Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Learn to abide.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.

(Psalms 91:1-2, 9-11 NKJV)

On March 1, 2020, I was on my way to preach a perfectly good sermon on prayer at a church in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. As we were driving there, the Lord prompted me to change my message: “Preach on Psalm 91.” I did. 2 weeks later, I preached in Cambria, California. That was the day that the governor announced the Covid lockdown beginning the next morning. The pandemic was on! Since that time, there have been 14 official “variants” of the virus. That works out to approximately one new variant every 40 days. The latest arrival is called Omicron. As usual, the information firehose is gushing with “The sky is falling!” messages of doom. I thank God for Psalm 91!

As we welcome Omicron and start the 40-day countdown in anticipation of Pi, I thought you might benefit from 2 important bits of information from that March 2020 message from Psalm 91:

  1. “I will say of the LORD.” If you want to live above the fray, then watch what you say. When the next fear-inducing blast comes from your phone, your TV, or your neighbor, say what God told you to say: He is my refuge, my fortress and my God. I trust Him. He is where I run for safety (refuge). He provides protection from the enemy’s assault (fortress). He is the one who is in charge of my life and worthy of my first allegiance (My God) I trust Him!
  2. Make Him your dwelling place. Thank God, He is our refuge. When things get tough, we can run to him for shelter. However, this Psalm starts with a promise to the one who dwells in the secret place, not the one who runs there when times are tough. Notice that Verse 9 starts with a “because.” There is a causal relationship between making Hm our dwelling and the ensuing protections. We are protected from evil because we live constantly, consciously in His presence. Time to get out of the foxhole and into the Presence.

How do I “make” Him my dwelling place? It’s a process for most of us, and it takes an effort. Since we know He is with us at all times, the issue is not with Him, it’s with us. Remember, “He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” Hebrews 13:5b)” For us, the challenge is cultivating an awareness of His presence in all the affairs of life. In verse 1 we began to say that the Lord is our refuge, our fortress, and our God. Now we need to go one step further.

First, decide to do it. If it’s not a passion it will be an afterthought. If we know He’s always with us, then how do we act? First, of course, say it: “You are my dwelling place!” Start your day with alone time with the Lord. Ask Him what song He would like today, then sing whatever pops into your mind! Thank Him for His presence with you. Ask Him to help you to be conscious of Him throughout the day. Talk to Him every time you think of Him. Whenever you’re alone, say something to Him. Ask His help before every new endeavor. If you forget, ask Him to forgive you just as you would anyone you inadvertently snubbed.

Remember: Someone you love and trust, who has great wisdom, and who loves you beyond all reason is walking through your day alongside you. Act accordingly. If you believed the Lord was right there with you, how would you treat the next person you meet? What activities would you avoid if you really thought He was joining in? What would you have pumping in your ear buds if you believed Jesus was singing along? Speaking of listening, listen for the quiet promptings in your innermost being. Respond accordingly. Enjoy the conversation.

Somebody Said: The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way. Brother Lawrence

Scripture Reading: From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah (Psalms 61:2-4 NKJV)

Here’s the point: We are living in a world where new dangers, or at least perceived dangers, seem to spring up daily. Our job is to live in peace, free from fear, so we can complete our assignments for the Kingdom. The number one tool of the enemy is fear that freezes us, keeps us from leaving the house, or stops us opening our mouths. From living in Eden, to abiding in Goshen, to being surrounded by angels, God has provided a place of protection for His people. Now, in our new and better covenant, we carry our Goshen, complete with God’s holy Presence, within us wherever we go. Let’s learn to live in the privilege of His Presence.

For Pastor Virgil books, visit the FCF Tucson Bookstore

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