Living in the Shelter of the Most High God
The ninety-first Psalm is an old favorite. It is a glowing testimony to the security of those who trust in God. A writ of protection for all believers. A great truth laid down for all those who love God . The word “shelter” is sometimes translated “secret place”. All those who love God are living in this wonderful secret place – this shelter of God’s protection.
Let’s read Psalm 91 now. “The person who stays in the secret place of the Most High will rest under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
“Surely God will save you from the fowler’s snare, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. The pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand. But it will not come near you. Only will you observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.”
If you make the Most High your dwelling even the Lord, who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you. No disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you. To guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra. You will trample the great lion and the serpent.”
“Because he/she loves Me,” says the Lord, I will rescue him/her. I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:1-16)
These great promises of protection from God are sure for all those who make the Most High their habitation. Whatever happens to them, none of it shall hurt them. (Romans 8:28) God will be their Protector. One of God’s many Names is “Jehovah Jireh”, which means “God provides”. You may be questioning this. Don’t those who love God have terrible accidents? Aren’t their prayers sometimes left unanswered, at least for a long time? Believers die in battles and endure serious illnesses. Where is the God of Psalm 91 when these tragedies come?
God promises His children total victory through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. But we will not see the complete fulfillment of this amazing victory until after we die. God promises that He will in due time deliver His children out of trouble. (Psalm 91:14) He will be with us through our troubles and deliver us out of all of our troubles. (But full deliverance happens after we die.) (Psalm 91:15)
God promises that if we call upon Him, He will answer our prayers. (Psalm 91:15) But sometimes we have to wait long years for the answer. Abraham and Sarah were promised a child, but they had to wait until they were very old for their promised son, Isaac, to be born. Was God testing Abraham and Sarah’s faith? Does He test our faith?
Our faith perhaps grows stronger with patience? Is something else happening behind the scenes that we don’t understand when our prayers are not answered as quickly as we would like? Our timing may not be God’s timing. We don’t see the whole picture that God sees. God gives His children grace and strengthens their faith while they are waiting for His answers. Perhaps we would not develop a strong resilient faith if we never went through troubles. And our faith in God is worth so much!
St. Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” and he prayed three times that God would remove this painful thorn. We don’t know whether this “thorn” was a physical illness or a real thorn or an ugly problem in his life. But it seemed that his prayers concerning the removal of this dreaded “thorn” were still not answered for a long time.
Paul asked God why his prayer had not been answered? And why he still had his “thorn”? And God answered Paul with these words: “My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness.” ((2 Corinthians 12:9) It would seem that God gave Paul special grace to live with the thorn and also promised that His power in Paul would be perfect or strong for his weakness (thorn). Can we trust God’ promised protection during the times when we don’t understand His reasons for waiting to answer our prayers? Can we ask for His grace during our trials and believe that His strength can be made perfect in our weaknesses? Can we keep trusting Him like Abraham and Sarah and Paul did even when His answers were long in coming?
God has lessons for us to learn and spiritual gifts for us to receive. Often He calls us to follow Him through the wilderness before we get to the promised land. Obey His Word and stay on the narrow path. We will be rejected by the world because of our faith. Persecuted and laughed at. But when things get difficult and we tread on the lion and the serpent we are to remember that our God is right here with us and He will rescue us. He is our Refuge and our Fortress. He will save us from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. And He will cover us with His wings.
Remember we are living in the Shelter – the Secret Place- of the Most High God and we are resting in the shadow of the Almighty. That promise is to all those who believe. To those who stay the course. To those who have faith in God. Hold on to that precious faith in God and never let it go!