Updated: Dec 11, 2022
- Day 1 -
The world we live in today is...crazy. Hearing stories from my parents and grandparents about how different it was during their younger days, it's enough to wonder why I was assigned to live during this time.
I can go on for a while about all the things terribly wrong with the world today, but we all know what those are in some way or another. We all can sense the differences between now and back when things seemed "safer". It feels like adversity is staring us in the face everywhere we turn.
At the beginning and end of every day, here's a truth that we can hold on to:
We have a God that is bigger than the world; our God is more powerful than all the principalities and authorities here on earth. We have a God that is bigger than our afflictions, illnesses, trials, tribulations, and fears. Our God is bigger than our failures, mistakes, and questions.
We can rest in the fact that as children of the Most High God, we are safe in Him. So let's begin this series by breaking down Psalm 91 to help us meditate on the power and safety that lies in the presence of our Lord God:
The Prayer of Safety:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. Because he loves me,” says the Lord , “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”' Psalm 91:1-16
- Break Down -
The first thing I like to do whenever I'm seeking to receive anything from God's Word is pray:
Our Heavenly Father, we pray for the wisdom and understanding to discern Your voice through the Scripture, so we can receive what You have ordained for us to hear. Thank You, our Lord God, for Your unfailing love and presence. We thank You for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit, Who helps us by illuminating the Word that is meant for us in this time. We thank You Lord, as we take this time to get to know You and grow closer to You.
In Jesus' name. Amen
Next, we can see about comparing the verse (or multiple verses) with different Bible Versions. This helps give a better idea of what Truth the author is conveying. Feel free to choose your favorite versions and compare your favorite verses!
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 NIV
The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 CSB
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 NLT
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 NKJV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. Psalm 91:1 AMP
After that, I like to pick my favorite version and read it out loud a few times, to allow the verse to marinate in my mind and in my heart. Each time we read God's Word, there's something new we can take from it; because the Word is alive. God's Word is a conversation from His heart to ours; so allow yourself as much time as you need to take in every word, because it was written for you!
There's a few things that came to mind when reading this verse in each version:
Any one of God's children has access to the secret place, or shelter. That means that whenever we need protection, there's a place we can go: which is God's presence. We have access to God's presence whenever we read His word and pray to Him.
In God's shelter, we can rest and we will remain secure. The more we experience God's presence the easier it is to rest in Him, and the clearer it is that we are secure in His love.
The part "shadow of the Almighty" sounds like the phrase "walking in someone's shadow". It has a negative connotation to it, but when we're in the shadow of the Almighty it means something completely different. It means He will go before us in every situation and we just have to follow in His footsteps. It means He fights our battles for us as we rest in Him and trust in Him to clear the way. We are untouched because our Lord goes before us, because there's nothing that can be against the God Almighty.
What does this verse mean to you? Is there anything you believe God is trying to tell you specifically?
- Tips -
Sometimes it can be frustrating when we feel we're not receiving what we're expecting from God's Word. There's going to be times when the verse won't speak to us, yet. Perhaps it's because it's not meant for us in this season, or it could be we're overthinking it. It's easy to get caught up in allegory or metaphors and miss what the verse is actually about.
- Whenever feelings of frustration enters my heart, I try my best to remember to pray and ask God to give me a fresh perspective. I ask Him to take my anxiety or frustration from me and replace it with truth and peace, and renew my heart posture so I can be in a position to receive from Him.
- We can also ask God in prayer for a Scripture verse that is meant for the season or situation we're facing right now. If we're going through it, God has absolutely already said something about it in His Word. We can ask Him to help us find it so we can meditate on it.
Other times, comparing the verse with other versions doesn't always give much insight. When this happens, and I have the time, I look up the verse in the Hebrew or Greek. I'm fond of the app called "Bible Hub" that gives you the translations available for each verse. This helps get as close to the original as possible, and gives multiple synonyms and definitions for each word in the verse which usually gives it a whole new and relatable meaning.
- Reading the verse with the Hebrew/Greek translations give the verse many more dimensions of meaning that could pull your heart closer and speak to you specifically.
- Closing Prayer -
Father God, we thank You for Your Word and the gift of the precious Holy Spirit; as He guides us in life, in your Word, and within our hearts. We thank You for Your unfailing love and faithfulness throughout this journey. We thank You for your protection and security, as You keep our hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. We thank You for Your sacrifice that allows us to come before You with confidence.
We pray for our hearts to be made open and receptive, that we may receive the Word You have for us in this time, Lord God. We pray that we receive Your wisdom and understanding to be able to read Your Word the way it was intended. We pray for fresh revelation as we grow closer to You and learn more about You and become more like You, Father God. We pray to receive fresh revelation on Your power and authority, so that we might not be shaken by what we see in this world, but we may rest in Your presence and remain under Your Almighty protection and provision.
In Jesus' mighty name. Amen.
- References -
YouVersion (2022). Psalm 91. Bible. https://my.bible.com/bible/111/PSA.91.NIV