He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (NKJV) Psalm 91:1-2
“He Will Deliver You”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; (NKJV) Psalm 91:3-4a
“His Truth….Your Shield”
His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in the darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. (NKJV) Psalm 91:4b-6
“A Thousand May Fall”
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. (NKJV) Psalm 91:7-8
“The LORD….Your Dwelling Place”
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. (NKJV) Psalm 91:9-13
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall 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 I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation. (NKJV) Psalm 91:14-16
The Secret Place: Deliverance, Truth, Shelter, Love!
Basic human needs haven’t changed with the passing of time, even though times have changed. Peace and quiet are still equally necessary today as they were from the very beginning. But how do we achieve peace now, when navigating through this increasingly noisy life is so challenging? This has become a popular and frequent question. Fortunately, we do have an answer, and it’s revealed in God’s Word, including Isaiah 9:6 and Ephesians 2:14 in which Jesus Christ is referred to as the “Prince of Peace”.
In addition, Hebrews 2:10, speaks of Jesus as the “Captain”, “…from whom are all things and by whom are all things…” (Italics mine.) Jesus can be trusted to carry us through each day. The secret for us is to rely on Him, as we take “one day at a time”, aka, “Today”. We do not know what tomorrow will bring, or if tomorrow will even come. In truth, today is all we are given…Time in daily doses.
Matthew 6:34 tells us that sufficient for the “day” is its own trouble. And on the flip side of that is the reminder in Lamentations 3:22-23, that the Lord’s mercy and compassion are “…new every morning…” So, with that in mind, living life “one day at a time” makes much sense. And, if we desire to be fruitful and flourish and be the best God has designed us to be, as Bach’s works can attest, it will also require that a measure of peace and quiet be a part of our today. Challenging no doubt, but essential, nonetheless.
“Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope…” -Francis Gray
Have you ever deliberately begun your day before the crack of dawn? It can be a very refreshing experience, one that is ever so peaceful and quiet. The newness of the morning, the freshness of a new day, hold endless possibilities if we truly stop and reflect upon the potential of what each day affords.
True, there are many demands and responsibilities that dictate our daily schedules, yet within the infancy of the morning is the opportunity to chart our course for today. It’s also a good time to reflect on Proverbs 16:9 which tell us that man makes his plans, but the Lord directs his steps, guiding us in the choices we make that define our day. The secret to success rests in listening to that “still small voice…” of the Lord. (1 Kings 19:12-15)
Granted, we do live in a very “busy” age, which has made it even more challenging for us to rest and retreat. Contrasting our day to the day of Johann Sebastian Bach, for example,🙂can be an enlightening and revealing exercise. In a YouTube video (w/ English subtitles), pianist András Schiff “explains Bach”. Schiff shares that essential to Bach’s success, was his need for “peace and quiet”. It was within the peace and quiet that Bach’s creativity flourished. He managed to achieve a level of peace and quiet, in his day, even amidst his family responsibilities, which included his many children. Schiff goes on to say that if Bach were living in our day and age, it would have been impossible for him to create and produce the magnificent music that he did!
Sobering insights, to say the least, causing me to pause, wonder, and reflect upon “how far” we’ve come, today. Yet, that same need for peace and quiet still exists for us, centuries later, reminding me of that “still small voice” referenced in 1 Kings, as well as Psalm 46:10 which admonishes us to “Be still…”
Beginning the day in the Lord’s presence, and guided by His leading, is challenging at best, yet satisfying at most.
Preparing for a wedding has, in itself, become a big event today. In some cases, it’s become the event before “the” event. From creating “save the date” notifications, prior to actual wedding invitations; to searching for and reserving the desired venue and menu; to making arrangement for the honeymoon (and everything else in between), the list goes on and on. Much necessary thought, time and effort is invested in that “Big Day” that is meant to usher in a commitment that is designed to last a lifetime, here on earth.
There is another wedding that is to take place some time in the future. It’s the Marriage of the Lamb described in the Bible in Revelation, chapter 19, verses 7-9. Although we don’t know the date, that future wedding deserves as much, if not more, diligent preparation and attention. The Bible tells us that there will be a day when Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb who died for you and me, will come again to greet and meet His “Bride”, (the church, Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:27), and she will be “caught up with Him in the air” always to be with Him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
Surely, preparing for that wedding would be quite different from the familiar here on earth. No need for invites, they’ve already been sent out (John 3:16-17); nor for venue or menu, it’s already been planned (Revelation 19:7-9); nor honeymoon arrangements, they’ve already been made. (John 14:2-3)
So, what preparation would be suitable for this event? Simply accepting the invitation, given to all of us in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
When I was a child, “choosing” basically referred to such decisions as: selecting which book I might want to read; which game I might want to play; or whether or not I wanted to wash the dishes rather than dry them. In those days, most children simply followed the directions given them by the adults who guided their lives, adults who were older, and dare I say wiser, than they were. (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Then came the tsunami of cultural change….
….mildly at first.
The quiet removal of prayer from our public schools, in 1963, conveniently paved the way for Roe vs. Wade ten years later, in 1973. Unthinking and, by then, prayer-less decision-makers, were blind-sided (2 Corinthians 4:4) by the “new” emerging ideas of the day. (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Those short-sighted decision-makers did not display regard for our Creator (Genesis 1:27), nor give serious forethought regarding the Pandora’s box of choices, and consequences, that would follow. (Romans 3:23)
….if we are honest, did not necessarily bring freedom but sorrow to all, (Romans 6:23), starting with the aborted child, and then the mother, the father, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, friends, future spouses, and ultimately society, itself. (See post 7/8/15)
….if we are willing, we can look with hindsight and examine the outcome and the wisdom of those decisions. Oh, and that we would have foresight and true wisdom to see this whole picture as it is, before settling on choices we have yet to make that will determine the course of our own lives, as well as, their impact on the lives of those near and dear to us.
