He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor any plague come near your dwelling.
—Psalm 91:1, 9-10
I have a tiny new puppy. He has discovered he has a little igloo that has a small entrance. He feels secure and protected when he crawls into his dwelling. He likes to remain there. I’m sitting here this morning with him pressed up against my leg. He is relaxed and sleeping. He feels safe when he knows I am beside him.
Aren’t we the same way? Don’t we know we are safe in God when we remain in His presence? Don’t we know we are secure in His promises when we abide in His truth?
If I dwell in the secret place—in the presence—of the Most High, my Lord, He favors me with His protection. This promise is true for those who dwell in the Lord’s presence—not just visit him. You can be clean in Jesus and not “abide” in Him. You can be saved and not have Him as Lord of your life.
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you,” Jesus told His disciples. “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:3-4a).
The promises of God are valid for those who choose to love Jesus above everything and everyone else. To experience the gift of the new life Jesus has given you, you must abide in Him. You spend time with Him. You take in God’s truth until it becomes your truth. You anticipate hearing from the Holy Spirit and you listen with expectancy.
Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High is the same thing as setting your love upon the Lord. A loving relationship with Jesus opens the door to God’s secret place. When we remain in God’s presence and truth, we have entrance into the protection of our Most High God. The Hebrew word that is translated as “shadow” in Psalm 91:1 is “tsel.” This same word was translated as a defense in Numbers 14:9 and Ecclesiastes 7:12. Those who unceasingly trust in the Lord will have Him come to their defense.
To abide in God means we have to abide in love (1 John 4:16). It is impossible for those who haven’t heard the Good News of Jesus’ unconditional love and grace to abide in God’s love.
Have you heard the truth of Jesus’ unconditional love and grace in your heart? Have you made His truth your truth in your life? Do you believe that He will abide in you if you abide in Him? That He will defend you from all evil? That no plague will come near your dwelling?
We certainly see evil befalling God’s children. We certainly see plagues coming against God’s people. But neither do we see the majority of God’s people fulfilling the requirements of this psalm and making Jesus the Lord of their lives. As impossible as this psalm seems to our human understanding, God promises complete protection from evil and plagues. But notice that evil and plagues don’t come near our “dwelling.” This whole psalm was written to those who abide under the shadow of the Most High God (Psalm 91:1, 9)—who in making Jesus Lord discover that He has become their habitation. Your habitation—your “dwelling” is where you abide in safety in Jesus. It is your “secret place” in God. It is your relationship with Him. That is where He protects you.
“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore” (Psalm 121:7-8).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher