Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Psalm 91 - Pat van Wyk

Introduction:

Scriptures are powerful when and if you use them. We don't seem to grasp just how powerful they are. Our Bibles lay on the table next our beds and when you eventually pick it up it is full of dust. Why do we only turn to God when we can't carry on any more, because we have to do it ourselves.

To let God, means to let go. Yet we still have a back up plan. I have been testing my day without Bible reading, worship and prayer and found a very emptiness in my inner being. When I talk to God all the time, I feel His very presence and peace in my inner being and came to a decision that it is my choice (my will) to stay in God's presence all the time. That simply means in the good and bad times.

You might be asking, how? By praising God in bad times because He gives me the strength to get through as I can't do it, but with the Holy Spirits' strength I can (Philippians 4:13).

Paul sets an example for us as he gives thanks in most of the letters that he has written. Jesus told us that trials are going to come (John 16:33), but we are to be brave as He has defeated the world and gives us His peace. 

When I was small my Dad would promise to take me to the park. I would not let Him forget that promise, I have been like this with my children as well. A promise made is a promise you keep.

One day while reading Psalm 91 it just came alive, as if the words were talking to me and not me reading them. I would like to share it with you. Let's read Psalm 91 together.



Chapter 1

Psalm 91


1  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall rest under the shadow of the Almighty. 2  I will say of the Lord, my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him I will trust.
3  Surely He will deliver you from the fowler's trap and from the destroying plague. 4  He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall be your shield, and buckler. 5  You shall not fear the terror by night; nor because of the arrow that flies by day; 6  nor for the plague that walks in darkness, of the destruction laying waste at noonday. 7  A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; it shall not come near you. 8  Only with your eyes you shall look and see the reward of the wicked. 9  Because You, O the Lord, are My refuge; if You have made the Most High Your dwelling-place, 10  no evil shall befall You, nor shall any plague come near Your dwelling. 11  For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways. 12  They shall bear You up in their hands, lest You dash your foot against a stone. 13  You shall tread on the lion and adder; the young lion and the jackal You shall trample underfoot.
14  Because He has set His love on Me, therefore I will deliver Him; I will set Him on high, because He has known My name. 15  He shall call on Me, and I will answer Him; I will be with Him in trouble; I will deliver Him, and honor Him.
16  With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (NKJV)

23 Promises and 1 Condition


Let's take a look at them:

Psalm 91

Promise no 1. Verse 1. “Who dwells”.
Promise no 2. Verse 1. Shall rest.
Promise no 3. Verse 2. My refuge.
Promise no 4. Verse 2. My fortress.
Promise no 5. Verse 2. My God.
Promise no 6. Verse 2. In Him I will trust.
Promise no 7. Verse 3. Will deliver.
Promise no 8. Verse 3. And from the destroying plague.
Promise no 9. Verse 4. He shall cover.
Promise no10 Verse 4. Shall trust.
Promise no11 Verse 4. Shall be your shield.
Promise no12 Verse 4. And buckler.
Promise no13 Verse 5. Shall not fear.
Promise no14 Verse 5. Nor.
Promise no15 Verse 6. Nor.
Promise no16 Verse 6. Of.
Promise no17 Verse 7. It shall not.
Promise no18 Verse 8. You shall look.
Promise no19 Verse 9. If.
Promise no20 Verse 10. No evil.
Promise no21 Verse 11. He shall.
Promise no22 Verse 12. They shall bear.
Promise no23 Verse 13.You shall tread.

These are the promises.

The one condition is: Verse 9 “If”. It is a promise, but also a choice.
Let us take a closer look at the Promises and Condition as we read the Psalm:

Psalm 91


(1) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
(2) shall rest under the shadow of the Almighty.
(3)I will say of the Lord, my refuge (4) and my fortress;
(5) my God; (6) in Him I will trust.
(7) Surely He will deliver you from the fowler's trap
(8) and from the destroying plague.
(9) He shall cover you with His feathers,(10) and under His wings you shall trust.(11) His truth shall be your shield, (12) and buckler.
(13) You shall not fear the terror by night; (14) nor because of the arrow that flies by day; (15) nor for the plague that walks in darkness, (16) of the destruction laying waste at noonday.
(17) A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; it shall not come near you.
(18) Only with your eyes you shall look and see the reward of the wicked. Because You, O the Lord, are My refuge; (19) if You have made the Most High Your dwelling-place,
(20) no evil shall befall You, nor shall any plague come near Your dwelling.
(21) For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways. (22) They shall bear You up in their hands, lest You dash your foot against a stone.
(23) You shall tread on the lion and adder; the young lion and the jackal You shall trample underfoot.

The condition starts in verse 9. “If”. Then continues from verse 14.


14 Because He has set His love on Me, therefore I will deliver Him; I will set Him on high, because He has known My name.
15  He shall call on Me, and I will answer Him; I will be with Him in trouble; I will deliver Him, and honor Him.
16  With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (NKJV)

“If you dwell”, is the condition. Because God loves you He promises, “I will ...” (verse 14 to 16.) It is a decision. It is a choice. God follows with His instruction. “I will”.

