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Faith’s Outcome is Always Good

You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, (Psalm 91:5) {Part Two}

The daily process of putting fear in its place is a successful by-product of the faith walk.  Our Lord taught clearly concerning our daily approach to any potential negative circumstance in Mark 5:35-36.  Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, came to the Lord for help concerning his daughter who was close to death.  As they approached the home, someone came to Jairus and announced that his daughter was dead, “Why bother and distress the Teacher any further?”

Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.”

Jesus spoke of death this way!  The outcome might have, would have, been quite different if Jairus allowed himself to be seized with alarm and struck with fear, for the tactics of the enemy would have been exalted above the wisdom and directives and power of the Lord.  When the Lord said that the little girl was not dead but sleeping, His statement was met with jeering and scoffing from the crowd.  He removed the mockers from the home before He was able to raise her up “from the sleep of death” (Mark 5:41). This is our example – our Lord is Who we emulate.  Overhearing the evil report, but ignoring.  Considering not! Let no unbelief or distrust cause you to waver (Romans 4:20).  Keep your eyes on the promises; keep your heart settled and established in the Lord.

The Word of God is forever settled (Psalm 119:89). He is faithful to His promises (1 Corinthians 1:9). 

God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man that He should feel repentance or compunction {for what He has promised}. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

In Matthew 7:21-27 and again in Luke 6:46-49, we are given a clear understanding of why faith for some seems weak and victory lost.  Why do some believers not experience the full manifestation in their lives of God’s revealed will? Why do so many born again believers fall victim to fear, depression, illness – all the worldly woes?  Why are their words so often couched in defeat and even whining?  Why do their careless, thoughtless words dare to contradict the Word of God? Why do the promises of the 91st Psalm elude them?  Why do so many shy away from the faith stand that will not be denied? Be sure to stop and read both passages.

In Matthew 7 and Luke 6, we see the life defining pictures of true faith and counterfeit or feigned faith.  The Master begins by warning that God looks at the heart and at obedience:

Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in Heaven.

Even those who claim to have done mighty works for God (Matthew 7:22) are not exempt from kingdom standards.  The home (life) that was not destroyed when troubles came was the home founded on the rock of faithful obedience to God.  The life yielded to God, the one with:

…steadfast patience and endurance, so that you can perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away {and enjoy to the full} what is promised (Hebrews 10:36)

could not be moved.  This is the faith-founded life that will not be afraid of the terror of night or the arrow that flies by day, for it is securely founded on the rock of obedience.  They are safe and secure in the care of the Lord – they will not be moved away from that stand! Trouble in a life is overcome by faith in the promises and the character of God, the heart assurance that God is true to His Word and to His compassionate nature (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Timothy 2:13). The one who hears the Lord’s directives only, but does not put them into practice, not only collapses when trouble comes, but builds a doctrine up around their failure and then teaches that doctrine to others.  Cast fear and its cousins worry and concern far away from your thoughts.  The Lord assures us throughout His Word that He is our safety and our outcome is always good!

                     

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Defusing Fear

You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, (Psalm 91:5) {Part One}

You shall not be afraid!  Fear is one of the tormenting tactics of the enemy of God. Of all of Satan’s devices in his arsenal of weapons, fear looms large – fear of death, sickness, poverty, each other, the future, the past!  How often are we exhorted to “Fear not!” throughout the Word?

God is love (1 John 4:16). Let the Word, let Jesus (John 1:1), minister life to you in this area.

There is no fear in love {dread does not exist}, but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!  For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and {so} he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love {is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection}.  (1 John 4:18)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but {He has given us a spirit} of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. (1 Timothy 1:7)

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear or dread?  The Lord is the refuge and stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Our Creator watches over us affectionately and cares about us watchfully (1 Peter 5:7).  The all-powerful King of kings and Lord of lords, the One Who created all that we see {the stars, the universe, our world (John 1:3; Romans 1:20, Ephesians 3:9)} is your Abba – your Daddy!  (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6)

In the Lord, in Jesus, we are sons of God (John 1:12), and that distinction comes with some wonderful, weighty realities:

  • We have been given “the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He {God} quickened Him” (Ephesians 2:5)
  • We have been seated with Jesus at God’s right hand far above the reach of the enemy (Ephesians 1:20-21; Ephesians 2:6)
  • Because of all that Jesus accomplished and our faith in that Truth, we can boldly approach the throne of God and receive “well-timed help, coming just when we need it”. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • There is no weapon that is formed against us that will prosper (Isaiah 54:17), for the power of the enemy has been defeated in our lives (Colossians 2:15)
  • Every single promise that God has made regarding our well-being, our success (Joshua 1:8), and our future (Jeremiah 29:11) is fulfilled and finds its “yes” in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:20)
  • We will be able to do what Jesus did, and “even greater things than these” (John 14:12), “because as He is so are we in this world”. (1 John 4:17)
  • The Spirit of God lives in us (Ephesians 3:16-17), and as we yield to His guidance He daily works in us “to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Philippians 2:13)

These are not just comforting platitudes.  This is Truth – God’s Truth.  This is our identity in Jesus – this is our “new creature” status (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into God’s kingdom family (Colossians 1:13).  We walk in kingdom rhythm, we are compassed about with kingdom standards and blessings.  The physical world around us operates in the darkness of Satan’s standards.  We are not of that world and Jesus has deprived it of power to harm or affect us in any way – He has conquered it for us (John 16:33).  We must constantly renew our minds to that Truth.

In Psalm 91:1-5 the progression is clearly seen.  We make sure we are daily dwelling in the secret place, in the Lord, and that we are fixed in that safe location (verse 1); we speak out that Truth, our words confirming our total trust in Him (verse 2); He then delivers us from danger (verse 3) and keeps us safe from harm (verse 4).  Therefore, fear has no foothold in our lives. And any evil plot, any weapon that is meant for our harm, is defused, through His hand by our faith.

Safety in Salvation

{Then} He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. (Psalm 91:4) {Part two}

In the very same way that our Lord so effectively revealed principles of the kingdom of God through the use of parables, our faith is powerfully grounded on those visuals the Word allows us and encourages us to hold in our hearts.  Again, our Creator knows how we receive information, how our brains function!  We understand in pictures.  What we see in our hearts is what we speak out of our mouths and how we comprehend the world around us.  Over and over again our Lord taught us through examples in the physical realm that we could readily relate to – “the kingdom of Heaven is like…” (Matthew 13:24, 31; Matthew 20:1; Matthew 22:2; Mark 4:30-31).  His instructions were so very often in pictures (Matthew 5:14-15; Matthew 6:22, 26; Matthew 7:3-5).  As we continue to look at this fourth verse of Psalm 91, the picture it conveys of God’s faithfulness as our shield and buckler, when held fast in a believing heart, creates that peaceful, assured state that is the firm foundation of faith in our Father’s loving care and our safe and secure placement there.

But let those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your Name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.  For You, Lord, will bless the {uncompromisingly} righteous {him who is upright and in right standing with You}; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor). (Psalm 5:11-12)

Other translations of Psalm 91:4 further strengthen our visual understanding of our Abba’s protective promises:

Message – His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; His arms fend off all harm.

NLT – His faithful promises are your armor and protection

NIV – His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart

{rampart – that which fortifies and defends from assault; that which secures safety.}

Throughout His Word our Father assures us of His protective care for His people.

As for God, His way is perfect!  The Word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.(Psalm 18:30)

 The Lord also will be a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). (Psalm 9:9)

… Would that you had known personally, even at least in this your day, the things that make for peace (for freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and upon which your peace—your security, safety, prosperity, and happiness—depends)! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:42)

So many born again children of God hold the mistaken doctrine that we cannot avoid trouble in this world; that life lived and experienced in this physical realm must, of necessity, entail hardships, difficulty and troubles of all kinds.   So often I have heard such stated beliefs from the mouths of Christians.  It is tantamount to arguing against the proof of Scripture; it is allowing the devices of the enemy to take precedence over the Word of our God; it is placing more faith in what we see and hear than in our Father’s Word.

