Psalm 91:1-4 NASB
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 it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
What does it mean to “dwell in the shelter of the Most High”? The Most High is God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To dwell is to live, abide, stay, remain, settle and to have as our home. And, to remain is to continue, endure and persist. As well, his shelter is his protection, covering, shield and defense.
So, what is God’s protection, covering, shield and defense for us? Is it not our salvation? It is what protects us from bondage to sin and from giving in to the enemy of our souls. It is what gives us life in Christ, hope for our future, and joy in trials. And, it is what brings us into relationship with Almighty God and fills us with His Spirit, so that we have power, strength, courage, and encouragement to persist, to endure and to continue in Christ.
So, if we dwell in the shelter of the Most High, it means we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we are walking in his ways and in his truth, and we are no longer living to the flesh, but now to the Spirit. We are daily in prayer and in His Word, drinking it in, listening to our Lord, and we are following him in obedience.
Then, when the enemy comes against us, or when we are tempted to sin, or when Satan is trying to ensnare us via deception, our Lord delivers us from yielding to the enemy and to sin, and he empowers us to walk in victory. When Satan tries to tempt us to despair, or to fear our circumstances, or to fear what humans may do to us, God is our refuge and our strength to help us so that we can walk in peace and in joy, free from fear.
To Guard You
Psalm 91:11-13 NASB
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
Our God is completely sovereign over all that he has made. He is absolutely in control over all powers and authorities in the heavens or on the earth. Nothing can touch those who belong to the Lord unless the Lord allows it, and he will give us all we need to endure it and to come through it praising his name.
He does not promise us that being under his shelter means we won’t have troubles or heartaches or difficulties in this life. In fact, he promises us that we will, and that these trials are for our good, that we might be holy as he is holy. We are destined to have trials and tribulations, in fact, to mature us in Christ, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and that we might be made to be like Jesus. Even Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered.
But, what he does promise us is victory over sin and over Satan, and the strength, power, wisdom and courage to endure and to come out shining like gold, i.e. to yield the fruit of Christ’s righteousness. Nothing will be able to overtake us and to destroy us if we are walking in his love, his grace, and his power, because we are also walking in obedience to his commands. Even if other humans take our lives, they will not be able to take our souls.
Because We Love Him
Psalm 91:14-16 NASB
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”
To love God is to obey his commands. And, to know him is to love him.
This is not saying we will never sin, but that being in relationship with Almighty God means we are filled with His Spirit and that we are walking by the Spirit and no longer are we living to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh. We no longer make sin our practice, but righteousness is now what we practice – all in the power, wisdom and strength of our Lord.
So, if we love God, we will obey him, and because we are walking in obedience to him, then he delivers us from sin. Now, I am not talking here about works-based salvation. For, faith in Jesus Christ is repentance, obedience and submission to Christ and to his cross. Faith is not a feeling or a religion or an experience. Faith in Jesus Christ means we have been divinely persuaded as to his will for our lives, and if persuaded, then we submit to Christ and to his will. But, faith is ongoing, not a one-time shot.
Again, it is those who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh who have eternal life with God and freedom from slavery to sin, not those who merely profess faith in Christ. For, if we walk according to the flesh, the Bible says we don’t know God, we don’t love him, we are not in fellowship with him, and we don’t have eternal life with him (See: Lu. 9:23-25; John 14:23-24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; etc.).
So, if we want God’s help, and we want him to answer our prayers, and we want his protection, strength, wisdom, and courage to endure trials or to resist Satan and to flee temptation, then we need to love him, which means we need to be walking in obedience to him and not resisting him. For, if we hold back from God, and we ignore him, we should not expect him to come through for us when we need him.
And, this is true, as well, if we want to have the hope of heaven and eternal life with God when we leave this earth. But, this is not works-based salvation. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation.
But salvation from sin is not just forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven when we die. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe in Jesus, it means dying with him to sin and being resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eternal life with God is only guaranteed to those who are presently believing in him, and who are walking according to his Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.
His grace, which brings salvation from sin, is what enables us to walk in freedom from sin and in his righteousness. This is what is free! Jesus paid the price for our sin on that cross, not so we could continue in sin claiming God’s grace covers it all. It is not grace if it leaves us still enslaved to sin. God’s grace sets us FREE from our slavery to sin. Amen!
I Sing of His Mercy
An Original Work / April 10, 2014
Based off Psalm 32
Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven
By the blood of Jesus Christ.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does
Not count against them; freedom found.
When, in silence, I did not confess
My sin to You; had no strength.
Then I owned up to my sin and
You forgave and cleansed me within.
Therefore let the godly pray to You;
Draw near to You; grace they’ll find.
They will not be o’ertaken by afflictions,
But in Christ peace abounds.
Lord, You are my hiding place.
I find my refuge in You secure.
You protect me from all evil.
You give songs of vict’ry in You.
Lord, You teach me to walk in Your ways;
Counsel me in love, I know.
Help me to not be stubborn and
Unwilling to follow in Your truth.
Thank You for Your love and mercy.
I put my trust in You always.
I rejoice in my Lord and
I sing of Him throughout all my days.
Thursday, June 21, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for Your love and Your grace to us in delivering us from bondage to sin and in setting us free to now walk daily in your righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen!