Psalm 91:4 — PROTECTED UNDER WINGS OF TRUTH

Have you ever watched a hen and her chicks?  Every night, the chicks find protection and comfort under the wings of the mother hen.  It is said that during a prairie fire; the chicks stayed alive under the mother hen’s wings even when the fire killed the mother hen.  The truth and faithfulness of God protect our mind from the evil forces at work to harm us.

Psalm 91:4 states, “He will cover you with His pinions (feathers), and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness (truth) is a shield and buckler (bulwark).”

A bulwark is a defensive wall of protection and a buckler is a person or thing serving as protection or defense.  We will only have this protection when we seek it out and use it.  In the same way, when we seek for and believe the truths and promises of God, we will not fear or give much thought to the storms and troubles around us.  The following verses further describe how we have refuge under God’s wings of protection.

Psalm 36:7 states, “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

Psalm 57:1 states, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in You my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

Psalm 61:4 states, “Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!

Ruth 2:12 states, “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

[!]  How does a person take refuge in something?

[!]  How does our soul take refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?

The visual of chicks taking refuge under a hen’s wings is a calming image.  So, our thoughts can take refuge in God’s promises and faithfulness which will also be comforting and calming.

These other posts may be helpful:

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Trust God to Keep His Promises

TRUST Leads to PEACE

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Psalm 91 is my go-to Psalm when I am in distress, or not able to sleep. I use my imagination and visualize the truths in this Psalm to calm my mind. This Psalm clearly shows the correlation between abiding with God and protection from the unseen demonic schemes, that cause anger, fear, worry, and anxiety. Fear is expecting something terrible to happen. Worry is to feel distressed in your mind by situations outside your control that often cause anger. Excessive worry and fear produce anxiety. I encourage you to memorize this Psalm because it helps you focus on God’s protection and provision. We can also practice speaking this Psalm over our lives through the power and authority of Jesus.  You may also want to read ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

For example, I was facing a lay-off that turned nasty.  My supervisor was harrasing me to force me to quit and not take the layoff so I don’t get unemployment. She harassed me every day until I reported her to HR, then she retaliated and made my life worse.  I became more and more angry.  I was also anxious because of lies against my reputation. At the time, I was the only one in my family with full-time work. Plus, my job with the University helped my son with his tuition. So many worries. I felt hopeless, but I focused on Psalms 91 and Isaiah 41:10-14.  I quoted this Psalm often, especially when I could not sleep because of the anxiety. God transformed my character during that time as I submitted to His gentle rebuke of the many sins in my life.

RESTING IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter (secret place) of the Most High will abide (rest) in the shadow of the Almighty.”

       How do we dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

Webster dictionary says that to dwell is being in place of calmness and relaxation as one dwells in their own home. In the same way, we abide in our homes when we remain or stay there. The shelter is heaven, where God the Almighty and Most High dwells. You might think; how can I dwell in heaven when I am alive on earth? We dwell in the shelter of God by faith through continual prayer, praise, and meditating on Scriptural truths. When we pray, praise, and meditate on Scripture, then our spirit draws near to God, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Remember, when we believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for sin, we become children of God (see John 1:12) and we become one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17).

God is the Most High, in Genesis 14:20a it states, “blessed be God Most High….” And, Psalm 57:2 states, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Even a demon spoke and said the following in Mark 5:7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God?” Even demons know that Jesus is the Son of God. So, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High is to keep our minds on the things of Heaven and the truths of God.

    How do we know if we are in the shelter, or secret place where God dwells?

We know we are dwelling in the secret place of God when we have peace in our minds. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29 that all who labor and are heavy laden are to come to Him and find rest for their souls. When we are angry and in fear, our souls are heavy, and we labor in our worry as we stress over situations outside our control. Matthew 11:29 explains that we are to be yoked (as two oxen) with Jesus and to learn from Him and we will have rest. I like this imagery because knowing Jesus is helping me makes my problems bearable. Also, the Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians not to be anxious but to pray about everything with thanksgiving. Then, they will have peace beyond comprehension, which will guard their hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:6 &7). Remember, when Christ Jesus dwells in your heart (see Ephesians 3:17), then your spirit is seated in the heavens with Him (see Ephesians 2:4-7). Imagine being that close to the Almighty God of the Universe that you are under His shadow and protection.