 You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah {pause and calmly think of that}! I {the Lord} will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you…Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving kindness. (Psalm 32:7-8, 10) {Emphasis mine}

The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with {actual} evil. (Proverbs 19:23)

Fear-of-God is life itself, a full life, and serene – no nasty surprises. (Proverbs 19:23 –Message Bible)

Our worshipful understanding of the Lord, our reliance on His loving-kindness, is Word and Spirit generated.  Taking Him at His Word, basing our faith walk on His promises, results in that abundant, safe and secure life He so wants His children to experience.

 For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)

…he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and loving-kindness. (Psalm 32:10)

Let your words line up with His Word, and let your thoughts rest on His eternal promises which were purchased for us through the saving work of Jesus.  Build up your faith according to His Word. We are safe and secure under the protective arm of the Lord.

A Feast for Our Faith

{Then} He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and is faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. (Psalm 91:4)

Much of the richness of Psalm 91 has to do with the ability to use it as “a jumping off point” to discover more about our Father; our deep and intimate knowledge of Him. So very often throughout Scripture, the Lord gives us mental pictures to help us understand the manner in which He wants to interact with us. These descriptions help us see how to correctly comprehend our relationship with God.  Throughout His earthly ministry our Lord Jesus taught us about God’s kingdom and the spiritual realm through the use of parables – “stories by way of illustration and comparison” (Matthew 13:3) – so that we could use our experiences in the physical realm to more easily understand and relate to spiritual truths.  Our Creator obviously knows how our brains comprehend the world, how we process information.  The brain computes with pictures. Here in verse four we have a revealing illustration of our Father’s protective and nurturing desire in our lives.

“Buckler”, according to Webster’s 1828  Dictionary, is a piece of defensive armor; composed of wood or wicker woven together and covered with skin or leather fortified with plates of brass or other metal and worn on the left arm.  On the middle was a prominent raised area very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off.  The buckler was often four feet long and covered the whole body.  Get a picture of this.  God’s faithfulness to His Word is our buckler. Our faith rests on and is entirely informed by our understanding that God cannot be unfaithful to His promises.  Faith in His faithfulness causes the attacks of the enemy, the “fowler”, the one who wants to defeat us, to be entirely ineffective – to glance off of us.

Lift up over all the {covering} shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked {one}. (Ephesians 6:16)

Our faith stand in His revealed will, His character, His covenant promises which are ours in Jesus, is our shield against any attack.  Again and again throughout His Word He creates for us affirming illustrations of His loving and attentive care which we can hold steadfastly in our hearts.

He found him in a desert land, in the howling void of the wilderness; He kept circling around him, He scanned him {penetratingly}.  He kept him as the pupil of His eye.  As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them on His pinions. (Deuteronomy 32:10-11)

What a beautiful and accurate picture of God’s loving attention. Although this passage in the Old Testament refers specifically to the young, fledgling nation of Israel, it is a comforting revelation and demonstration of God’s tender care for His people. And we, now, are His people – “found in a desert land, in the howling void of the wilderness”. That is certainly an apt description of our sorrowful, spiritual state before we were born again into His family and into His loving care. And lest you think that this Old Testament verse is not relevant to the New Testament dispensation, Jesus’ words to us during His earthly ministry reflect the same desire:

…How often I have desired and yearned to gather your children together {around Me}, as a hen {gathers} her young under her wings, but you would not! (Luke 13:34)

In the Old Testament, God’s attention was on His chosen people Israel.  All of His interactions, all of His promises and commandments and covenants were between Him and Israel. In the New Testament, born again children of God are referred to as the “true Israel of God”:

For neither is circumcision {now} of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but {only} a new creation {the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah}. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule {who discipline themselves and regulate their lives by this principle}, even upon the {true} Israel of God! (Galatians 6:15-16)

 There is {now no distinction} neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ {are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed}, then you are Abraham’s offspring and {spiritual} heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:28-29)

Philippians 3:3 – For we {Christians} are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God…  (Philippians 3:3)

What a wealth of insight and knowledge and faith food is to be found in just one verse of Scripture!  Our Father’s alive and active Word (Hebrews 4:12) is truly a banquet!

