Saturday, August 16, 2014
August 16 – Abiding in God’s shadow
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1,2 NKJV)
As the most famous chapter on God’s protection begins it doesn’t state that this blessing is reserved for the perfect or the good, as we might expect. So often we feel unworthy of God’s help because we do not measured up, because we are not as good as others, or because at some point in the past we made some very bad choices. When we are the most needy of God’s protection, we can be the most condemning of ourselves, killing any chance of climbing out of the hole we are in.
In a very interesting way, the Holy Spirit begins this chapter by pointing out that it is those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, that receive His protection and help in times of trouble. God knows better than any of us that we will never be perfect. Though one or two of us might measure up in our own eyes, no one measures up in God’s. But that’s not what God is looking at. He wants people who run to Him in times of trouble, who abide in the shadow of His wings, who see Him as a secret place where they can hide and be safe from the storms of life.
Later in the chapter it speaks about the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in the darkness, and the destruction that lays waste at noon day — no matter what time of day or night, trouble can appear and threaten to take away everything we have. Even at 12-noon when the sun is at its brightest, demons have the audacity to come out of their hiding places and attempt to destroy us, and the only real protection in those times is God… His shadow, His secret place.
But what does it mean to dwell or abide in God? Clearly it doesn’t mean going to a certain place or meeting a certain person. The church many times feels like being in the shadow of the Almighty, like the secret place of the Most High. In reality, dwelling in God means turning away from evil, worry, fear, bad friends, inappropriate conversations, uncontrolled anger, and any other attitude or action that goes against God’s commands. 99% of the time, abiding in His shadow means ignoring our feelings and standing on the promises of God. This is a hard thing to do, one of the hardest in this world, because so few people are doing it. Many talk about trusting in God, but for the large majority its just a cute saying that soothes their consciences, not something they live by. But this is our challenge.
God’s protection is yours, His full protection, as long as you dwell in Him and run to be under His shadow. Do this… do a better job of this, and I guarantee you will see amazing results.