Saturday, April 20, 2019

Blog

Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

Some years ago while serving on staff of a local church with all of its many daily leadership responsibilities, our family had a crisis that set us on our heels emotionally and spiritually.  The situation was so devastating we were almost blinded and rendered immobile by the overwhelming emotions and spiritual implications. At the time it did not appear as if there would ever be a good way through this crisis. And, as is so common to those in crisis, we were so shocked all we did was focus upon the crisis itself.

It was in this crisis moment, my pastoral mentor prayed with us and challenged us to read stand on Psalm 91 each day. I learned to trust God in a new way and Psalm 91 was an integral part of the journey back from the spiritual precipice to a secure place in the shelter of God’s arms. We literally read it over and over again every day until the peace that passes understanding came to us. And, now 18 years later, what was once a huge daunting crisis has now been turned for good to them who love the Lord. Ever since that time, Psalm 91 is my “go to” place when I sense my emotional and spiritual security compass may be getting jostled. Here is why Psalms 91 is so powerful for me.

Psalms 91 was probably written by one of the temple staff at the time, such as a Levite priest or spiritual leader, as a word of assurance from God to the worshippers in their time of need. In this context the word “you” refers to anyone who is godly, seeking the face of God, and who makes God his or her dwelling place. The first half of Psalms 91 stresses the same theme of security the second delineates specific threats faced by the godly, which are generic and apply to any threat a godly follower of Jesus may face. The second half of Psalm 91 stresses the triumph the believer will have over threats such as four menacing beasts. So, not only is there protection but more than this, there is victory over the threat!

The word “shelter” in Psalm 91 is the temple of God, or the house of worship for the godly. There, the godly find safety under the protective wings of the Lord, the Most High. Even His “shadow” provides protection for the godly.  The threats of pestilence, the enemy’s snare, terror (a common used word today), and epidemic plague are cited as specific mortal threats to the godly, along with snakes, lions and other serpents. And, no matter when the threat comes day or night, Psalms 91 reminds the godly will they will find safety in the arms of God IF they make Him their dwelling place, their shelter in the storms of life.  Only those who truly love and trust God will find this security.

And not only does God provide protection from harm and rescue but He also promises to raise those who trust Him to a high and secure place, a place of victorious rest removed from the tempest. It is almost as if the godly are allowed to watch the tumultuous scene from a balcony far above the effected stage, not to produce smugness but to produce in the godly a full and genuine heart of gratitude to see what they were spared from.

What a powerful promise this is for those who stand at the precipice as Christ’s foot soldiers! Psalm 91 is worth spending time reflecting, memorizing, and standing upon as we enter into the dangerous spiritual territory that comes with being an obedient follower of Jesus Christ. He will be with us, in us, and through us no matter what terror we face 24/7.  

While you may not have a snake at your doorstep, or a lion in your car, are you a ReadyChristian blessed with “shelter” in the face of perils today?

 


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