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].
Throughout the country, every child, teenager, and adult is drilled to call 9-1-1 in times of trouble. Whether or not the problem is grave, or we don’t know the person who is in trouble, we dial that number. In an emergency of any kind, day or night, 9-1-1 is the number we call because it’s our connection to every emergency service in the city. In the same way, God has given us a 9-1-1 number to call no matter what our needs may be: We simply call on Him anytime, anywhere, for anything. He’s available to help.
We have confidence in our community’s fire department, police, and emergency personnel because we know they’ve been screened and trained, and we’ve heard about their exemplary service to other people. Similarly, we have confidence in God because He is God Most High, the Almighty King. “Most High” is the name for God that signifies His role as the sovereign ruler of the universe. Nothing escapes His notice, and nothing is beyond His wisdom to grasp. “Almighty” is the translation of the name ‘El Shaddai’, which means “all sufficient.” God’s power is beyond all other force in the universe. He reigns supreme. God is awesome in His power, but He is tender in His love. He invites us into the “secret place” where we spend time with Him, and we live “under the shadow” of His gracious protection.
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.
Where do you turn in the time of trouble? Do you phone a friend? Do you seek advice through social media? Do you google “expert” help? Any of these avenues may work and certainly friends ought to be available to support us, listen to us and perhaps even at times give us good advice or help. Ziglar talks to us about using 9-1-1 when we are in an emergency. Why have we been trained to do exactly that? Why not call a neighbor or a friend in a crisis? Why not try to google a how-to video to help our family member in medical distress? Why not try to recruit enough help from acquaintances to extinguish our house fire rather than calling the fire department? Why don’t we try to remove the poisonous snake rather than calling animal control? Why not try to push our car home rather than calling a tow truck? Why rush our child to ER when they’ve fallen and have a possible break instead of trying to set it ourselves?
I’m sure most of us would consider the above approach rather foolish of us. We would look with horror that those in distress wouldn’t immediately and with delay call 9-1-1.
Yet how often do we forget that we have a source of help that’s closer than the nearest firehouse or ER. The Lord, the Creator of all things and who formed us is but a cry away. It is He who said, “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will answer you.”
The author of Psalm 91 describes the life of the one who chooses to “dwell in the shadow of the Most High. Let’s look at the incredible benefits and promises:
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”
Sometimes the battering of our souls by the devil and the adversities of life become almost more than we can bear. The storm clouds and the winds of doubt and fear overshadow us and darken our way and blow against to so strong that we find ourselves slipping back into the abyss of sin. We need rest, time to reset and to recuperate. In that moment, when we cry out to God, He surrounds us with His great love and power as a wall between us and the work of the devil. He keeps us so that we cannot be overtaken and lose heart and hope.
For He will save you from the trap of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence.
Sometimes in the journey of life, we find a side road looking more attractive than the main road God has laid out before us so we take the exit, not realizing at the time that it’s really a dangerous dead end. We can’t see that it’s in reality a trap set by the devil to ensnare our souls. But, thanks be to God, there are no traps that Satan can set that the Holy Spirit can’t detect and disarm. If we will choose to turn to God in the hour of temptation, we will find that He all disarm every trap the devil lays for us. He will direct our steps so that even if we have foolishly took an exit off the path of righteousness, He will build an on-ramp so we can return to the highway of holiness.
Sometimes it’s not a trap. Sometimes it’s things that silently eat away at our peace, erode our joy and work at dissolving our relationship with God. We usually don’t have the capability to detect the “disease” until it has infected our souls. But there is no “pestilence” that is so hidden that it passes by the microscope of the Holy Spirit. David gives us a wonderful prayer that should be taken daily.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Perhaps just as we take medicines prescribed by doctors or vitamins to strengthen our bodies and immune systems, we ought to take the prescribed regimen from the Great Physician.
In any case, if you’re in trouble of any sort; if you are in a position that you need help; if somehow you’re sick of way you’re living, call heavens 9-1-1. How do I do that you ask? Bow your heart and soul and cry out to the listening God. Trust Him as much as you would any first responder and lay your need before Him. He has the remedy for whatever ails your heart and soul. He has the power to extinguish the flame of shame and despair that burns in your soul. He can push back the heaven winds of doubt and discouragement and give you quiet rest and peace. In Psalm 23 David says that “He restores my soul. Surely goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life.”
That’s what God has for those who choose to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty.
Keep reading the promises of Psalm 91. They have been given by the God who never lies and never fails and they can be yours if you will call heaven’s 9-1-1. I hope you do!
Dr. John Thompson