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Daily Pursuit of Christ-Psalm 91:1-2

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Psalm 91

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

 

The Lord blessed me with parents that valued the spiritual discipline of prayer.  Every evening at the close of our family devotional time they modeled before me and my siblings what prayer looked and sounded like.. Yes I was being specific. They put their hearts on display, with sincerity and passionate ardency.  My father showed me that real men are not afraid to weep in the presence of the Lord or speak in tongues or just real talk with Jesus. Regarding our comfort zones, believe it or not, the Bible does give very clear instructions on what  a lover of God, a Christ following person ought pray like...But I wonder if sometimes we are praying for ourselves, to ourselves, because the way we pray is more about us than about God...In fact, folks get offended if you push much on this matter...but I digress. My mother used to say that, “The thankful person is the unashamed person.”   In otherwords, when we pray, lets let our rescued hearts do the talking. 

 

Almost daily for many of my growing up years my mother would seat me at the dining room table with the scriptures opened to Psalm 91.  She would instruct me to pray this over my life. She would tell me to, “Pray it aloud; pray it like you mean it. Someday you will want every word of it to be true in your life.”

 

With that my mother would leave me at the table and go on about her business, usually in the kitchen or the attached sewing room.  Oftentimes she would chime in firmly from the otheroom, “I can’t hear you son. Speak up please.” Or, “That doesn’t sound like you mean it Jimbo. Say it like you mean it. Pray the scriptures son.  Pray the scriptures.”

 

At the time I had very little appreciation for the lesson my mother was teaching.  Not until later in life did I begin to understand that she was opening up the Kingdom of God for me.  All I had to do was sit at the table and eat of it’s goodness.  

 

Over the next several days I want us to venture into the lessons of Psalm 91 and pray this scripture over our lives and mean every word.There is goodness here that God desire the saints to walk in.

 

Verse One.

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High..

 

Speaks to us of the openness of God's heart toward us.  Notice emphasis is on the dwelling place not on the “Whoever.”  The dwelling place is a shelter provided by God. It is intended to harken to the idea of tabernacle.  A tent of meeting. A secret place of revelation that comes from God. Years ago I heard Gordon Anderson share the traditional story of where the idea chapel came from.  The name in its origins refers to the story of the cape or cloak of Saint Martin of Tours. When he was serving as a Roman cavalry soldier deployed to Gaul near Aimens, Martin faced harsh cold weather that gave him appreciation for the covering of his military cloak. While there he is said to have encountered a freezing beggar with mere ribbons of rags remaining to wear in the merciless winter. From horseback Martin is said to have approached the poor man, removed his cloak and shared his covering when with his sword, he cut it in half. He gave half to the beggar and dressed himself in the remnant. That night, Martin had a vision in which Christ appeared and spoke to him, "Martin, a simple disciple of the Faith has clothed me." And so this act of kindness was called chapel or “little cape” which today, for the sake of our reading, refers us to a  place of shelter and covering in which Christ reveals himself to “Whoever” would dwell beneath His covering. In this place yielding our posture allows us to see and place confidence in God as the “Most High.” This is a very intimate confession made from a vantage point that sees God as one to whom none can compare...not even close...and yet not until we dwell with him do we see He is the “Most High.” Yes, God, the Most High, and yet He desires to dwell as a matter of distinct choice, with you.

 

...will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Only when we dwell or live in His covering do we truly find rest.  But even the idea of rest is connected to seeing God as incomparable in a way that should cause confidence and boldness in us.  Confidence because we are resting in His shadow. But the thing about shadows is that shadows move. And this is exactly what this word speaks of, relating it the way a shadow moves on a sundial.  This is a well articulated call to all who desire a greater revelation of the full measure of Christ. Hear it clearly, “resting” means to live in Him, to explore habitation in Him as one who belongs in no other place, but NOT to be stationary or asleep.  To dwell or abide in His shadow is to find rest in moving with God. When we move with Him as we remain in Him, we not only find shelter and revelation but we discover in ways that are unique to our experience that His is “Almighty.” That is to say, “Almighty” in a very personal, “I am ‘Almighty’ concerning every issue of your life.” kind of way.

 

Verse Two

Is it any wonder then the writer speaks out of the overflow of His revelation...being compelled in a way that cannot be helped.

 

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

 

If we were going to say it today it might sound something like this:

I must tell you, and I cannot help it! The Lord, the Most High, the Almighty, He is my shelter from the storm, my cleft in rock, my undefeatable fortress all around me.  He is my personal God. I have considered this; when I am in Him and He is in me, I see my situation clearly. I think clearly. I am bold because I know who’s side I am on and I know where I live. Why would I want to put my certainty, my hope, my trust in anyone else?

 

Psalm 91:1-2 are incredibly cohesive.  The first, is spoken from God’s heart. The second, is a statement of the person who receives the instruction from God’s heart...Almost as a restatement of verse one but on the other side of having lived it out.  

 

Let’s pray the scriptures and mean it!

 

Psalm 91

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

 

Lord in this season of divine interruption I am asking you to grow and accelerate hunger for you in me.  Lord, I don’t want to be content with knowing about you. In Christ, I live in you and in me. I dwell in your covering. Teach me to explore this habitation with boldness. I receive your instruction.  I call upon You alone, the Lord, the God who is interested in me; show yourself as the Most High God, the Lord Almighty. Let the world see, through your workings in me that none can compare to You. Not even close!  Lord I invite You, teach me to rest in You, to move with You, to find the only shelter I’ll ever need in You and you alone. Teach me to explore as a citizen of the Kingdom, as a member of your household, what life in You is really all about.  Lord I will tell everyone how You have worked on my behalf and I won’t shut it up inside of me. With gladness I will chase after You my God! In Jesus' mighty name, Amen!