 

God’s Protection – Seen and Unseen

For {then} He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3) {Part Two}

The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) – that is his daily agenda in the lives of believers.  He is intent upon disproving God’s Word and His faithfulness.  “We are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions” (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is the fowler of Psalm 91:3 – he sets traps to hamper your witness, compromise your peace, and take your life.  He is a hate-filled being who works in the lives of men to cause them harm.  His intent in the lives of God’s children is to frustrate and defeat your faith walk:

 For among My people are found wicked men; they watch like fowlers who lie in wait; they set traps, they catch men. (Jeremiah 5:26)

When we dwell in the secret place, and say so, and know so through faith, God delivers us from every one of Satan’s devices. He has equipped us to overcome with “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:13-17) and to successfully “stand up against {all} the strategies and deceits of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). It is the expectant, unwavering, “will not be denied” spirit that overcomes.  We are encouraged in this faith stand:

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.  For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away {and enjoy to the full} what is promised.       (Hebrews 10:35-36)

For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught {in a trap or some hidden danger} (Proverbs 3:26)

So what does that look like in a life?  How do we walk as overcomers in a manner that pleases our Father, defeats the enemy’s purposes, and receives all of the blessings of God secured for us through Jesus?  Please first be aware that for a believer, a born again child of God, we are often unaware of all that is being done for us daily, behind the scenes – angelic protection, accidents and dilemmas entirely avoided,  potential problems averted. He truly does deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence – much of which we will never see or experience due to His constant care.  Remember, “He rescues you from hidden traps and shields you from deadly hazards” (Message Bible).  But there are moments when we do see that reversal of fortune on our behalf as we stand on the Truth of His Word and of His affectionate and watchful care (1 Peter 5:7).

Pastor Keith Moore tells of his wife Phyllis taking such a stand concerning a financial hardship they seemed to be facing.  Phyllis stood up and pointed to the problem saying. “Oh no, we are tithers and offering givers.  The devourer is rebuked on our behalf” (Malachi 3:10-11). Within a very short period of time, that financial issue was entirely resolved. By speaking forth the promises of God in faith, the fowler was defeated. It takes that kind of spoken, “know-so” faith to demonstrate to everyone – to our Father, to our enemies in the realm of the Spirit, to our own flesh and understanding,  to our maturing spirit, and to all who may be watching – that we will not be denied our covenant rights. Faith acts when confronted with any situation that appears to negate or nullify the Word and promises of God.

Kenneth Hagin shares the story of a young man dealing with a life threatening disease who was sitting in one of Brother Hagin’s meetings hearing for the first time the Truth concerning the fullness of all that Jesus did for us from Isaiah 53.  He turned to his father and said, “I’m healed!”  Now this boy had been to many specialists in an effort to seek help for this debilitating and ultimately deadly condition. His father asked how he knew he was healed.  The boy said, “Didn’t you hear?

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains… (Isaiah 53:4)

I’m healed!  Jesus took away this disease!”  His assertion was confirmed the very next time he saw his doctor – there was no trace of the disease.  He took God at His Word, he received it in faith, and he was delivered from the deadly pestilence!  And our God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9) – what one can appropriate, all can appropriate through faith in His Word

Dr. Lillian Yeomans, who was delivered from severe drug addiction through standing in faith on the promises of God, spent many years helping those afflicted with life-threatening diseases receive their healing.  She had her patients say over and over again, “Every sickness and every disease is under the curse of the law (Deuteronomy 28:60-61), but Jesus has redeemed me from the curse of the law, becoming a curse for me“  (Galatians 3:13). When the full impact of these statements resonated in their spirits, healing followed.