“So, how is this accomplished?”, you ask.
The never-changing Word of God, the Holy Bible, can guide you.
Proverbs 9:10 states: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom….”
James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” And
Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Ever since the time of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), man has attempted to enhance and broaden his means of communication. And we need not go far to see the same holds true in this “Information Age” in which we live, today. With the exponential increase of information available to us (both for good and for bad), technology has produced a new means of communicating not seen, before, by mankind. Yet, the goal remains the same.
In this age of information overload, we’ve cleverly devised a way to streamline our input of knowledge and news, with “sound bites” and “tweets”. As a result, we’ve become accustomed to short and concise bits of information to fuel our minds and hearts. This idea is not new, however, because as wise King Solomon wrote, millennia ago: “…there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Already fitting well into this category of brevity, the Bible has always offered short and concise bits of information, (in this case, wisdom), found in such books as the Psalms and Proverbs. Both books are fairly easy, yet rich, reads and can be broken down pretty systematically into short and concise bits. For example: In one month you can read all of the 150 Psalms, reading 2-5 a day. Or you may find reading Proverbs to be even easier: one chapter per day, just like vitamins, providing us with a daily dose of spiritual nourishment to help us along each day.
In our world of sound bites and tweets and short messages of all kinds, Psalms and Proverbs fit right in. Both of these books, provide a wealth of short, rich, and wise reading that you might like to consider including in your daily routine.
She was a very young child, with a very tender heart. While many children, early on, have “imaginary” friends, her Friend was different. He was real! Oh, she couldn’t actually see her Friend, but she could rest in Him.
Amidst the challenges in her home life, the little girl found comfort and solace in her Friend’s presence. She would go to Him, talk to Him, and find peace in His arms. His name…?? Jesus!
As time went on and the young girl grew older she saw, in God’s Word, truth about things she had already experienced from as long as she could remember:
In Mark 10:14, she read that Jesus loves the little children: “…Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” “That’s true”, she said, having experienced His open arms, herself.
In Deut 31:6, 8, Joshua 1:5, and Psalm 37:25, the truth was repeatedly confirmed that “…He will never leave you nor forsake you”. “That’s true, as well”, she said. She never felt forsaken or abandoned, even in the hardest of times, because He was always there for her.
In James 4:8, she saw written that if you “Draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.” “So true, too”, she said, as she worked, daily, on doing the same.
The story of this young child reverberates even to us today, to all generations, no matter how young or how old we may be. To desire to
“see” Him as He really is
from a tender and childlike perspective;
to enter into His heavenly realm,
leaving behind our grown-up objectives
helps us all to experience the fullness of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17, where He tells us “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
….we unwrap it, we examine it. We learn about it and enjoy it. And, we make the gift a part of our lives.
God gave us the ultimate gift – Jesus Christ – “the Word made flesh”. The Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” John 3:16
If we receive God’s gift of His Son, Jesus, into our hearts, we become His children. The Bible tells us: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” John 1:12
If we study God’s Word, we then learn about Him, His ways, His love for us, and how He helps us to grow each day. The Bible says, “All Scripture is given….for instruction in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16
Simply put, the Bible is God’s Word to us! And as we study it and its lessons, we discover and learn how to live as God, our Creator, designed us to live. And as a result, we please Him, plus, we experience His joy and peace.
In this process of reading and studying God’s Word, ask Jesus to join you, and to help you learn what He would have us know from His Holy Word. Enjoy your time reading God’s Word and getting to know Him better. And as the Holy Spirit leads and guides your eyes, your heart, your mind, and your spirit, you will grow as God designed you to grow.
Analyzing sentences has its benefits. True, diagramming sentences may be out of vogue, however, many mysteries are uncovered whenever we closely study words. Take for example, the opening phrase above in Genesis, the first book of the Bible: “In the beginning God….”. Pretty straight forward, and clear cut. What’s not to understand? God was, then, at, and “in the beginning…”
Among questions that might follow is: What was God doing?Genesis 1:1 tells us that He “created the heavens and the earth”. Then, it continues on with the details.
Over all, the course of Creation took seven days, after which time God rested. As you read the account of Creation, from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2:3, and glean answers to the questions of “Who, What, When, Where, and Why?”, the following summary emerges:
On Day 1 – God created Day and Night
On Day 2 – God created the Sky (Firmament/Heaven)
On Day 3 – God created Land and Seas, with the Land bringing forth grass, herbs, yielding seeds, and trees, yielding fruit.
On Day 4 – God created the Sun, Moon, and Stars
On Day 5 – God created the Fish of the sea and Birds of the air
On Day 6 – God created Animals and Living Creatures, followed by creating Man in His image, (Male and Female), giving them dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and all living creatures. (Genesis 1:26)
On Day 7 – God rested.
And the good news is that God said all this was good.
I don’t doubt that you’ve heard the phrase that “words matter”, perhaps more times than you can count. But as you stop and think about it, they matter tremendously, wherever or whenever they are used. And particularly, when reading God’s “Word”.
So, consider this little tour the beginning of a journey into Scripture, as you open God’s “Word” to us! It will be well worth the time of every teachable student.
If you would like to revisit the account of Creation again on a simple self-guided tour, worksheets to use, along the way, can be found on one of the following links: here: Level 1 , here: Level 2 , and here: Level 3.