Psalms 91 is one of the more well-known Psalms in the Bible… or I should say it has a well-known reputation. It is often thought of as a “Messianic” psalm, meaning that it applies to Jesus Christ Himself, and there is certainly that aspect to it. However, I believe that there is another layer to this Psalm; a layer that is in the text that has largely been forgotten in Christian circles today.
This layer, as you may have guessed from the title of today’s study, has to do with our position in Christ Jesus today, and the many blessing that come with that. There is an entire treasure-trove of blessings here that have for the most part, been left unclaimed, for no other reason than no-one is being told about them! An issue that I am going to solve today in this study.
So turn to Psalms 91, as we explore the wonderful truths in this chapter – truths that are ours today in Christ, as we see right in verse 1:
“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
Now we have studied this in the past many times, but dwelling and abiding, implies a permanent home or residence. It is not something temporary, but constant. It implies shelter and covering, a place of safety – and as we see here, the person who dwells (or permanently resides) in the secret place of the Most High, shall live under the shadow of the Almighty.
To live under the shadow of the Almighty is an amazing this – as we will be reading about today. It is not a dark cloud or shadow of heaviness, but a place of absolute protection and peace.
You can get there, by dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. And what is this secret place? Well, put simply, it is “in Christ” – and we have done entire studies on being in Christ before, and all of what that means and what is included in that.
The aspect of being in Christ that is relevant here, and what I want to focus on today, is the personal aspect of it. Because being “in Christ” is not primarily a group experience; it’s not an aspect of corporate worship; it’s not something that you only enjoy at a church building type of setting… but it is something that you enjoy alone, by yourself just you and God. It is there, in the quiet, in the alone times, when your relationship with God can really flourish. It is there where you will find out just how deep your relationship with God currently is, and how very deep it can go. David writes about this quite passionately in Psalms 63:3-8, when he writes:
“Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.
Thus will I bless you while I live: I will lift up my hands in your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips:
When I remember you on my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches.
Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.
My soul follows hard after you: your right hand upholds me.”
These are not experiences in public… these are not corporate worship sessions… these are private, personal even intimate times where David is simply enjoying the presence and the person of God and letting his soul overflow with the joy that comes from knowing God.
This is the experience that everyone that knows God should be having… this should be regular and normal – not something that seems strange or out of place. And as we return to Psalms 91, we can see that David uses very similar language when speaking of swelling in the shadow of the LORD’s wings.
There is something about remembering the LORD, remembering the way God has helped you in the past, that just brings a peace and a calmness to your soul.
I keep a diary on my computer… not a typical diary mind you – but one which lists all of the ways I am aware of and all of the times that God has personally helped me, blessed me, shown me things, shown me His power, or otherwise performed miracles in my life. It is basically my version of David’s Psalms, because David would always encourage himself by remembering what God has done, and I am doing the exact same thing.
This hopefully is giving you a clear picture of the personal aspect of all of this… how the relationship between you and God is exactly that: a relationship, between you and God. At the end of it all, there’s only two people that matter here: again, you and God. All of the “church stuff” – traditions, services, and minutia that we fill our time with, really do not matter when it comes to the heart of the relationship here: In much the same way that if you spend all of your time working for your spouse and you don’t spend any quality time with your spouse, then you don’t really have any relationship at all!
I said this in a study about a year ago: but it’s a good example… The situation is kind-of like this: God says: “Spend time with me.”
You say: “I can’t, service starts in 10 minutes.”
God says: “Talk to me.”
You say: “Maybe later, I have a conference to go to right now”.
God says: “Let’s just sit and reason together.”
You say: “Sorry. I’m ministering tonight.”
It may seem silly when explained that way, but for many people that’s exactly what their relationship with God looks like today.
We want to do all of these things… He wants us to just spend time with Him. Not that He is lonely for companionship, but He knows that us receiving from Him, is vital to our well-being; it is for our benefit.
We want to learn all of these “deep truths”… He wants us to just receive His love.
We want to be involved with all of these ministries… He wants us to be filled with His Spirit.
We want to be used in all of these ways… Just receive, enjoy and let yourself receive His love!
My friend, we have missed the point of this whole thing. All of the amazing promises, mentioned in Psalms 91, they are all sub-blessings compared to the one Master Blessing… an unhindered, unfettered, unrestrained relationship with Himself. To live in the secret place of the Most-High, to know the kind of absolute peace and safety that only comes from being in Christ
If you want to know this experience, if you want to have this kind of relationship with Jesus Christ today, it is very simple: just ask! Tell Him that you would like to have such a relationship. Ask, and it will be given to you. No tricks, no strings, no dangling carrot, no bait and switch.
In part 2, we will explore all of the blessings that accompany a life inside of the secret place of the Most High. Get ready, because they are amazing!