a time of communion. Others have told me that they feel and sense this hiding place in the midst of a great woods or a pastoral setting. Guys often tell me that they feel the closeness of God while hunting or fishing where they are surrounded by God's beauty in nature. It really does not matter where we meet God, but that we meet Him! There needs to be a sense of longing and urgency to get to that special place with the Lord as often as possible. This can literally be our very own chapel of devotion. While some meet God on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings in a church setting, others know that there is so much more if they will but take the time to find their own hiding place with God where they can worship Him with abandon. The remarkable thing about worship is that if it is true, Godly worship then it will lead us to thanksgiving and praise of the Eternal One! Worship is the very soil that praise will grow and flourish. Think about this the next time you are drawn into His presence in a place of worship. Thank Him for drawing you and praise Him unabashedly. It will truly be life changing.
No matter what we may be experiencing when coming to a place of worship can be made "right-sized" by our attitude to the Lord. Psalm 32:7 is a remarkable verse in that it does not say that the Lord gives us hiding places from trouble, but that we must be hidden with Him from all life's turmoil. Paul stated this profoundly in Colossians 3:3 "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." This does not imply that we have to necessarily hide ourselves away in a cubby hole or a closet or to even be lost in the beauty of nature (or even a barefoot run!) It truly states that as New Testament believers that we can KNOW that we have died with Christ on Calvary's tree and that we are now alive with Christ in God. Not only are we sharers of Christ's life but we are "hidden" in Christ where the enemy or our souls can not touch us if we choose to remain within our Fortress of Love. Christ does give us stalwart protection to isolate us from the world, but also to identify us in His life behind the strong walls of His powerful life to make us true disciples.
There is a hiding place for all who would but believe in Him. Physical things such as running, or nature, or whatever location are only shadows of eternal things, and the animate tools he gives us should ultimately lead to the spiritual hiding place of the Most High. If we are only finding this place, arbitrarily and sporadically, at our respective churches then we have horribly missed the mark. God is calling us to places of worship all day long. He desires to hide us away in His presence through simple acts of worship that will lead ultimately to praise and thanksgiving. A lost and dying world is looking and longing to see true examples of those that are lost in His presence, simply hidden in Christ Jesus and living a life that is sanctified and holy for the Lord.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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