MIRACLES IN THE SHADOW

Acts 5:14,15 – And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

For some people this passage is a little to hard to stomach and could even be called embarrassing. For those who have tasted the power of His anointing it is encouraging and quite believable. When you do a little digging we are talking about more than the ordinary shadow of some unsophisticated fisherman from Galilee here. Actually, the word shadow in this passage is a rarely used word that is describing a manifestation of the glory of God. This is how the Passion Bible notes describes this passage.

“The Greek word translated “overshadow” is episkiazo, which is used exclusively for the power of the Almighty “overshadowing,” such as with Mary, who conceived a child supernaturally by God. It is also used for the cloud that overshadowed Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.This was not a natural shadow created by the light of the sun, but the supernatural overshadowing of God’s power coming upon the sick to bring healing.”

If you combine this passage with Psalm 91 you can come to an interesting conclusion. Psalm 91 is filled with promises to those who abide under the shadow of the Almighty. To the Old Testament believer this is describing the place of safety underneath the shadow of the wings of the cherubim on the ark of the covenant. For us today, we have boldness to come into God’s presence by faith in the blood of Jesus. Psalm 57 gives us a glimpse of this idea in the Old Testament.

Ps.57:1 – Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

till the storms of destruction pass by.

The sick and suffering recognized the power of God on the apostles in the early days of the church. Today, that power has not abated. We have access to the presence. We can live in that shining glory cloud of God. For those who dwell there, the Lord will keep them from fear, pestilence and plagues, will drive out your enemies, and satisfy and extend your life.

SHADOW DWELLER

Ps.91:1 – He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

If you paid close attention to this passage, you found the key to being in the world but not of the world. Did you see it? This place of rest in the midst of turmoil and hard work is this, making the Lord your habitation. The temple was the place, in the Old Testament, that God had chosen to dwell. In the New Testament, He has chosen to dwell in His local church. The gathering together of His people for worship becomes our QUIET HABITATION. This is our place of safety from the storms of life and the place of rest and restoration on our journey. It also becomes our place of fellowship, teaching, correction, accountability, and empowerment. Follow the ark, it may lead you through some unusual places, but the ultimate destination is the glorious city of God. So you and me, we are just passing through. Our citizenship is in heaven. As we travel through new and uncertain terrain, you can be sure of this one thing, God Himself is our QUIET HABITATION. Adam Clarke describes the secret place spoken of in this Psalm.

“In the secret place of the Most High. Spoken probably in reference to the Holy of Holies. He who enters legitimately there shall be covered with the cloud of God’s glory-the protection of the all-sufflcient God. This was the privilege of the high priest only, under the law: but under the new covenant all believers in Christ have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; and those who thus enter are safe from every evil.”

For the Jewish person at the beginning of the Christian era, this had to be the most shocking thing of all, entrance into the Holy of Holies. The Jews knew the sacredness of the holiest of all and the power that resided there. To consider entering that place was unthinkable. The apostles not only said we could go there, they said this would now be our habitation. Christ has made it possible for anyone to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Entering His presence and cultivating life behind the veil is our place of safety. In these last days perilous times are upon us. Learn to be a shadow dweller, that’s where we find refuge from everything being thrown at us.

NO PLAGUE

Ps.91:11 – No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

The world, our nation, and our city has suffered the rage of a virus called corona in the last several weeks. Like Jesus said, “men’s hearts are failing them for fear”. It seems as if the fear has intensified daily as the economy has suffered and the media has relentlessly beat the drum of the coming doom. Churches have closed their doors and the restaurants and streets have emptied. Visiting a grocery store seems like a bad movie of a third world country or a step back into Katrina-land. How should Christians respond to such a crisis? Rather than risk being labeled a Pentecostal fanatic I think I will give the floor to the well respected Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon. Listen to how he dealt with a plague in London as a young preacher.

“In the year 1854, when I had scarcely been in London twelve months, the neighborhood in which I labored was visited by Asiatic cholera….Family after family summoned me to the bedside of the smitten, and almost every day I was called to visit the grave…. I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it. As God would have it, I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemaker’s window in the Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore in a good bold handwriting these words:

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm.”

I love the way the Lord met this young preacher in the midst of his battle with fear. If you are afraid today read Psalm 91 again. Maybe you too will experience a surge of faith and find yourself standing under the shadow of the Almighty.

