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Psalm 91: 1

One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty.

This psalm is the most often quoted passage regarding God’s protection, but there is something we need to understand about this protection as I find Christians are woefully mistaken about what it is and how to live in it.

This first verse tells us exactly how to live in God’s protection. It says we will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. To lodge in God’s shadow means we live where we are hidden from trouble. However, this is not automatic. You don’t just say the sinner’s prayer and then the shadow of God follows you around protecting you from harm. No. This is a Christian lifestyle. You have to live in this and that means you make a choice to live in His shadow. To see this more clearly, you have to read the first phrase of the verse. That is where you see that this is purely elective.

Those who choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High will be hidden in the power of the Almighty. Notice that the psalmist used names for God which reflect His awesome power. We are talking about power in this psalm. If we wish to fall under God’s awesome protective power, then we must choose to dwell in His shelter. What does that mean? We are talking lifestyle here. Where you dwell has everything to do with the lifestyle you choose. Do you live in the country, or do you live in the city? You have made a choice about where your home is. The same is true here. We must abide in the shelter of His Word, His teachings, and His guidance.

During the 911 crisis, there were stories about people who diverted from the towers that day. They had a funny feeling, heard God in their hearts, etc. They followed His guidance and didn’t go to their office. The point is that God leads us out of the path of danger. He constantly speaks giving us advice, counsel and wisdom.

Now, suppose you were one of those people headed to the twin towers that fateful day. In your heart you hear God speak, “Don’t go to that building. Turn around right now.” But you are a person of faith, right? So instead of heeding God’s advice and warning, you march on, in faith, to the twin towers. You say, “I have faith! God will protect me.” Please understand me beloved, as I say this with all the love of Christ in my heart. That is not faith. There is a word in the Bible for it, though. It is called foolishness. Faith is following God. Faith is the assurance that what God tells you is truth. If you went to the towers that day, you would be as dead as the worst heathen there. You have not availed yourself of the wisdom of God and are not abiding in the shelter of His protection.

Faith is not making a decision and expecting God to back it. Faith is only found in following Him. This psalm clearly speaks about our protection, but you cannot get past the first verse. The psalm and the protection promises only apply to those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High. We have to get out of our heads and submit to His wisdom, counsel and advice. Only those who will give their will over to God’s guidance will be under the umbrella of His protection.

Understand this clearly. God’s protection is for each one of us. Further, God gave us His Word so that we would understand how to avail ourselves of this gift. But be clear, the umbrella is there. It is your choice whether to stand under it or not. Do not blame God when you go your own way and fall into grief. If we step out of His protective measures, we may get hurt but that is our own fault. Not His. He has provided. It is up to us whether we will follow our “wisdom” and argue our positions or whether we follow the Father. Faith is not believing God will back our play. It is having the full assurance in our hearts that what He says, He is able to bring to pass. It is the complete confidence that if we listen to Him, He will guide us to safety and keep us forever in the shadow of His might. Let this be a revelation today.

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