Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Staying Online with God (Psalm 91)

Ps 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions,and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler...Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation." 

The secret to experiencing God's love and protection daily is to draw near into His presence. Jesus has said in John 15:4, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (NKJV). The way to "abide" is found in the first part of Psalm 91:1 - "He who DWELLS IN THE SHELTER of the Most High will ABIDE in the shadow of the Almighty." Essentially, what "dwells in the shelter" means (according to one commentator) is: "He who has his thoughts always on God is said to 'dwell in him' - to 'make his abode with him' - to 'sit down in his secret place.' He has the Almighty, as it were, for his constant companion."

This is similar to what Brother Lawrence taught about the practice of God's presence - to discipline our minds daily and to set our thoughts always on God in the midst of our daily rush. It may mean just a few seconds of lifting our thoughts to God and praying, "Father, I love you. Thank You for being here with me." Or it could be an arrow prayer as you walk into your boss' office: "Lord, grant me wisdom now even as I speak to my boss." Sending short SMS's to God every now and then is how we "dwell in the shelter (KJV: secret place) of the Most High." Keeping God's presence before us moment by moment is the heart of worship.

Such mental habit will bring untold blessings of God's presence as the "shadow" of the Almighty's presence is cast over the very path we walk on. He will cover us like the mother hen "with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge". If we run under His wings like little chicks, He will protect us against the "fowler's snare" (human schemes), "deadly pestilences" (natural diseases), and "disaster" (natural calamities). Moreover, "because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

So, what are we waiting for? Let's get "online" with God and stay online now! Stop wasting our time "chatting" with other humans online- chat with God.

Father, teach us how to keep You "on-line" in our hearts and minds, so that at every moment, we can chat with You. Deliver us from focusing just on our problems and turn every problem into praise. Amen.

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