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

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?

 

 

 

TRUST Leads to PEACE

Do you trust those around you will value and protect you?  Do you trust that what others say is the truth?  Do you trust the plane does not crash?   Do you trust your spouse will be faithful?  Do you trust a politician or car salesman?   Trust believes in honesty, integrity, and justice, but all of us have been betrayed at one time or another.  Some of us has been betrayed multiple times because we live in a sinful world.  So how can we trust?

I recently went to Israel, and I was so anxious about everything related to the trip.  Why?  As I pondered why, I realized it was because I focused on all the things that could go wrong.  My thoughts were dictating my behavior choice to be anxious.  I also realized that my thoughts were controlled by memories of plane crashes, terrorist attacks, lost luggage, etc. I do have to admit, sedatives (natural) were my best friend while flying.  Also, the unknown made me anxious.  I was such an emotional mess that I got hives.  In short, I was not trusting God.  So I decided to focus my thoughts on God’s protection and help.  Remember, our thoughts have negative or positive energy, so controlling our thoughts controls our reactions.

As I was packing for the trip, I found Psalms 62:1,2, and 8 written out on a card, so I put this in my pocket to help me focus on God’s protection.  Every time I felt anxious, I would read these verses, which says:  “1) My soul finds rest in God only, from Him is my salvation.  2) He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be greatly shaken.  8) Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a hiding-place for us.”  I often recalled Psalms 91, which also reinforces that I can trust God and no harm will come near me. Many other scriptures help us focus on God and the fact that we can trust Him.  I encourage you to keep these scriptures before you and to memorize them, so you can recall them when you get anxious.

Let’s be practical, what does trust look like?  For me, it is the quiet confidence that God is in control and is ordering my steps.  Trust believes He loves me and has my best interest in mind, even if it means I have to go through trials to improve my character and make me more like Him.  Trust is the confidence that God is faithful and will protect me and sustain me in everything I do.

Remember, our enemy (the devil) wants to steal our peace and quietness, and he will bring to our mind all the memories of the bad things that have happened or could happen.  Resist him; James 4: 7 says, “Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   You will maintain your peace and confidence when you quote the truth of God’s Word and turn your mental focus on God and His faithfulness.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him/her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he/she trusts in You.”  I can attest to this truth, and I have no anxiety as long as I put my trust in God.

But you may ask, who is God and why should I trust Him or that the Bible is truth?  I know that God is an all-powerful, loving, and all-knowing Spirit who always existed and always will exist.  The Bible is written by God through men for our benefit, so we can know Him and know that we can trust Him.  I have seen many miracles in my life because I chose to trust God, and He was there to protect and provide for me.  I may blog about that some time.

On the flip side, can you be trusted?  Are you faithful?  Do you have integrity?  To learn more about trust read the following page of my book: TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues

Also read my blog post on Anxiety: ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

The following are truth statements to focus on:

It is safe to trust God and do what is good, and He will direct me. Ps. 37:3-5 (Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4  Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.)

I can trust God’s faithfulness to be a shield around me as I put my trust in Him, and I will not be afraid. Ps. 91:4 (He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.); 56:4,11 (In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 11) in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?)

Trust believes the good thing God is doing, and my heart does not need to be troubled, for He is my salvation. John 14:1 (“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.), Isa. 25:9 (“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”)

I can be trusted, and I am faithful with what God has given me. Lk. 16:10 (“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.)

I can trust and believe that my life has a purpose and that God has a plan for my life, which gives me hope… Jer. 29:11-13 (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”)

As I trust in God, He is my refuge, and His unfailing love and favor surround me. Ps. 32:10 (“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.”); 7:1(“O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,”); 5:12 (“For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”)

When I trust and believe in Jesus, I will not be disappointed. Rom. 9:33 (“as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”); I Peter 2:6b (“For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”)

I will not put my hope in the uncertainty of riches but in God who richly supplies me with all things to enjoy. I Tim. 6:17-19 (“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”); Phil 4:19 (“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”)

I am blessed when I trust and hope in the Lord, and I make him my confidence. Jer. 17:7 (“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.”)

