While I was on my way to church on the night of December 31st, for the New Year’s Day Service, I came across a devotional that ransomed my mind for the entire evening. The topic was taken from the very popular Psalm 91. The verse that was focused on, however, was one that I’ve probably recited hundreds of times. This time, due to the speaker highlighting it in the manner that he did, I derived not only an entirely new meaning of this verse, but a profound entry way into a deeper relationship with God.
“Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:9
Whenever this verse is read, it is usually acknowledged with a resounding ”Amen”, and rightly so! However, what the author of the devotional asked that really got me thinking was this:
The promise is contingent only on “if we have made The Lord our refuge and The Most High our habitation”.
Therefore, the obvious question is:
Have I made The Lord my refuge?
Have I made The Most High my habitation?
How do I know if I have?
If I have not, how do I do it?
There is a zeal that comes as a result of positive thinking.
“All will be well”
“Everything is going to be ok”; “Everything will turn out fine”.
Though there is nothing wrong with positive thinking, the truth is positive thinking is not an indication of Christian faith.
Positive thinking is a direct result of a positive/optimistic attitude.
That positive attitude can come from human nature, past experience or the profession of a belief that is non-Christian.
Believing “everything will be all right” because my spirits are high or because things have worked out well in the past is different from believing these things as a result of my hope in God.
If the promise of Psalm 91:9 is to become a reality in my life as a believer, it has to be of the utmost importance to me that The Lord become just that for me.
My Refuge. My Habitation. My Dwelling Place. My Home.
God must become everything!
The danger of “zeal centered” positive thinking for a Christian is that it causes us to make affirmations based on our hopes and desires. We then proceed to ask God to certify those affirmations. Then, when things don’t work out as we hoped, we question God and become disappointed. We have to make sure that our zeal for God is not separate from our knowledge of God, and it is only the Spirit of God, who can give us a knowledge of God.
Our faith has to be in God. In his Omniscience.
Not in a “good life”; not in things working out how we would rather they work out; but by a total surrender of our lives to Him. As willing vessels. Allowing Him to use us as He pleases. All the while, trusting Him completely as He reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit.
The only way we can intimate ourselves with God is by recognizing the purpose for which He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and allowing that purpose to be made a living actuality in our lives via the Holy Spirit
The Lord being our Habitation means that He covers us – not our worldly existence, but our life in Him. Our lives are hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) and the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18, John 14:30b).
Under normal circumstances, one would say that making The Most High our Habitation is the easiest thing to do.
In theory it is.
In words, it is.
But in actuality; in the course of “working out of our salvation”, we realize that under the assault of “worldliness” in this present age, it is hard!
But for the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
It is only the Spirit of Christ that can make it possible for the Most High to be our Habitation.
This is why unless we have deliberately sought the Lord in this manner, let us not assume that we have made Him what these verses ask that we make Him.
Look at what He saves us from:
“No evil will befall thee”
“No plague shall come nigh thy dwelling”
But only if we deliberately make Him our Refuge and Habitation.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Fellow sojourners, we need to understand that the evil one is not interested in “interfering with our happiness”, unless he knows that the disruption of our happiness will cause us to stray from God in our hearts. If it is all about happiness in this world, then, it is not about God. If it is all about God, then, we are devoted to Him whether we are “happy” or not. Satan is interested in stealing our joy in the Lord; in causing us to lose our crowns of salvation by losing faith in God.
That is why The Lord urges us to make Him our Refuge and Habitation. Because it is only in Him that the evil mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 “will not befall us nor come nigh our dwelling place” which is – our life in Christ.
The Lord in His infinite mercy has seen it fit to allow us to see 2018. But it is simply not about “not dying”, it is about “living to declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17).
For every morning that we are given the grace to awaken, let us place the Lord’s promise of Psalm 91:9 before Him in prayer, because He says, “I watch over My Word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).
Let us ask Him to fulfill the promise.
To become our Refuge and Habitation.
The exact way He meant it when He spoke it.
The exact way He wills and purposes to be so.
That we may always dwell in safety. In Him.