If you move out of the shadow, or shield you are no longer protected. If you decide to stay, you are behind the shield.

I found something extremely interesting in the Spirit Filled Life Bible * it states “Abide in Christ, set your affection on Him, and acknowledge Him in all you do. Rest in His protection and salvation”.

“Faith is a forward focus on God, His Word, and His promises, But faith also looks back at the blessings of God to gain strength. Faith allows us to flee confidently to God when in trouble and to abide in Him for protection.”

** A promise of Divinely Protected Health , Divine Healing. The word makhseh, translated “refuge” means “a shelter” “ a place of trust” and derives from the root khawsaw, meaning “ to flee for protection” “to confide in” Maween, translated “dwelling place,” indicates “ a retreat.”

“These key words elaborate a principle. When we make the Lord our refuge and habitation by trusting Him-taking our cares, fears and needs to Him, by seeking His counsel, spending times of refreshing with Him, and by loving Him and walking closely with Him through every day, we enter into a sheltered place of promise regarding health. End of quote.”

God wants us to live a life trusting and loving Him! We were created in His image, to have fellowship, a real relationship of child and Father. Psalm 91:11 “God shall command the angels...” only ask. In Daniel 4:11-13 we read of how he saw the angels on a stair case going from heaven to earth, up and down.

Chapter 2


This is what I see in my minds eye. When you stay or abide in the shelter, God will cover you with His feathers and under His wing you will be safe (Psalm 91:4). It is as if I see God walking and as His shadow falls, I am walking in that shadow. He goes before me, as my shield.

As long as I stay in the shadow I am shielded, protected and safe. When I move to quickly or doubt and stay behind, the shadow moves and I am not shielded anymore. The arrows will hit me, as my shield is no longer there. When I move without faith and trust, I am an open target. God moves on my behalf when I pray (condition).

Dr Billy Graham *** states the plural in this text, concluded that each believer must have at least two angels whose assigned duty it is to protect.

Even when we are alone are we ever really alone? Not really, it just feels that way. God gives us free choice. If it is your choice to wallow in doubt and fear, you are choosing to be there. We all come to that place – but it is up to you how long you will stay. God cannot move until you ask! So the angels walk around following us maybe even crying with us, yet unable to help until you ask. Asking and allowing God to help means trusting and resting – abiding in Him.

I am a very hasty person, I want things to happen immediately. God is teaching me at this time – to wait, rest and abide in God. “Faith is focusing on God, His Word, and His promises, we need faith in God to gain strength. Faith allows us to flee confidently to God when in trouble and to abide in Him for protection. Faith is simply holding on and even when you think you can't anymore, faith still holds on. Where do you need to spend more time with God? Worship, Prayer, Bible reading or Listening?

* “Abide in Christ, set your affection on Him, and acknowledge Him in all you do. Rest in His protection and salvation”.

My prayer would be “Holy Spirit teach me how to do this please. So that I may find peace and boldness in who I am. That I may acknowledge and realize who you are God. My Father I am protected and safe.”

I think we should regularly find time to retreat and find God.
Where we can confide and find refuge in God? As a car cannot ride without putting petrol into its tank first, so it is with us. Some of us ride on the reserve tank. We are so busy we don't have time to read the Bible or pray. Where is God at that moment? Walking beside you. Waiting for you to ask Him to move on your behalf.

I have had times where I have not been able to pray, then I go to the CD player and find something I like. Before the third song I find I am singing along praising God and my mind starts filling with confidence and peace. The words of the song helps me to talk to God. The greatest form of worship  is praise and thanks giving – abiding in the most High. When we love someone we tell them all the time. Prayer is simply talking to God. When you know somebody you miss them you call to say, “Hello I miss you, what are you doing?” I think we become too busy with the problem and forget all about asking God for help. We need to simply talk to God about everything.

I was talking to someone at a cell meeting one evening and we were just chatting. When I asked this person why don't you pray about it? The response was, “I can't tell / ask God about that!” Well I was stunned as God is a all-knowing, all seeing, all present God. Guilt, doubt or fear will keep you from Him, but we have been  forgiven through Christ Jesus. Don't step out of the shadow. Don't move out from behind your shield.

Would you peep at a bullet flying at you, that you can see coming? But we do!

Read 1 Corinthians chapter 13. God can only become real to you, when you become real with God. You can go to all the seminars and camps and hear as much as you can, but it will only begin to help you when you plant the seed. Begin to believe and do it. Just start. Just begin. What have you got to loose? You can gain so much! 

Chapter 3 The Word of God


Hebrews 4:12 “What God has said isn't only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” CEV

Try using Scripture in your prayer and discover the power of the sword.

John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” CEV

Scripture is filled with truth and truth does not condemn but releases freedom. Light makes darkness flee. Make it a new lifestyle to start changing negative thoughts immediately, by stopping yourself and changing what you were thinking about to the exact opposite with positive thoughts. Immediately you will feel uplifted and peaceful. The opposite happens when dwelling on negatives. It can't change anything except make you more miserable and you become depressed.