What other truth statements and supporting scriptures can you add to this list?

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

Why do we become anxious?  I developed anxiety from not feeling safe and fearing for the safety of my family.  The worry and fear stronghold combination protects anxious thoughts, which negatively affects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lives.  For example, I had a fear of traveling to foreign countries, which caused me to worry about EVERYTHING.  I even had irrational fears of becoming fish food or terrorists will take the plane down.  Read how I overcame these anxieties, though sedatives did help. TRUST Leads to PEACE.

Strongholds are the mental fortresses that would look like castle walls if they had a physical form. They are built by bad memories to protect us from further emotional pain. The fact is, strongholds keep us from experiencing life and love. Mental strongholds are usually built to protect an unhealthy belief or beliefs generated by painful experiences that we have often forgotten about but still control us.  To learn more about unhealthy beliefs read this post.  Authority seats are like thrones within the fortified castle (our mind).  For example, a ruler builds a fortress to protect his or her interests and authority to rule. In this case, anxiety rules our behavior and choices and is protected by the many memories of things we fear and are worried about.

THE WORRY STRONGHOLD—Protects the following unhealthy beliefs: I can’t help but to worry because I am concerned. I trust God but worry keeps me on my knees. When I worry then I can feel I am in control somehow.  This stronghold protects the fear stronghold as an outer wall around the inner fear wall.

THE FEAR STRONGHOLD— Protects the following unhealthy beliefs: Something bad is going to happen. I must protect myself. I am not able to trust anyone. This stronghold protects the authority seat of anxiety within the inner walls of fear.

SEAT OF ANXIETY—Holds all the memories of not feeling safe, which triggers panic attacks when you are in a situation where you do not feel safe.

This stronghold combination is revealed during trials and troubles, or watching the news.  Trials and troubles should  increase our faith in God, strengthen our perseverance (endurance), and perfect our character (see Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-9).  Most often, we allow trials to continue to build the strongholds of fear and worry, which produces anxiety, hopelessness, despair, discouragement, fretting, and depression.   For instance, anxiety is a natural response when you are in the process of losing your job because someone is retaliating against you.  When this situation happened to me, I developed a host of digestive problems, which is common.

The worry stronghold would keep me from trusting God to work all things out for my good (Romans 8:28-29).  Instead, I would dwell on the problem and try to solve the problem myself if I could. This stronghold protected the fear stronghold which encouraged self-protective behavior and the need to control circumstances. For example, if I couldn’t control the circumstances, then I would become anxious, fearing something bad was going to happen that I wouldn’t be able to control. The anxious thoughts on the seat of authority in my heart caused me to feel hopeless, despaired, discouraged, unsafe, and unhappy.  I was even anxious about the decisions my adult children were making.

I felt God leading me to mentally or physically put myself in the various homes and places where I did not feel safe or accepted. I specifically and verbally loosed/put off the destructive memories created in those places along with all oppressive energy/spirit attachments (see website for explanation), unhealthy beliefs, and wrong thinking that God brought to my mind to be transformed. After that, I prayed through the “Joy, Trust, and Peace Issues,” to complete my transformation and healing. Then I imagined myself safe in the arms of my Heavenly Father who abundantly loves me. I also made God my refuge as I often quoted Psalms 91 and Isaiah 41:10-13 from memory.   When I became free from the worry and fear mental strongholds, I was healed of my digestive problems. I could also see how this stronghold combination affected all aspects of my life.  Read the following post to learn how I got through a nasty divorce and child-custody battle, which lead to severe anxiety attacks. Trust God to Keep His Promises

To remain in peace and not be fearful, our minds should be focused on the promises found in God’s Word and not on the things going on around us that we cannot control. Personally pray the verses in Philippians 4:6-7, which states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” and Romans 8:28 which states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”  Read, 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

If you see this stronghold combination in your life, then go through the pages of my website to learn the scientific and spiritual concepts for transforming the many negative issues of not feeling safe in your heart.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

The above statements are passages from my book called Unseen Battles for Your Mind, which is in the editing stage, and therefore, is not to be recopied without my permission.