“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
Even though this is a pretty big promise, it’s easy to blow past the truth and consequently miss the full impact and comfort that David and God intended for us to have from these words.
I have a couple of issues and questions concerning these words, so I pause and break this promise down into bite size truths to consider.
Here’s my thoughts as I work through to God’s promise.
The shelter of the Most High.
A shelter means that I can run to it. As I start to ask “where and how do I run to this God-shelter?” – I immediately start coming up with a list.
I enter into the shelter of the Most High by attending to God’s Word. This means I am to know, trust, and follow what God says to me both in Scripture and to my spirit.
I have to go to His Word. This is just like when we can hear someone’s voice – and we know they are nearby. God is wherever His Word is heard. I must get my Bible. Then open it and read it. Sure – sometimes I think – I know what it says, I know what it will tell me, but I’ve discovered that when I actually open it and read it – something happens. God’s Spirit is there. And the more I read it, the more of God’s Spirit and comfort I sense. (In the beginning of my journey, God gave me comfort and assurance from His Word and yet I didn’t know that the issues and fears of mine were blocking much of what He was wanting to give me. It took spending time with God for these things to come to light and be dismantled. It took time for me to experience His peace that He offers and promises.)
To find God’s shelter I have to enter into it – soaking in it; filling up on it, and breathing in deep of its promises and truth – so that I am transformed by its message and power. In every struggle, I have to open God’s pages to me and step into its coolness and its warmth – its comfort and its challenge – until my mind and spirit is soothed and touched.
The shelter of The One Who Loves Us is also to be found in the finished, complete work of Christ – His accepted payment (suffering and sacrificial death on our account), His glorified perfected life, and His proof of these things (as found in His resurrection, seen by many). By taking in Jesus – His words and His life – I find comfort, protection, power, and strength.
The shelter of God is to be found in crying out to God – for He saves those who cry out to Him (verse 15 below). Not only does God’s Word promise this, but I keep proving it over and over. I certainly struggle with the syndrome and mentality of wanting to be able to say, “Look what I can do” and every time I come up short. Slow though I am, I’m learning to – daily and moment by moment – cry out to Him for His help and grace. Then I’m able to say – “Look what God did.” (Just like a little kid though, I want to add – and I helped!”)
The shelter of the Almighty is to be found by those who love Him, seek Him, and follow Him (verse 14 below). Again we do this, by spending time with Him in His word and presence.
Then we can rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Hmm. Not so sure about this shadow part. A shadow at first glance doesn’t seem especially comforting. So again I ponder on this. Then I realize – for there to be a shadow there must also be an object nearby and large enough to cast the shadow. Well what do you know! I get it now! Though I can’t look up and see Him fully – His presence is casting its’ shadow in my life and I will see glimpses Of His presence. Though I can’t look up and see Him – as I seek Him I will know, sense, and feel His presence.
The shadow of God means that He is over me – bigger and larger than me , overseeing and protecting me as I seek His shelter and provision.
And finally a shadow gives comfort to me from the pressing, oppressive heat of the day that so quickly saps my strength. In the shadow and shade I stop and find rest from my day’s burdens.
And so my job is to stay within His shelter, protection, and care.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
4 He will cover [me] with his feathers,
and under his wings [I] will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be [my] shield and rampart.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
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