Psalm 91:1-16 1 HE WHO DWELLS in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 IF YOU MAKE THE MOST HIGH YOUR DWELLING— even the LORD, who is my refuge– 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “BECAUSE HE LOVES ME,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 HE WILL 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 will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Life is hard. Adulting is hard. Middle School is hard. High School is hard. College is hard. Aging is hard. Family life is hard. Living alone is hard. Change is hard. There are unexpected twists and turns. There are trials that are packed with a forceful punch. Life never gets easier. We need help. We need protection. We need power. We need the Lord.
Psalm 91 gives us so much help. First of all, this passage tells me that I need to:
Choose to Dwell in the Lord-(vs. 1 and 9)
Verse one says “He who DWELLS in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Where are you dwelling? If we are going to be protected by the Lord, we need to dwell where the protection is found. You can’t say you are dwelling in the Lord if you are always taking field trips with the world!
What do I mean when I say we need to dwell in the Lord? I would say we need to Live with a God consciousness. (vs. 1) We need to live with a daily recognition of who He is and what He can do. Verse one calls Him the Most High (El Elyon) and the Almighty (El Shaddai).
El Elyon is an adjective and comes from the Hebrew root which means “to go up” or “ascend.” To call God “El Elyon” stresses His highest supremacy. There is good and there is evil, but they are not equally matched. Nothing and no one is higher than God.
The name El Shaddai refers to the sufficiency of God. He will nurture us and nourish us and provide all we need no matter the circumstance.
In order to dwell with the Lord, we need to:
Walk in relationship with Him (vs. 2) The person who wrote Psalm 91 knew God personally. He wasn’t just name dropping because he was looking for a way out of trouble. He said in verse 2, I will say of the LORD, “He is MY refuge and MY fortress, MY God, in whom I trust.
A relationship with Jesus will prepare you for the storm before it even hits. It can’t be casual. Jesus can’t just be just a hobby for you. He can’t just be something to insert in your weekly schedule. In order to experience His maximum protection, He has to be at the center of your life.
I would also say that to dwell in the Lord, you need to:
Rest in the Lord’s ability to deliver you (“in whom I trust”). Trust the Lord. Say it out loud on a regular basis, “God, I trust You.” When you pray for healing, say, “God, I trust You to heal me.” When you pray for your children, say, “God, I trust You to be at work in their lives.” When you pray for your spouse to be saved, say, “God, I trust that in Your time You will bring about the salvation of my spouse.” When you pray for your finances, say, “God, I trust You to provide for my needs.” And then demonstrate that you trust God. Look for ways to show God you have put the weight of your circumstances and the weight of your needs on His shoulders.
Second, I would encourage you to:
Cultivate Your Love for God (vs. 14)
Listen to verse 14 again, “BECAUSE HE LOVES ME,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Let me encourage you to acknowledge God’s name (vs. 14)
When you love someone, you talk about them. You aren’t embarrassed to be seen with them. You post about them on your social media. You want people to know you belong to them and they to you. Luke 12:18 says, ““I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man (Jesus) will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” We see in Psalm 91 and here in Luke 12 that publicly acknowledging God is a demonstration of our love for Him. He delights to help those who love and acknowledge Him.
In order to cultivate love for God you also need to spend time with Him. The more you are with Him, the more you will realize He is with you and for you.
In addition, avoid things that extinguish your love for God. If you can’t picture Jesus standing next to you at the bar, get out of the bar. If you can’t picture Jesus standing next to you while you view pornography, burn the magazine and get protections put on your computer. If you can’t picture Jesus standing next to you while you shoot up or puff whatever, get help to get away from what has taken hold of you. If you are doing anything, anywhere that you think Jesus wouldn’t want you to be doing or anything you think would offend Jesus or hurt Jesus if He was standing next to you, you need to relocate yourself in a hurry.
The third thing I would share regarding accessing God’s protection is that we need to:
Call Upon God Every Day (vs. 15) Listen to verse 15 again: HE WILL CALL UPON ME, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
Prayer is one of the key ways you can experience God’s protective help. When you can’t do anything about your situation, and when all you can do is pray, you are actually doing the best and most important thing you can do.
Notice what the end of verse 15 says, “I will deliver him and honor him.” He not only will deliver us from trouble, but he will honor us. Like, He will promote us. He will bless us. He will give us a commendation. We will be better off after the trial than we were before. He will honor us, why? Just because we are His. Just because we have trusted Him. Just because we have loved Him. Just because we have acknowledged Him. Just because we have called upon Him. I have said this before, but I’ll say it again, You need to make God your first refuge and not your last resort. Nobody wants to be there for you more than Jesus. Call upon God every day.
Where are you dwelling? Are you close enough to God that you are shaded from the heat of life’s battles? God’s protection is comprehensive, but it is conditional on our willingness to stick with Him. Be comforted by all of the promises of God in Psalm 91. Be comforted by all of the things He says He will do for you, and the list is long. But be challenged to love Him more faithfully, to call on His name more regularly, and to acknowledge Him in your public as well as your private life.