When we lean and rely on God, in the fullness of faith, His Word always proves true.  In that place of faith what is true for one is true for all. When we dwell in Him, when we say in faith that we truly lean on, trust in, and rely on Him, He rebukes the devourer, delivers us from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.  Praise to our awesome God!

 

Two Powerful Words – “For then…”

For {then} He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3)

Strong’s Concordance details the full impact of this third verse of Psalm 91.  According to the expanded meaning of the words, the verse would read:

“For then He will snatch away (defend, preserve, recover and rescue) you from the snare (the spring net, the net spread for a trap) of the fowler (someone who traps or snares you) and from the deadly (calamitous, mischievous, perverse thing) pestilence (plague, destroying disease).

The Message Bible – That’s right – He rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

New Living Translation – For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

Why attend with such detail to these words? Because here is such a clear picture of what God wants to do and be in a believer’s life. There are so many Christians who love the Lord, and will be with us in Heaven, who do not take Him at His Word in this; who do not fully expect such protection for their lives.  They attend more to what their eyes see, what their ears hear, and what their body feels than to God’s revealed will, His faithfulness to His promises. They are not settled in their hearts, without reservation, that what He has said He will accomplish on our behalf as we follow Him in faith and take Him at His Word.  Those reassuring words at the beginning of verse three, “For then”, speak of God’s Self-appointed responsibility in our covenant relationship. He is true to His Word; His Word is Truth.  It must be our standard, our plumb line, our constant expectation.  The heart of faith says, “Our God has said it. I believe it and receive it.” When that is true, we please our Father (Hebrews 10:38). When we attend to His promises to us with an absolute conviction that He means what He says and says what He means, when we rely on and trust in the Word’s  “own inherent power” (Colossians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:5), we are operating in kingdom reality.  See what Paul says to the Thessalonians:

For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]… (1 Thessalonians 1:5) {Emphasis mine}

Great conviction and absolute certainty” that when God says, “For then” and “Surely” our response is always “That and only that is what I expect in my life.”

  Throughout His Word God establishes expectations that will bring blessings when obeyed and calamity when ignored.  Deuteronomy 28 is a catalog of blessings you can be assured of or the curses that will befall you, depending upon your attention to His commandments:

If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)

Then follow the blessings we can expect to see (verses 3-13), followed by that all powerful word, “BUT”.  Verses 16-45 are the woes and miseries that will accompany the rebellious, faithless decision not to obey, not to honor, not to give Him first place in a life.  God’s provision of protection and blessing is contingent upon his people’s obedience.  Both in the old law-established covenant and the new Spirit established covenant, it is our faith in His Word, and our obedience to it that ushers in the blessings. Our Father, then, as He does so often throughout His Word, gives us the choice:

I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live.  (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Choose life.  How do we choose life?  We resolve that God’s Word defines us completely.  We are in His protective care because He says so!  When any situation confronts us that would seem to compromise that Truth, we simply speak forth the solution, the antidote. God delights in His children taking Him at His Word and refusing to allow anything else to compromise that standard.  A faith stand will not be denied every blessing that is ours in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). The safe place to be, the hiding place, is in our understanding that God’s Word absolutely defines us, protects us and shelters us, and is our absolute reality. We see to the faith end, He sees to the protection.  No compromise!

Psalm 91, Verse Two – (Part Two)

For “on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I {confidently} trust!” This closing phrase of Verse 2 summarizes faith for us; faith in His Word, His love, His purpose in each of our lives. Speaking forth your certainty that God is reliable, trustworthy, and faithful to His Word (Romans 3:3; Hebrews 10:23) ushers in the covenant realities of the remainder of Psalm 91.

