“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
The word “dwell” used in this verse means, “to take up permanent residence in.” It’s when consciously, actively choose to draw close to God and seek to make his presence our ‘permanent residence’ as a lifestyle that we’ll rest in the very “shadow of the Almighty.”
‘Dwelling in God’s presence’ sounds very high and lofty, and sort of unattainable, but it really isn’t. God’s presence is always there…ALWAYS.
Psalms 139:7-11 NLT “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me—”
When Jesus was preparing his disciples for his imminent crucifixion and ascension to Heaven, he promised them this: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.” (*Advocate here is also ‘Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor. ‘One who draws alongside’) John 14:16 NLT
We often pray and ‘invite’ God to come, and I picture him smiling to himself, because he’s already here.
Apart from the daily ‘set aside time’ spent with God, we can draw near to him all day, through the day, by just including him in everything we do. Talking to him, singing songs of worship to him. It sounds very simplistic, but that’s because it is. It’s we humans that complicate our relationship with God with all our religious trappings. He is there, beside us, all day, ever day, and all we need to do is acknowledge his presence.
I love this description of “The Shadow of The Almighty”. Shadows are a place of protection or covering; they provide relief from the direct heat of the sun. If the heat is severe, the shade is the place we long for to escape the intensity of the heat of the sun.
Sometimes the ‘heat’ of life can become so intense. Pressures and stress can seem as stifling and hot as afternoon the blazing sun. God’s says to us; “Walk in my shadow, keep close to my side.”
“TAKE UP PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN MY PRESENCE”
In God’s shadow is the place of confidence, the place of rest, the place of protection, the place of healing, of peace and of calm.
I know where I want to be!
Oh and guess what?
YOUR APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE WILL NEVER BE TURNED DOWN!
Your Visa is granted immediately, from the first moment you turn your eyes to him and surrender you heart to him (that’s what we call, in ‘Christian-ese’ getting saved, or becoming a Christian) and from there on, the open invitation to permanent residence. But it has to be a choice. Just because you have a holiday house in a beautiful place doesn’t mean you live there all the time. Some people have holiday homes in beautiful places, have been granted permanent resident, and still only pop over a couple of times a year.
You and I have been granted permanent residence in God’s presence. A place of refuge, safety, comfort, counsel and security.
Jill McIlreavy 😊X