UNDER THE SHADOW

Psa. 91:1 ¶ He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

It is one thing to be a guest somewhere, an entirely another thing to move in and live there. That is what the psalmist is describing in Ps. 91. The words of the old King James Bible ring loud and clear, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. Wow! What an incredible promise! What an incredible option! I don’t have to just visit the Shadow of God, that place can become my home. That is the whole point of our Christian faith, we have access into the holiest of all. I love how SPURGEON describes this life in his Treasury of David. Here are some of his thoughts.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High. The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercyseat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercyseat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them…”

There are blessings available to those who choose this life. These blessings are not ones you can see with your eyes or touch with your hands yet they too are tangible. Living in the Shadow of God brings us to a place of heavenly blessings; a powerful sense of God’s sovereignty is ours, an indescribable joy that is not of this world, supernatural power for ministry, and an unthinkable heavenly language of divine communication. Yeah, there is absolutely another way to live, it is life in the glory of Shaddai’s shadow.

IF PRISON WALLS COULD SPEAK

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Ps.91:2

As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One, and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king—NET BIBLE

Who doesn’t love the Psalms? Where ever we find ourselves in our Christian walk you can bet David was there. Have you been attacked by your enemies? David was too. Committed some hideous sin, David can most certainly relate. Psalm 40 has been especially good to me. “He brought me up out of a horrible pit and put a new song in my mouth even praise unto my God”. In my mind I see David running time and time again from Saul. He spent many a dark moment in some cave-in fact most of David’s men (ya know the one that were outcasts) lived in caves.

Pastor Richard Wormbrand spent many years in prison in communist Russia. He wrote  “IF PRISON WALLS COULD SPEAK”. It basically was His sermons that he preached to himself to keep himself sane. Richard had to have gotten the idea from David. I would’t be surprised if David wrote upon the walls of all the caves he found himself in.  I bet he found himself in the same caves over the years. When he grew accustomed to the dark, he remembered his inscriptions of God’s deliverance. The secret place of God is learning to live in his bosom. God will extend his shadow over you.

I pray this quote ministers to you-“Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercy-seat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; they are the courtiers of the Great King, the valiant men who keep watch around the bed of Solomon, the virgin souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Elect out of the elect, they have “attained unto the first three,” and shall walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy. Sitting down in the august presence-chamber where shines the mystic light of the Sheckinah, they know what it is to be raised up together, and to be made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies, and of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven.”  Matthew Henry

If you find yourself in a cave/prison today my friend, it just might be one you have visited before. When the dust settles, let Shaddai’s shadow begin to speak to you. You will find yourself in the shelter of the sovereign one.

UNDER THE SHADOW

UNDER THE SHADOW

Psa. 91:9-10 ¶ 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

This world can sometimes get to us. There are troubles on every side, and they can be quite intimidating. If sickness and tragedy surrounds you, it is easy to fall into a despondency thinking you might be next. That happens to the best of us. Young Charles Spurgeon was visiting a large number of church people who were dying from the plague. He became afraid until The Lord encouraged him in a strange way. Sitting in a shop window was today’s scripture verse The Lord used it to encourage him in The Lord. Here is some of that story in his own words.

“The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm. The providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window I gratefully acknowledge, and in the remembrance of its marvelous power I adore the Lord my God. The psalmist in these verses assures the man who dwells in God that he shall be secure. Though faith claims no merit of its own, yet the Lord rewards it wherever he sees it. He who makes God his refuge shall find him a refuge; he who dwells in God shall find his dwelling protected. We must make the Lord our habitation by choosing him for our trust and rest, and then we shall receive immunity from harm; no evil shall touch us personally, and no stroke of judgment shall assail our household. The dwelling here intended by the original was only a tent, yet the frail covering would prove to be a sufficient shelter from harm of all sorts. It matters little whether our abode be a gypsy’s hut or a monarch’s palace if the soul has made the Most High its habitation.”

God’s word is more powerful that we know. In an unexpected moment from an unexpected source The Lord met Charles Spurgeon that day. Rather than ministering to the dying in fear he was greatly encouraged in The Lord. Maybe you feel like evil has surrounded you on every side. In Christ, you have a place of refuge to hide in. What is that refuge? It is the shadow of the Almighty God. Finding that shadow can become the lifelong pleasure, your greatest quest in life. The amazing thing is that shadow is mobile; you can find it on a country road or in a downtown busy street. You may find it on the bus or in your secret place of prayer. Find that place. Under the shadow is a place of refuge in the greatest of all storms.

