ENCOURAGEMENT TO “LIVE IN THE SHELTER OF THE MOST HIGH”

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

grace place bio photo christine

CHRISTINE COLTMAN, contributor for today’s blog post 

On Monday night, Kathy continued our studies in Colossians by speaking to us powerfully on the second part of chapter two. One section particularly resonated with me:
‘God cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.’ (verses 13-15)
Kathy pointed out that the imagery used is that of Roman triumph – the winning of a great battle, which indeed it was. Through his death on the cross, Jesus defeated sin and death once and for all.
As I grow as a Christian, I am becoming more and more aware of the spiritual battle that we are all in. I used to think of this as a battle that overseas missionaries face when they had to brave violent tribes, or hostile locals. If you google ‘spiritual battle’, the images that come up are epic, classical paintings of angel warfare against demons. But what about when you wake up with a sore back and your child just won’t put their shoes on and all you want to do is swear and shout at God for adding one more annoyance to your day? Or when yet another unexpected bill arrives at the end of the month that you haven’t accounted for and it adds to your already increasing black mood that you are making sure everyone else in the house is fully aware of?
I know that the big picture battle for our souls is real and raging – and I am realising that this happens on a moment by moment basis. It’s not a ‘once and for all’ final battle, but a slow and steady daily fight. My shield, when I am focused and ready, is God’s Word:
‘Submit yourselves then to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ James 4 v 7.
I repeat this verse to myself almost hourly at the moment. God has disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. Like a chained beast, they will bite back when we stray too near, but when we rest in God’s shelter, we are safe. We studied Psalm 91 recently in our Formation Group and this verse has stuck with me:
‘Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.’ Psalm 91 v 1.
The challenge of course, is not to occasionally camp out in God’s shelter, but to live there permanently. I find the only way I can do this is to start my day with God’s Word, call out to him frequently as the trials arise, and praise Him for the ultimate victory in Jesus, finding comfort and security in that above all else. It’s not easy, but as we ‘let our roots grow down into Him…then your faith will grow strong in the truth…and you will overflow with thankfulness’ Colossians 2 verse 7.