How often we read Scripture without the wonder, the awe and reverence it deserves. There is a familiarity with our Father’s Word that so very often undermines its power and compromises its life-changing, spirit-impacting purpose. God’s Word is Truth (Psalm 119:160); it is His bond. All of His promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

For as many as are the promises of God, they will find their Yes {answer} in Him {Christ}. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God, through Him {in His Person and by His agency} to the glory of God.

We say we honor the Lord. We say we love Him and serve Him, and yet in our day-to-day lives the full manifestation of His promises is often missing. Our days should be characterized by an expectation that God will always fulfill His Word. He expects that kind of faith from His children (Hebrews 10:38); a mountain-moving faith in His power, His love, and His promises (Mark 11:22-23).

But the just shall live by faith {My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it} and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him. {Emphasis mine}

It is that “conviction”, that “holy fervor” spoken of in Hebrews 10:38 that lives in and enjoys the covenant promises of God. As you read Psalm 91:3-13 let these promises of God feed, strengthen, and establish you in His care. This is our Father’s part of the covenant and He will see to it according to your faith in His Word. You have resolved to dwell stable and fixed in His secret place (verse 1), and you have, from your heart and with your spoken word, acknowledged His Lordship (verse 2). That is your part of the covenant.

Then come these wonderful words – “For {then}…“{Amplified} (The NIV begins verse 3 with “Surely”) – and God reveals to us what we can expect from Him. He expects us to hold Him to His Word, for that is truly the faith that honors Him and that gives Him first place as our Lord.

I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who {are His servants and by your prayers} put the Lord in remembrance {of His promises}, keep not silence.  (Isaiah 62:6) {Emphasis mine)

Our God fully expects, requires from us, total trust in and reliance on His Word. When we read the Word but don’t expect every bit of it to be fulfilled in us, when we don’t speak it forth as Gospel Truth for our lives, are we not in some way questioning His veracity and diminishing His power and authority?  Faith believes the Word, speaks it forth, and receives the promises (Hebrews 10:35-36). This Truth is God established.  Faith receives the promises.

Many hold that God is sovereign and whatever happens is His will.  The Word contradicts that opinion!

Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect {the authority of the Word of God through your tradition which you in turn hand on… (Mark 7:13)

And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief… (Matthew 13:58)

And He was not able to do even one work of power there…And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him)… (Mark 6:5-6)

So now read these verses in Psalm 91 with the awe, wonder, gratitude, and the spirit-strengthening ability they deserve! Thank Him! Praise Him! Honor Him by believing and, therefore, expecting His Word to come to pass in you.

 For the Lord will…take into favor His servants {those who meet His terms of separation unto Him} (Psalm 135:14)

             Let the Word {spoken by} Christ (the Messiah) have its home {in your hearts and minds} and dwell in you in {all its} richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom {in spiritual things, and as you sing} psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with {His} grace in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16)

 

Psalm 91, Verse Two – (Part One)

I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely and in Him I {confidently} trust!

   Psalm 91 powerfully demonstrates that our covenant with God, while dependent upon certain faith actions on our part, is only and always for our benefit and our ultimate good. Our Abba (Mark 14:35, Galatians 4:6) is a Blesser! He delights in our prosperity and well-being (Psalm 34:10, Psalm 35:27); “affectionately and watchfully” He sees to our safety, our concerns, our every step. (1 Peter 5:7)

The steps of a {good} man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way {and He busies Himself with his every step}.  (Psalm 37:23) {Emphasis mine}

Verses 1 and 2 in Psalm 91 instruct us in our role; the actions we must take to consistently receive covenant blessings. We are to see to it that we dwell, remaining stable and fixed, in His secret place (verse 1), and from our mouth, with our faith talking, we are to speak forth that truth (verse 2).

