“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
— Psalm 91:1
Do you ever need shelter? Protection? Deliverance? Of course we all do. This life is not an easy life, and temptations and trials plague each one of us. Storms rage, cloudy weather ruins our plans, and angry waves threaten to destroy us.
But we do have a shelter to run to! We have a place to hide, to rest during those storms. We have a Protector who promises to keep us safe in His shadow, by His side.
However, we must choose to stay there, in order to reap the blessings He offers. We must choose to dwell in His shelter, before we can truly abide there. Let’s look at it a little more closely.
First, we must dwell in the shelter of the Most High.
If you look up the word dwell in Strong’s concordance, you’ll find some of these words in its definition:
- sit down
- rest, repose
- make house
- return to
- settle in to
Doesn’t that paint a pleasant picture? We are to literally make our homes in our Creator’s shelter, HIS home. We are to rest there, tarry there. It gives the idea of calmly enjoying Him, sitting at His feet like Mary (of Mary & Martha), resting the way you would in your very own home.
Did you get that? He wants us to rest! And rest with Him in His secret place. Read how Barnes describes the blessings of this secret place [commentary on Psalm 27:5, emphasis mine]:
“He would not merely admit him [the one who dwells] to His premises; not only to the vestibule of His house; not only to the open court, or to the parts of His house frequented by the rest of His family; but he would admit him to the private apartments – the place to which He Himself withdrew to be alone, and where no stranger, and not even one of the family, would venture to intrude.
Nothing could more certainly denote friendship; nothing could more certainly make protection sure, than thus to be taken into the private apartment where the master of a family was accustomed himself to withdraw, that he might be alone; and nothing, therefore, can more beautifully describe the protection which God will give to His friends than the idea of thus admitting them to the secret apartments of His own dwelling-place.”
Wow. God wants us to be with Him in His most sacred of spaces, in His holy place! That leaves me overwhelmed with gratitude and awe!
In Old Testament times, that holy place could only be accessed by the high priest once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Even then, the high priest had to take all sorts of precautions and follow a very rigid set of laws before entering.
But God wants us, every single one of His children, to join Him there all the time. Yes, our hearts must be clean before we can enter that place. Yes, we must give Him the respect and honor He deserves. But our visits aren’t limited to once a year, or to the leaders among us.
God wants each one of us to dwell in His holy place, every single moment of our lives!
Second, we must remain in the shadow of the Almighty.
When we choose to tarry with Him, to rest in His holy place, then we can abide in His shadow, under His protection and blessing. Abide carries the idea of permanent lodging. In other words, we don’t ever have to leave His shelter! We’re not supposed to leave it!
I don’t know what you’re going through right now. I don’t know what struggles, what pain, what temptations. But this I do know:
Run to His arms, and He will shelter you. Cling to His protection, and He will hold you safe. <– click to tweet!
The storms will still rage around you, but you will not be harmed. The rains will come, the waves will crash, but you will remain steadfast in His shelter.
Read what God’s response is to the one who chooses to dwell in His shelter:
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
How have you sensed God’s sheltering lately? What storms has He delivered you through? How can you more purposely dwell and abide in His shadow?