In Psalm 91 we have read many words:
  • How have the words impacted you?
  • Can you believe what they say?
  • Have you got anything to loose in trying?

Ask yourself this simple question:
  • How do you feel after you have read a passage from the Bible?
  • Have you read it from several different Bibles?
  • Why should I do that?

The more you read the clearer you will understand it by using different versions.

Have you ever wanted to ask a question while reading? Then start checking it out in a Bible commentary. Just maybe the Holy Spirit has a revelation waiting for you. Remember God cannot use an empty vessel.

Next time your are praying, read something from your most favourite Scripture and see how powerful it becomes to you and the circumstance you are praying for. As this becomes more and more a lifestyle you begin to spend more time with God.

You don't only spend time with God in His Word, but in  prayer and singing. When you can't pray, try putting on a worship CD. As your thoughts go to the song, you relax and start filling your mind with the words of that song. Soon you are singing along. When you can't read put on a CD with a message on. Do what makes you comfortable.

Chapter 4 - Confidence (Psalm 16)


In Isaiah 30:15 a it says “... In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

It does not say panic first, then maybe I will help you. In my opinion the quietness means, trust.

It reminds me of that song “be still and know that He is God.” We can only have confidence if we know Christ and have received Him into our lives.

Confidence in knowing Jesus paid the price for you and I.

Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.” GNB

So if you are feeling condemned in something it cannot be from Christ. It can come from doubt, guilt and fear. None of these are of God, although they all cause separation between you and God. Work through it quickly, just get on with it. I look back today and think of the childish things I used to hold on to and wonder what it was all about. At the time it gripped me now I think how could I have allowed it.

Confidence is understanding who you are in Christ Jesus.
“A blood washed Child of God, who you may call Father.”

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” GNB

You can only become bold if you are confident. When you are in a argument you become bold when you are confident that you are in the right. You will stand your ground in the battle even if the other person is right.

Sin robs you of your boldness. Confess and repent quickly and don't allow anything to take your boldness away. Boldness shakes the devil. He does not want you to ever reach your destiny, God's love gives you boldness. If I were to ask myself, “What makes you bold?” I would answer, “That God loved me first, just as I am. He sent Jesus for my sin. I am free and forgiven” This makes me want to abide in the dwelling place of the most high!

Think back to your time at school. If we were playing a game and two leaders were choosing the teams, which one would you want to be on? The positive team, or the negative team? Then I ask myself this question “Why do you allow negatively?”

Chapter 5 - Obedience leads to Reigning


We all know what the word obedience means, but you still need to choose to listen. We all know what disobedience brings, yet we do it anyway! Obedience brings a blessing, while disobedience brings a curse.

Jesus was obedient, even unto death. Jesus could have called to legions of angels and they would have helped in a blink of an eye. Jesus chose rather to do the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked the Father if this cup could be taken from Him? In my own opinion, I believe the Father gave Jesus the last choice. Jesus decided to take the punishment for our sins upon Him.

Not all decisions in life are easy, yet the reward great. God wants you to rely on Him and Him alone. Abide in Him. Seek your refuge in Him. A Pastor I once new used to say, “When you rattle the devils cage, you must be doing something right.”

Some times it may be a good thing to stop and ask yourself a few questions. “Am I being obedient, faithful, etc?” Especially when you are doing everything right and everything is going wrong. You might just be at the brink of a miracle. Don't lose your miracles use them.

It is hard to get excited when you can't see what is going to happen, but God is in control and has already answered. We have to be steadfast and go through it all to get to the destination. Your attitude determines if you give up or push through!

Obedience is simply putting your trust in God! Having faith it will happen.

Summary


“Abide in Christ, set your affection on Him, and acknowledge Him in all you do. Rest in His protection and salvation”.

Confidence is understanding who you are in Christ Jesus.
“A blood washed Child of God, who you may call Father.”

By excepting Jesus as your Savior and believing that He is the Son of God, we become reborn again (in our spirits) we become God's children. Romans 8:15 then we may call God our Father.

We can only do these things if we know who we are speaking to. If you only think God is up in the sky and judging you and that's all you know, you actually don't know God at all.

When you are courting someone you want to get to know that person better. It works the same with God. He wants  daily contact with us. In Jewish culture children at age ten knew the first 5 chapters of the Bible off by heart. Wow! we battle to even take time to read the Bible! The message was carried over verbally from generation to generation. I wonder what would happen if we started doing that, it would have a great impact on our children. We as parents don't spend enough time with our children or even talk about God. 

God delights in our praise, don't you enjoy praise? Praise builds confidence and confidence builds obedience out of love. Building a real relationship.

Obedience is simply putting your trust in God!
Having faith it will happen.

Decide today to abide in His presence, wait on Him and stay a little longer listening and worshiping God. You will start having intimate times with the Holy Spirit.


Acknowledgments:


* Spirit Filled Life Bible - “Truth-in-Action” Key 4 page 847
** Kingdom Dynamics Psalm 91:9-10
*** Kingdom Dynamics Psalm 91:11-12