You may want to read Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Be Blessed or Be Cursed

How can we be a blessing to someone or be a curse to someone.  Do our words encourage or discourage?  Do you want to be blessed by God or be cursed by God?

Being blessed is being encouraged and made joyful with good things.  We are blessed when someone is kind to us or is patient and gives us grace when we screw up.  The Bible says we are blessed when we remain in the presence of God (see John 15).  We are also blessed when we trust and obey God.   We will be blessed even in our trials and distresses, because He is with us.  The word blessed occurs 306 times in the English Standard Version (ESV).

To be cursed is to be made miserable and destitute because of our own sin or the sin of other people.  So, what is sin?  The short answer, sin is disobedience to the truth and commands in the Bible (i.e., love others, be kind, patient, etc.).  We are also cursed when we do not trust and obey God and when we turn our hearts away from Him.  The word cursed occurs 74 times in the ESV.  Our words are the most common way we curse God and each other.  Read my post called: WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

Meditate on and journal your answers for the following Scripture:

Jeremiah 17:5-8 states, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6) He is like a shrub in the desert and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.’  7) ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  8) He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.‘”

??  How are we cursed when we trust in man and find strength in our flesh (verse 5)?

??  What happens when we turn our hearts away from the LORD (verse 6)?  Does your life feel like this?

??  What happens when we trust the LORD (verse 8)?  In what areas of your life can you trust God more?

Deuteronomy 28 also defines how we will be blessed or cursed if we choose to obey or not.

All these BLESSINGS will come upon you and accompany you
If you OBEY the LORD your God:

1. Your children will be blessed.
2. Your land and livestock will be productive (e.g., your life work will be successful.)
3. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed (e.g., you’ll have plenty to eat.)
4. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
5.  Your enemies will be defeated before you.  They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
6. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns (wealth) and on everything you put your hand to.
7. The LORD will establish you as his holy people…
8. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity…
9. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
10. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail IF you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God… you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Also, read the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 and Luke chapter 6 to learn more on how to be blessed.

However, IF you do NOT obey the LORD your God…
ALL these CURSES will come upon you and overtake you.

1. Wherever you go, you will be cursed.
2. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed (e.g., you will not have enough to eat.)
3. Your children will be cursed.
4. Your land and livestock will be cursed (e.g., your life work will fail.)
5. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
6. The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. (2 Chronicles 12:14 states, “He did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.”)
7. The LORD will plague you with diseases… with a wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew…
8. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder…
9. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies…
10. The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
11. The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
12. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do…

There are 17 more curses listed in this passage. Would you not agree that it is better to obey than disobey?  To know more about what evil is, please read the following post: EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

?? How do the verses in Jeremiah compare with the verses in Deuteronomy?

?? Are you experiencing any of the above curses? If you are, then seek God to show you the sin of disobedience that is blocking God’s blessings.

??  What changes do you need to make to be blessed?

To learn how you can live a blessed life read: Living a Victorious Life

Another type of curse that causes misery are word curses put on us by family members, teachers, and those who hate us. I became free from many curses, and I encourage you to read my short book on my website to know what curses are and how you can become free too. Many times we bring curses on ourselves when we do not trust and obey God. If you struggle to trust God, you may have false beliefs that prevent you from trusting God. I encourage you to read my short book to be free from these unhealthy beliefs. Go to Hopeforcompletehealing.com

?? Do you want to be blessed or cursed?

?? What do you need to do to be blessed?

