Always Only You
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
You’ve probably heard the old sayings “Home Is Where The Heart Is” or “Home Sweet Home.” I always wondered, what’s the difference between a house and home? I think a “house" is really just a structure and a house is still a house, whether there's someone living there or not. Now a home, that’s different. A “home” is the place where you live, where you feel you belong. It’s the place where your family is and where you receive love and peace!
You know our God is many things to us - a shelter, a refuge, and yes, even a home! But why do we often seek to find these safe places elsewhere or even try to create them ourselves? Maybe it’s because we hear verses making the promises - that God can be a shelter, but then think, it’s just not for us. Maybe He can be that for others, but not us. If you only knew the things that I’ve done, the things I’ve thought about, the things I’ve felt…it just feels like I’ve pushed God away. So that shelter, it’s just too far and no longer available to us. If that’s how you feel, consider the words of Isaiah 43: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” He is doing a new thing IN YOU, THROUGH YOU, and FOR YOU!
Listen to me - you cannot go it alone! PUSH PAUSE! Don’t just read that last sentence, take it to heart. You cannot go it alone and you were never meant to! Paul Tripp writes in his bookWhiter Than Snow, "We weren't created to be independent, autonomous, or self-sufficient. We were made to live in a humble, worshipful, and loving dependency upon God and in a loving and humble interdependency with others. Our lives were designed to be community projects. Yet, the foolishness of sin tells us that we have all that we need within ourselves. So we settle for relationships that never go beneath the casual. We defend ourselves when the people around us point out a weakness or a wrong. We hold our struggles within, not taking advantage of the resources God has given us."
First of all, seek the shelter that He promises and provides to you. “GOD IS OUR SHELTER and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the Most High." - Psalm 146
What is a “shelter?” It’s something or someone that provides protection. It’s not a sign of weakness. We all need to take shelter from the storms we’re facing. We need to regroup, restore, and remind ourselves from where our help comes from. The world in which we live is so fast paced that it distracts us from the very things that we need to focus on - the ones we need to make a priority and the God who’s there for us. A SHELTER BRINGS HOPE!
Our God is also a REFUGE for us! At first, as I was writing this, I struggled a bit with the difference between a shelter and a refuge. Than it occurred to me – refuge is the very thing that results from the shelter. So what is a “refuge?” A refuge is the safety from danger or distress due to the protection a shelter provides. Too often we incorrectly asses the severity of the storm we’re in and then think, "why seek shelter when we don’t think we’re in any real danger?!”We can also begin to question the reliability of that shelter and the refuge that’s promised or we question the need for it at all. We seem to outgrow it and think why even bother?
Have you ever heard of FOMO? It stands for “fear of missing out.” This is more true than I thought. I’ve even found myself caught up in it at times. I mean who doesn’t want to see the newest movie, hear the latest news, or check out the coolest coffee shop? Now, don’t get me wrong, these are not inherently bad things, but when they replace our time with God then there’s an issue. Too often we don’t turn to the shelter available or rest in the refuge provided because it just isn’t needed right now or critical in the moment. But consider the truth of Psalm 73: "But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do."
Focus on two specific sections of that Psalm - “how good it is to be near God”, and “I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” Our Heavenly Father wants us to draw near to Him. It is good to spend time with Him. So good in fact, that we want to share that with others. We want others to experience the love, the shelter and the refuge our God has waiting for them.
Lastly, there’s something far sweeter that I don’t want you to miss. See that safe place, that shelter He provides and the refuge that comes with it as something even more special - it's our home! Remember how I first defined “home” - a place where you live and where you feel that you belong. It’s the place where your family is and where you receive love and peace! That’s what He offers to us - a real home, built upon faith, filled with His unconditional love, and available to us always! He will never be changed, never be defeated - the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He chases away the darkness and has already conquered death and the sins of this world.
"Lord, through all the generations you have been our HOME! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, YOU ARE GOD" (Psalm 900. This verse reminds us of this truth.
I read through these verses and prayed for the right words to write our new song “Always Only You.” Over the years, I’ve met so many new friends on the road and at our shows and they’ve shared their personal stories of how they’ve struggled, felt defeated, worn down, and even overwhelmed by the pressures of cancer, divorce, job loss, the death of a loved one… The list goes on and the hurt is real!
I want to share part of those lyrics with you as I find they have served as a powerful prayer for me! I pray they speak to you as well from His word and from His heart. Never forget that you have a Heavenly Father and He has a shelter specifically for you that can provide refuge and more importantly a home ALWAYS!
It’s always and only been You.
My shelter, my home and my refuge.
The hope that I hold to,
The strength that I run to,
It’s always only You.