By Ellen Ceely
“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.’ …Because yo 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.’” – Psalm 91:1–2; 9–16
No matter how many times I read this Psalm, it still brings me comfort. In times of plenty and in times of want, days of ease and days of pain, this Psalm has always reminded me where true comfort and peace are found. But it’s a daily, never-ending process to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.
The author of this Psalm doesn’t say that God will force or obligate us into abiding in him. The psalmist makes a choice; he sets his mind on the Lord:
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place….”
“Because he holds fast to me in love….”
“Because he knows my name….”
“When he calls to me….”
None of us seek God on our own (Romans 3:11). But God, in his mercy, gives us new life and access to the Father (Ephesians 2:5–6, 18). When we cling to God, when he is our dwelling place, God promises to keep us safe from harm. But seeking his presence is a daily task.
As long as we live in a fallen world as broken people, we will face hardship. But God will deliver us (Psalm 34:19). No one will be able to rob us of our joy in him or steal us away from him. No matter how difficult our circumstances may become, God promises to be with us and to protect us. Through every trial, we can hold fast to him in love.
What does it mean to you to “dwell in the shelter of the Most High”? What does that look like in your everyday life? Take a few minutes throughout the day to meditate on these verses and consider how they inform your faith and daily actions. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone
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