Trust God to Keep His Promises

This post recounts the miracles I experienced when I trusted God to keep His promises.  In my last post, I explained my experience of feeling peace knowing I can trust God to keep His promises.  God keeps His promises even if we don’t physically see it, which is why we need faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Doubt keeps us from experiencing miracles.  We cannot have faith and doubt, that is a double mind. James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” My encouragement is to expect God to keep His promises through faith. Remember what Hebrews 11:1 states what faith is? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  For example, we don’t see the flower bulbs in the ground, but we have the promise that when spring comes the bulbs will miraculously produce beautiful blooms.  The promises of God are assurances, and we can expect for God to keep His promises, just as we can expect flower bulbs to bloom.

One of my favorite Old Testament stories of faith is when King Jehoshaphat faced enemy armies, and he became frightened. See 2 Chronicles 20 for the whole story. So, he prayed and reminded God of his promises to the people of Judah and recounted all that God had done. Then God spoke through a prophet, and he said, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” Then He said to go out against them and He will be with them.  They worshiped God and obeyed. So, Jehoshaphat sent the singers first, and they sang, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever.” Then what happened next was amazing. God caused the armies to destroy each other during the night. When they arrived at the battle field and saw what happened, they worshiped the Lord.

The application to our lives is that situations will happen that frighten us. When this occurs, pray by faith; recount God’s promises, remember what he had done in the past for you, and seek His help. When He tells you what to do, then obey and worship Him. When you see the victory, give God the thanks and praise.

For example, when I became a single mother of two toddlers with no job, I was frightened. When the father of my children said, if I leave him I will never see the children, I was frightened. When I did not know where I would live, I was frightened. So, I prayed and told God that He promised to supply all my needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19), and I reminded Him that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10) and can provide for all my needs. Also, I was very afraid my ex-husband would kill me and the children, so I trusted in God’s promise to protect me and my children as He protected David when King Saul tried to kill him.  Luke 18:27 states, “But He said. ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’  Think about your situation.  What promises of God do you need?  In my next post, I will list key promises we can trust God to keep and the corrupt thinking that keeps us from having the faith to believe.  God kept the promises that I claimed over my situations.

The first major miracl; a friend suggested I become a seamstress and run an alteration business. Though I did not know what to expect, I advertised and went to dry cleaners looking for work. Praise God, I earned enough money to pay my bills and put food on the table and keep my children at home with me.  Not having to send my children to daycare was an answer to one of my many prayers.

The second major miracle was providing a place for us to live. I didn’t qualify for a mortgage and rent was high. But, a banker in my church called me up and said he found someone who would give me a mortgage, which is a modern day miracle.  I can testify to many other miracles of how God provided for me and my children.

The third major miracle was how God protected my children and prevented my ex-husband from making sure I never saw them again. I have to admit that I had anxiety attacks every time he came to pick up the children.  One time he kidnapped the children and refused to let me see them. I paced and prayed for 11 days until my lawyer was able to get them returned. I have feet problems to this day from that event. God was with me and helped me through all the court hearings. During one court hearing my ex-husband had a psychologist come in to testify that I was an abusive mother and I should not have any custody. The psychologist testified on my behalf and my first husbands lawyer even advocated for me; what an incredible miracle.

His next attempt to get full custody was to get married.  He took me to court and told the Judge it would be better for the children to be in a two parent home.  The Judge did not go for. God is good. Though I went through many trials, I learned I could trust God to keep His promises.  To clarify, I was not a perfect Christian. I had a lot of anger and anxiety, which manifested often, from all the abuse I went through. I continually confessed my sin and sought God’s help.  And, I trusted in another promise found in Hebrews 4:16 which states, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Paul also sought God’s help during a trial he was suffering and God said, “My  grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.  God’s grace is His power.

The fourth major miracle was sending me a wonderful second husband.  I was not looking to remarry or date because I had a 90% chance of marrying another abusive man.  When my separation happened with my first husband, I claimed the promise in Isaiah 61:7,8 which states, “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.  8) For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.”  I received a double portion for sure.

I describe my transformation from anger and anxiety to peace and joy in the following blog called: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION?