Ever since this pandemic started which somehow gripped people’s hearts with fear, we still have a great reason to be thankful for, knowing that with God, there is always a place of safety and protection. In Christ, there is always hope. He is Christ in us, the HOPE of glory. That means, as believers of His finished work at the cross, He postures us to have a confident and joyful expectation of good in spite of the situation around us.
“I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (John 16:33 AMPC)
One of the most quoted psalms during this time of uncertainty is Psalm 91 which is filled with promises of protection. I, for one, love this Psalm purely because it speaks of God’s presence surrounding and embracing us, all because He so loves us. He wants us to know and experience what it means to be dwelling in the shelter of our Most High God, abiding in the shadow of the Almighty, Whose power no foe can come against.
Because of His great love for us, His delight when we run to Him is much more than our delight in running to Him. From His side, He is always present and available. Mind you, we are the apple of His eye, His precious possession, the object of His affection and the center of His attention. How mindful He is of us that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. If a strand falls, He knows. If one turns gray, He knows :-). His Word mentions that His thoughts of us is more than the sand in the seashore. That’s incomprehensible.
He takes most pleasure when we come BOLDLY into His throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. But this utter boldness is only possible when we come to know the truth of what the Blood of Jesus paid for us. His Blood washed away our sins and made us righteous before our Heavenly Father. It is never by our own effort to be righteous and blameless. We become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus as we accept Him and acknowledge what He did for us. “For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith—and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is the secret of coming boldly into the secret place of our Most High God, where we are always welcomed, accepted and attended to. It is a place where we are encouraged and strengthened. It is a place where we can remain stable, steadfast and fixed, never budging, but always advancing in the victory that Jesus won for us.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 AMPC)
A family that I intimately know went through a period of testing. They were all careful and cautious to avoid the virus due to the very fact that their mother is 78 years old. Months came and went. Thankfully, everything went well.
But a day came when one of them had covid virus-like symptoms. Then, it was followed by another and then, another one. As we were alarmed, everyone’s attention was focused on their mother. They all went for swab tests and guess what? … everyone was tested positive EXCEPT their 78-yr old mother. Hmmmmm … When she was asked what her secret was, her response was, Psalm 91. Glory to God.
I found it kinda hilarious in the sense that when the result finally came out, there were comments made like … “oh maybe she was tested before the outbreak of the virus in the household came that’s why her result is negative :-)”.
Sometimes we tend to believe on the virus’ power more than the Word of our Most High, Almighty Living God. See that when God spoke, He created the world into existence. What is a virus compared to the creation of the world by His Word? And not just that He created and framed the world by His words, but He upholds the world by the Word of His power to this day and in the days to come (Hebrews 1:3). He spoke it once and it is still sustained to today. That is POWER!
When we receive in humility the implanted Word of God, it is able to save our souls. We live because He speaks. Indeed, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
When we go through the whole Psalm 91, receive every word and mix it with faith, believing that He Who promised is faithful to perform it, it puts our hearts to rest and see the immeasurable supernatural goodness of His spoken promises when we dwell in the safety of His presence.
“SURELY He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall 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 I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:3-16)
You see, much more than our limited way of protecting ourselves from this virus, there is Jesus Christ Who is constantly interceding for us that our faith will not fail. It is He Who perfects that which concerns us. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us Who is interceding for us for the will of God to make manifest in our lives. And God’s will is health and wholeness for us because Jesus paid a steep price for all sickness and diseases by the stripes that He bore in His body. In here, we find another treasure of His assurances, “SURELY”!
“SURELY He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, but He made them accessible to us by faith. Many a time, His methods are foolishness to our human intellect for they are beyond comprehension. But what He desires of us is for us to SEEK HIM, HEAR HIM, BELIEVE HIM and OBEY HIM, knowing that He is the ALL-KNOWING GOD Who knows everything.
If we look at Exodus, there is this place called Goshen.
“I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people…” (Exodus 8:22–23)
It is written in the Bible that although Egypt was plagued by swarms of flies and other pestilences, the Israelites were safe in Goshen, completely untouched by the troubles! Even on the ninth plague where darkness covered the whole of Egypt, yet all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. This happens when we are set apart to dwell in His presence.
The name “Goshen” means “drawing near.” God wants us to be in “Goshen,” which is a place of nearness to Him, and there is no place nearer to Him than being in Christ and Christ dwelling in us in our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. God’s heart of love is not contented or satisfied with just having our sins removed from us. No, He wants more. He wants us to know that because of Jesus Christ, we can be in His presence 24/7 where every blessing is found and every protection is enjoyed. “A thousand may fall at our side, and ten thousand at our right hand; but it shall NOT come near us as God’s beloved!” (Psalm 91:7). He wants us in the place where He can lavish us with His bountiful love, communing with us always.
Even if there are bad things happening in the world today, remember that the GOOD NEWS is not bound to it. The good news is that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters and His eyes are always upon us. We are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:11, 16). No plague can come near us, no evil shall touch us and no danger can come close to us and our dwelling place because we are safe in the secret place of the Most High.
The testimony of Christ is a spirit of prophecy. Therefore, what the Lord has done to the 78 yr old mother, He is willing and able to do it to us who believe. “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, ALL things are possible to him who believes” ( Matthew 9:23). Our God is not a respecter of persons. When He sees faith, He moves, for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for making Your Presence available and accessible to us ALWAYS. You are our protection and our provision. When we hide under Your wings, no evil shall find us let alone come near us. Thank You, Jesus, for making it all possible for us to come boldly into the secret place of our Most High God by the power of Your Blood shed at the cross. You opened our eyes to see and live according to what You have paid for us, that we may not live underneath the privileges of being sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for always breathing and revealing to us the power of the written and spoken Word. Indeed, no promise of God is empty of power and we shall see and walk in it as we continue to believe that what has been spoken shall be done in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen!
Photo Credits: DMBP; Michigan
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