He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
(It would be good, if you have a few moments, to read through all of Psalm 91:1-2 – you can do so by clicking the highlighted text, which will take you to Bible Gateway.)
The word ‘dwell’ used in this verse means, “to take up permanent residence in.” It’s a conscious, active choice to draw close to God and seek to make his presence our ‘permanent residence’ as a lifestyle; It’s in doing so, that we will find “rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”Psalm 91
In verse 7 the Psalmist declares, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
Why is he able this with such confidence? Because he has made God’s presence his dwelling place. He exhorts us to do the same: “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.” Verses 9-1O
Dwelling in God’s presence sounds very high and lofty, and sort of unattainable – only for the ‘super spiritual’. But really that isn’t the case. God’s presence is always there.
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. Psalm 139:7
We often pray and ‘invite’ God to come, and I picture him smiling to himself, because he’s already here. We are the ones who are the ones who are invited to ‘come’.
Apart from the daily ‘set aside time’ spent with God, we can draw near to him all day, through the day, by just including him in everything we do. Talking to him, singing songs of worship to him. It sounds very simplistic, but that’s because it is. It’s we humans that complicate our relationship with God with all our religious trappings. He is there, beside us, all day, every day, and all we need to do is acknowledge his presence.
I love this description of “The Shadow of The Almighty”. Shadows are a place of protection or covering; they provide relief from the direct heat of the sun. If the heat is severe, the shade is the place we long for to escape the intensity of the heat of the sun.
Sometimes the ‘heat’ of life can become so intense. Pressures and stress can seem as stifling and hot as afternoon the blazing sun. God’s says to us; “Walk in my shadow, keep close to my side.”
“TAKE UP PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN MY PRESENCE”
In God’s shadow is the place of confidence, the place of rest, the place of protection, the place of healing, of peace and of calm.
I know where I want to be!
Oh and guess what?
YOUR APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE WILL NEVER BE TURNED DOWN!
Your Visa is granted immediately, from the first moment you turn your eyes to him and surrender you heart to him (that’s what we call, in ‘Christian-ese’ getting saved, or becoming a Christian) and from there on, the invitation to permanent residence. But it has to be a choice. Some people have holiday homes in exquisite places and pop over for a visit now and then when the heat of life gets too much, without ever taking up residence there.
You and I have been granted permanent residence in God’s presence. A place of refuge, safety, comfort, counsel and security.
Jill McIlreavy 💜