My dear friend, Pastor Terry Hoggard and his wife frequently make a ministry video blog which they call – Raw and Unedited. I feel like my blog today is just that … raw … and real.
You may recall last month I referenced Psalm 91 … resting ‘in the shadow of the Almighty.’ Shortly after writing, I re-read the entire chapter … about how God will protect us as we stand in His shadow ~ His refuge, … but … to my stunned amazement, I heard deep inside of me ‘right, like that’s going to happen.’ WHAT WAS THAT … here I am, a believing woman who encourages others In Christ … where did that thought come from … what did that say about my faith? WOW, I was blown away!
And, since hypocrisy is a hot button for me, I couldn’t encourage anyone else until I figured this out. The root question became … did I really believe what the Word of God says? I thought of that scripture in Mark where the …
“father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.”
Unbelief … yikes, I’m so thankful God loves me all of the time, and, I thank Him for revealing this to me! So I asked God for help to better understand … and my focus went to the beginning and end of Psalm 91. It starts out saying:
“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].
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]!”
that means …
- we need to dwell [like a permanent resident] …
- we need to truly recognize Him as our refuge [condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble] … and
- we need to put our trust in Him [confidence, rely on] ~ that’s the relationship he wants with us!!
Think of your shadow as you stand in the sun, it wouldn’t take much to be out of the shadow, right? God says stay close to me … under my wings, in my shadow … that is where we will find refuge; envision me holding you in the palm of my hands.
But, if we choose to focus on the pain in/around us, we ‘move out’ of the dwelling place!
So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Believing and dwelling all ties together! What are you believing God for? While you wait, are you ‘dwelling’ in His presence, seeing him as your ‘refuge’ and ‘trusting’ Him. Truly believing with every breath in you!!
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”
Psalm 91 (the message version)
I encourage you, as God has encouraged me through His Word, hold on and hang out with God Almighty. And, just like Abraham …
“he did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to God, being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised.” Romans 4:20
God’s Love and Blessings,
photo credit: chris roth