I needed a reminder to look to Jesus because there are a lot of other distractions to look at these days. One in particular, the political signs in my neighborhood. Then, every single hour it seems that something “news worthy” is flashing on my phone. And then there is the wading through of lots and lots of opinions about that piece of news. We like to raise our voices and let people know what we think. And I definitely have opinions—mask or no mask, open schools or keep them closed, vote in person or by mail, pro-life or pro-abortion, less taxation or more taxation, small government versus big government, Trump or Biden. If I had no filter or operated out of zero wisdom, I may put a banner the size of Texas in my yard or comment on every post I disagree with. But thank the Lord above, He helps me.
And a passage of scripture from Numbers 2 helped me immensely the other morning. Whitney Capps, the author of WE OVER ME bible study, reminded me to look at how God set up camp with His people. Verse 2 of chapter 2 says, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.” Their banner associated them with their father. They were under his leadership. They were around the tent of meeting, which is where the presence of God was. “At the command of the Lord” (Numbers 9:18) they would stay or pack up and travel on. The “command” of the Lord can also be translated as the “mouth” of the Lord. So they were to hang on His every word and be ready to follow the cloud by day or the fire by night. And the only way to know what the Lord wanted was to keep their eyes on the tent of meeting where God’s presence dwelt. The Israelites were often in enemy territory, so keeping their eyes on the center of their camp might seem less helpful than watching their backs and making sure no one was sneaking up on them. But God was teaching Israel that He alone is in control. He alone knows how to best take care of them. He alone deserves all of our attention and affection. He alone is worth following fully, giving my total allegiance.
Is God the center of your thinking these days? Is God the One you’re looking to for direction, for relief, for satisfaction, for stability? Unless you are being intentional about this, then you are likely getting run slap over with the onslaught of distractions out there that steal your joy and peace. Don’t let satan win the moment or the day or the week or this election cycle. Keep Jesus at the center of your thinking. Re-align your thoughts and attention and affection to Him. Hang on His every Word that He has so graciously given to us.
I might mention that there is a sign in a neighbor’s yard that brings me hope. On it are written “Psalm 91.”
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the ]serpent you will trample down.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”
Dr. Albert Mohler recently taught Psalm 91, and I listened to the sermon several times. He challenges the believer to be determined to be found faithful in these “unprecendented” times. He reminds us that the sovereignty of God guarantees that there is purpose in this. He quoted C.S Lewis from 1939 at the beginning of World War 2: “The war creates no new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.”
Mohler goes on to say, “We are not NOW mortal. We are not NOW surrounded by danger. We are not NOW in a dangerous world” (meaning since Covid-19). He challenges us to respect concerns but do NOT give in to fear and he ends with this thought regarding the sweet truth of Psalm 91; “Under the shadow of the Almight—it’s where we’ve always been. It’s just imperative that we understand it now.”
So instead of hanging up the dog leash and putting away my walking shoes until after the election, I think I will keep walking and use every sign as a reminder that my banner is Jesus. He is who I look to for all I need. And I will pray that more and more people will look to God! He is our only hope!