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Many times in scripture, readers are either told that the Lord is their refuge, or are urged to make the Lord their refuge.  Have you ever read passages like that and said “OK, so HOW do I make the Lord my refuge?”  There are many things connected with this in scripture, but I want to focus on just one.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
(Psalm 16:1-2 ESV)

In these simple verses, David gives us insight into how he takes refuge in the Lord.  He amplifies his submissive relationship to God, saying to the Lord that he is in fact LORD in David’s life.  The first part of David’s refuge in God is based in a spirit that actively, not in word only, recognizes and submits to the sovereign Lordship of God over his life.

Second, David makes this remarkable statement: “I have no good apart from you”.  As we think about this, we will see what it means to have refuge in God.  David counts that his kingdom, his family, his wealth, his tremendous power, prestige, etc. (things which we all think are pretty darn good to have) are NO GOOD at all apart from his relationship with God.

How does this help him take refuge in God?  When you say, that nothing in your life is a good to you apart from God, or in other words, that David’s personal relationship with God is his ONLY good, then you can take his kingdom, you can take his family, you can take his health, you can take anything from David, and have still left him with all that he considers good in his life, because you cannot take away his God.  That is what makes the Lord such a powerful stronghold.

David also speaks of the poor condition of those who do not take refuge in the One True God.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
(Psalm 16:4 ESV)

Taking refuge in any other “god” only brings ruin and misery.  Because they are not God, they cannot deliver on the things they promise.  Small “g” gods can be made out of anything (key thought – they have to be made gods).  Sex, money, health, position, ministry, family success, drugs, personal reputation (the list is endless), can all become “gods” in our lives if they are what we seek our refuge in (what we consider to be the ultimate good in our lives).  Those who do this will have increasing sorrow because their gods cannot do anything but take, leaving ultimate disappointment.

When the Lord is your good, what a refuge you have, because your good cannot be taken from you!