I will say of the Lord”! Into every circumstance, at the beginning of every day we are to proclaim and rely on our allegiance to the King. We are to speak forth His Lordship. We are to honor Him with our lips “affectionately and gratefully” (Psalm 135:19-20). Our words acknowledge our location in the Spirit. Our spoken word – coming forth from the overflow of a faith-filled heart (Matthew 12:34) – creates for us the reality of our placement in Christ and all that means. God’s spoken Word created all that we see, and as imitators of our Father (Ephesians 5:1) we understand the importance, the significance, and the power of the words we speak as well.

We are creators together with our Father over our future days when we speak forth His Word into every circumstance we encounter.  “I will say of the Lord.”  I will speak to mountains that attempt to stop me! I will speak to symptoms that do not belong in my body! Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, I will command, decide and decree a thing and it will be established for me, and the light of God’s favor will shine upon my path (Job 22:28).  God expects His children, in faith, to speak forth that which He has promised and ordained.  Like parents who are so pleased when their young children begin to speak their language, our Father delights in His children speaking forth His Word when it is accompanied with the faith that says He is honored and trusted.  As we become proficient in the language of the Spirit He is greatly pleased (Hebrews 10:38).

God has established the power of the spoken word – for good or for evil (Proverbs 18:21).  Kenneth Hagin has taught and written:

“Simply having faith will not get you healed, filled with the Spirit, or any of God’s blessings…the Bible teaches that you believe and say something – not just because you believe.”

{We need to be taught, encouraged and trained up in this truth, because it doesn’t come naturally to us.  We have learned throughout our growing up years to report what our physical senses are telling us.  Until we learn otherwise, through strong Gospel teaching and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to be held captive through the tyranny of our physical senses and the errant words of our mouths.  We cannot speak life and death at the same time and expect positive results. We say “My God will liberally supply and fill to the full my every need” (Philippians 4:19) and then complain that we will never be able to pay all of our bills, or we can’t afford something, or we’ll never get out of debt. We say “God is my Healer” (Exodus 15:26) and then use our mouths (that creative force the Lord has given us) to list all of our troubling symptoms and complain to those who will listen and commiserate with us about how weak and ill we feel.  We say that we have the mind of Christ and the wisdom of God, and then say “I just don’t understand,” or “I am so confused about what to do.” The transforming influence of the Word, The indwelling Holy Spirit, and strong and correct Gospel teaching will cause us to grow up into mountain moving faith!  God has given us every tool we need to be over-comers.}

He is my Refuge and my Fortress“; my Place of Safety, my Stronghold (Proverbs 18:10)

 You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble. You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah (pause, and calmly think of that)! (Psalm 32:6) {Emphasis mine}

I will say of the Lord that He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I {confidently} trust.

I confidently trust in His Word, in His faithfulness to that Word, in what Jesus has accomplished on my behalf.  I confidently trust in His love for me, and I trust and rely on the Truth that as my mouth speaks forth His Word in faith, I will walk in those blessings which I receive as mine. When we say in the face of anything we encounter in our days (any device of the enemy, any worldly or fleshly hurdle) “I have taken refuge in God – I am safe here in God’s fortress” – nothing, nothing can reach you successfully there. Pause, and, in faith, calmly think of that! Faith speaks out those words with “great conviction and absolute certainty” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

Let your words today speak of the blessing.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in this. Speak out His Word over your day in faith that He sees to the results.

Psalm 91,Verse 1 – (Part Two)

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}.

Now we come upon the promised result.  When we purpose to dwell in His secret place our lives and our future are stable and fixed.  This stability and fixed foundation are ours when our faith is in our God; when we purposefully place ourselves in His care.  He assures us that this is so.  Always be spiritually attuned to the Truth that all Scripture is God speaking to us.

