God is on His Throne

In the Lord I take refuge.
    How then can you say to me:
    ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
    his eyes examine them.

Psalm 11:1,4 NIVUK

Psalm 11 is another Psalm written by David, and it looks as though he is once again on the run from his enemies. It might have been Saul, who chased him around Palestine for years, or it might have been in the time of his son Absalom’s rebellion. In the first verse, David seems to be odds with his advisers who were telling him to head for the hills to find safety there. But David wasn’t afraid of his enemies because he trusted in the Lord for his protection. Wisely, though, he was keeping his head down and maintained a low profile, waiting for God to deal with the situation. In verse 4, David points out that God is still on His throne, keeping an eye on everyone. 

Living in 21st Century Britain is a challenge. There has been so much societal change over the past few years that we might be forgiven for questioning sometimes if God is still on His throne. And understandably there are many anxious people around, wondering what the future holds. People will give us all sorts of advice about how to deal with change. And there are some who will seek medication to help them deal with their anxiety. But there is only one way to remain unshakeable as the world shakes around us, and that is with our feet firmly established on the solid Rock, which is Christ. In Matthew 7:24-25 Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Because the wise man followed and applied Jesus’ teaching, he was unshakeable when the storms of life blew against him. The only way we will survive the changes in society is through our relationship with God. But you might be thinking, “Why does God allow me to experience so many problems in my life?” You might be experiencing financial difficulties, ill-health, family problems, and so on. Sometimes the list of problems seems endless. And to add to our apparent woes, Jesus said that we would experience troubles in this world. He said in John 16:33, “… In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So God is still on His throne and Jesus has overcome the world. What else do we need? As we encounter the problems in life, we face into them with Jesus, the Overcomer, at our side. Step by step, problem by problem, issue by issue, our faith and trust in God grows. Even though David was in big trouble, his narrative in Psalm 11 was almost detached because he knew his God, and the protection that He supplied. So He could almost adopt the position of looking on while God did His stuff. We too can be onlookers as we overcome our storms in life with God at our side.

The Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalms‬ ‭46:1-3‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

These three verses have been a tremendous comfort and support for many people over the years. They are often quoted in times of stress. They are the go-to verses read and uttered by God’s people when facing into some calamity or other. Look at the words the Psalmist uses; “Refuge”, “Strength”, “Help”, “Fear” and the very descriptive picture of an apocalyptic scene as our planet’s infrastructure collapses. Look at the contrast between the security of being in God, and the potentially disastrous state of being away from Him.

The contrast is between two kingdoms – the spiritual and the physical. Two worlds that we can access but so often we ignore the one and only dwell in the other. Of course this is perfectly understandable because we are physical beings with our feet firmly located on the home where we were born – Planet Earth. And we therefore try and look at everything around us through physical eyes and discount the spiritual world because we can’t see it. But it is there nevertheless, as many people over the ages will testify. How else do God’s people sustain themselves when tortured, imprisoned, and ill treated, all because of their faith in a God who one day will welcome them into His Kingdom, His world?

The wonderful and amazing thing is that we have an opportunity to be present in both worlds. Now. At this very moment. We can draw on the resources of God’s spiritual Kingdom to help and support us in our earthly world. God is inviting us to be part of His Kingdom, not just when we are facing into a calamitous situation, but all the time. And the access door is open this very moment – through God’s Son Jesus. Message me if you want to know more.

Although we start our life in the natural environment around us we will transition one day into a totally different spiritual environment, which itself consists of two worlds – God’s world, and another place where He is not present. Far better to enjoy the benefits of being a part of both God’s spiritual world and the physical world where we live while we have the choice. Because one day that choice will be removed from us.

The picture of an impregnable place in God that not only protects us from all dangers, but also resources us and strengthens us to face into impossible situations seems too good to be true. But it’s too good not to be true. Join me there today.