Today I was reading Psalm 91 and I found it to be encouraging, comforting, and also challenging. It is such a great passage I thought it would be fun to unpack it with you.I hope you will read the entire Psalm, but let me share just a few things that stood out to me.
I couldn’t get past the first two words in this passage. Whoever dwells. God’s Word is specific about who will get the benefits of resting in the shadow of the Almighty. Those who dwell.
Hmmmmm…think about that. God is intentional with every written Word spoken in the Bible, and He didn’t say everyone will rest in the shelter of the Most High. Nope. He specifically says those who dwell.
Let’s pause for a minute and consider what it means to dwell.
Dwell is defined as to live somewhere or to remain for a time. To linger over, emphasize or ponder in thought, speech, or writing.
OK – that’s big. Dwelling isn’t whispering a quick prayer in the morning and asking God to chase us around the rest of the day. Dwelling isn’t living a life with God “sprinkled on”. No. Dwelling is when we remain with the Lord throughout our day.
In my younger years my version of dwelling was to meet with the Lord in the morning and then close up my Bible and my journal and then I pretty much said to Him, “Bye! Bye! Now! Have a great day!” While meeting with the Lord is dwelling, leaving Him out of the rest of my day is not dwelling.
To dwell is to bring Him into every part of my life. It is to linger over scripture and to “emphasize” His position in my life. It is thinking about Him, talking to Him, and talkIng about Him.
So I ask myself – am I dwelling in the shelter of the Most High? I want to rest in the shadow of His wing and I want Him to be my place of refuge. I want all of these things. Oh – but there’s much more. Take a look at some of the other promises to those who dwell.
– He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
– He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence.
– A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
– No evil will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
– He will command his angels to guard you in all your ways.
But is this really true? Does God really protect us in the way that Psalm 91 says that He will? For years I got tripped up on these promises. I know people who absolutely dwell in the secret place of the Lord who have experienced harm – and disasters – and disappointment. So how do we resolve that?
Bad things will and do come to those who dwell. But those who dwell have a special covering and protection. Those who dwell experience miracles. Those who dwell are given a special strength and peace that enable us to endure. Those who dwell will not be overtaken or overwhelmed beyond His reach.
So what about the secret place? For me, the secret place is when I experience an almost magical moment when it seems like heaven reaches down and touches my life. It’s that moment when I feel His presence and can practically hear His voice as He impresses things on my heart. It’s when everything seems right no matter what might be going wrong in my life. It’s a full and warm knowing in my very soul. It’s supernatural and it’s amazing.
The secret place is a shelter reserved for those who dwell with the Lord.
In verse 14, we come upon another four words that are as big as the first two words of this psalm. It also seems to be another distinguishing factor as to which people are offered special protection from the Lord.
Because he loves me…
Do you love Jesus? There was a time when I could not wrap my head around that thought. How do you love someone you cannot see?
I will tell you how. Dwell with the Lord. Enter into the secret place where He reveals His mysteries to your very soul. Take the time to talk with Him throughout your day. Linger. Emphasize and acknowledge Him in your conversations.