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  • Writer's pictureDoug Burroughs

A Very Present Help

Psalms 46:1-7 (NKJV) God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,

And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,

Though the mountains shake with its swelling.


There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,

The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;

God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;

He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our refuge.


When I played high school football, I was placed on the offensive and defensive lines because of my relative size, not necessarily my skill. The job of the offensive line is to protect the quarterback first and second to execute the plays, thereby protecting a "pocket" (where the quarterback would be), or the runners carrying the ball by extending room in the defense through effective blocking.

Now, that the textbook definition is over, let me explain the famous, "lookout block". When a quarterback would begin to verbally rake us over the coals and we felt we didn't deserve it, we would on occasion employ a "lookout block". You see, our role was to supply a very present help, a refuge for the quarterback, by removing the defensive obstacles, the rushers, from his small world.

The lookout block was the opposite.

When the quarterback called for the ball, we would allow the defensive guys to get through, nearly unhindered, who would then provide a thrashing to the quarterback, who in our estimation, was acting "above his raising". We would be the first to go back and extend our hand to the fallen hero to pick him up and quietly remind him that it was in his best interest to work with us, not against us.

Aren't you glad I am not God?

In Psalm 46, God says there is no chance of Him failing in His role as refuge, strength, a very present help in time of need. His faithfulness to this task in unwavering and never ending. So much so that the next verse states that even if the very physical structure of the earth, of terra firma was challenged, God is still our refuge, strength and very present help.

The courage and fortitude to stand when everything is pressing on you to fold comes from God being in the midst of you. Notice that the river of Psalm 46 is in the midst of the people from the city of God. We see in other passages that this city is built around the throne of God, His very presence. That throne is now in you and I.

Grab that. His dwelling place is in men. He, the creator of the universe, the one who utters His voice and the earth melts, is enthroned in us.

That's why when trouble comes, we shall not be moved. He is unmovable and He is in us. That's why identity and understanding who we are in Christ is key. When we forget, we act like orphans and thrash about blaming God for supposedly not showing up on our schedule and then acting as if we aren't connected to Him permanently.

Identity is the ballgame. Get that settled, who you really are, and everything else flows from there.

You see, once you understand that God will never throw a look out block, you begin to understand the freedom and room you have in Christ. He has received you into His covenant with the Son and He loves the Son. You are a direct heir of God and a co-heir with Christ, as it says in Romans 8. His Holy Spirit is within you, you! He has pledged Himself to you and will not go back on that promise.

Why not take a moment and square up with God?

Ask for forgiveness for seeing Him as not trustworthy. Ask for forgiveness for seeing yourself as less than He made you. Then, ask Him to reveal all that He is in you and you are in Him.

Fasten your seat belts, things are about to get real exciting!


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