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction… (2 Timothy 3:16)

For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it {to do so – it never came by human impulse} but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

God promises these results as we lean on Him and trust absolutely in His care. Our work is faith in His Word, in the “great and wonderful and intense love” He holds for us (Ephesians 2:4), and in all that Jesus accomplished on our behalf. His work is to see to the fulfillment of His promises. We “shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty”.  In other words, He is your covering, your safe place.

over everything the glory will be a canopy.  It will be a shelter and a shade from the heat of the day and hiding place from the storm and rain.  (Isaiah 4:5-6)

Protected here, no enemy can harm us for there is no foe, no hindering force that can overcome the power of our God.  The Greater One lives in us (1 John 4:4) and sees to our well-being. There will be attempts to unsettle us, but our faith in His covenant promises and His faithfulness to His Word is the overcoming force.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary.  (Psalm 107:2)

When we dwell in God’s secret place, when our faith holds us there, no enemy can get through His defenses to harm us.  I once heard a preacher speak of this verse in Psalm 107, emphasizing the last word.  “Let the redeemed of the Lord say SO!”  “So, you think you can harm me??”  “So what if disease is going around? It can’t come near me.” So what if a storm is trying to overcome me?  I will not be moved!  I am safe in my Father’s care.” “So what! You can’t intimidate me! You are no match for my Father.  In fact, you have no power here. You have been defeated.”  When you’re saved and you’re secure and you know it, no weapon will prosper against you. (Isaiah 54:17).  That is your heritage, your security, your right as a faith-filled child of God.  And while to many this seems too good to be true, according to the Word of God this place of refuge in His care defines our days.

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His Presence) shall be my dwelling place. (Psalm 23:6)

Psalm 91, Verse 1 – (Part One)

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}.

A story is told of Smith Wigglesworth – used of God to preach and heal – that reveals so much about the “secret place of the Most High”.  A visitor knocked on his door one day carrying a newspaper under his arm. Wigglesworth welcomed him in, “but that,” he said, pointing to the newspaper, “must be left outside.” Life in the world and life in the kingdom of God are so unalterably opposed. (James 4:4)

The extraordinary, life-affirming promises of Psalm 91 begin here – dwelling in the secret place and remaining stable and fixed there. Recognizing there is a decision to be made daily of where our allegiance lies, we purposefully determine our placement.  And if our placement is in the Lord, He guarantees that we have chosen the only secure location.  Our reliance is in the Lord and not in our own ability or the world’s attitudes and standards.

 I have given and delivered to them Your Word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world {do not belong to the world}, just as I am not of the world… (John 17:14) {Emphasis mine}

People of faith make a daily choice to either be nestled (cocooned) in God’s secret place or to permit the loud and intrusive strains of worldly issues, daily concerns, and conformity to societal attitudes (Romans 12:2) to color and compromise their walk in the Spirit. All of the comforting and powerful promises of this Psalm begin with the stipulation – live here. Fix yourself in the care of the Lord here. Determine that this is your dwelling place.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. (Acts 16:31) {Emphasis mine}

 The Lord of Hosts – regard Him as holy and honor His holy Name {by regarding Him as your only hope of safety}, and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread {lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him}. (Isaiah 8:13) {Emphasis mine}

We must meet those conditions in order to expect God to fulfill the promises and establish the protections that follow.

 If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I Am the Lord Who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)

In both verses, Exodus 15:26 and Psalm 91:1, we have our part to play – indeed, a significant role. “If you will…” God says, “then I will.” Your faith in God and in His Word is what secures the promises. When your trust in God is compromised by also attending to the problem in front of you – you are visiting the secret place, not dwelling there. You are demonstrating your fear of circumstances and distrust of God and His Word. When you accept negative events and concerns as an inevitable part of life on earth, all the while asking for your Abba’s help (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) – you are visiting the secret place, not dwelling there. Let not what your eyes see or what your ears hear have the ascendancy over what the Word of God tells you is true. Let your physical sight take second place to your heavenly sight. There is a brand new way of looking out over your days when you dwell in the secret place, rather than visit.

Our Father expects His maturing children to live in the reality of His promises to us.  Psalm 91 offers a clear understanding of what life in Christ looks like as we honor our Father through faith in, and obedience to, His Word.