LIFE IN THE CANOPY

LIFE IN THE CANOPY

Psa. 91:1 ¶ He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

God speaks to us, sometimes, in very strange ways. Last Sunday I glanced at an article in the Times Picayune that spoke about the “tree canopy” on the north shore. I didn’t think much about it until a little while later, I was walking down my street walking my dog when I looked up and saw how all of the old oak trees had grown together at the tops forming a canopy over my street. This caught my attention, obviously this canopy serves a purpose in life and also must contain a spiritual lesson, after all, that is what His creation is all about.
Obviously, the first purpose of this canopy is to provide shelter from the heat of the day. It is always several degrees cooler when you are walking under this protecting covering of trees. The Lord actually provided a canopy for the children of Israel to protect them from the heat of the day in their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The canopy was the cloud of Glory, God Himself was their protection from the heat of the day.
Psa. 105:39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
And fire to give light in the night.
We are all traveling through the “heat of the day” so to speak in the dangerous world we live in. We can learn to live under the covering of His presence to shield us from this heat.
I looked up tree canopy on the internet and found this interesting definition on “WiseGeek”.

“The forest canopy is the uppermost layer of a forest, characterized by the crowns of the trees and a handful of emergent specimens with heights that shoot above the canopy. The canopy is critical to a forest’s well-being, and it provides habitat to a wide range of plants and animals. In fact, the canopy is so unique that some organisms spend their entire lives there, never venturing down to the ground.”

I love that. The canopy provides a different habitat and some creatures never leave the canopy !!! They have found a way of life in this alternate habitat. Wow! That will preach! There is a different spiritual habitat provided for us underneath the canopy of the Glory of God that He has provided for us. We can actually live our lives without ever leaving the canopy.
Have you become one of those spiritual creatures that never venture down to the ground? You see the canopy is not to just equip us to live better in the natural world, it is actually an alternate life and life style. We are breathing different air, we are eating different food, and we have a whole new support system provided for us in this alternate life. While the world is fussing, fighting, stealing, and living an immoral, drunken life; there is another world living in the upper regions. This world is inhabited with people who have tasted of another life and refuse to go back the world of earth dwellers. Look up to the canopy, maybe you will join the rest of us in this other world.

QUIET HABITATION

QUIET HABITATION

Psa. 91:9-10 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;

Let’s face it, if you are a Christian, this world is not your home. Jesus said we are in the world but we are not of the world. He also said that in this world you will have trouble but be of good courage, He had overcome the world. If we place our hopes, dreams, and affections on this world and the things of this world, we will be sadly disappointed. When we place our hopes and affections on the world to come, the outcome is totally different. We begin to live our lives differently and view our lives differently. To put it in King James English, we are pilgrims and strangers (so that’s why the first American colonists were called pilgrims). When this truth becomes a reality in our lives, we begin to find the quiet habitation all of us are looking for. God Himself becomes our dwelling place. He becomes our refuge from the storms of life, He becomes our QUIET HABITATION. Charles Spurgeon understood this dilemma that characterizes the Christian life. Enjoy his comments on pilgrims and strangers.

“The Israelites in the wilderness were continually exposed to change. Whenever the pillar stayed its motion, the tents were pitched; but tomorrow, ere the morning sun had risen, the trumpet sounded, the ark was in motion, and the fiery, cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow defiles of the mountain, up the hill side, or along the arid waste of the wilderness. They had scarcely time to rest a little before they heard the sound of Away! this is not your rest; you must still be onward journeying towards Canaan! He is my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort. I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.”

If you paid close attention to Spurgeon’s comments, you found the key to being in the world but not of the world. Did you see it? This place of rest in the midst of turmoil and hard work is this, FOLLOW THE ARK. The ark was the place, in the Old Testament, that God had chosen to dwell. In the New Testament, He has chosen to dwell in His local church. The gathering together of His people for worship becomes our QUIET HABITATION. This is our place of safety from the storms of life and the place of rest and restoration on our journey. It also becomes our place of fellowship, teaching, correction, accountability, and empowerment. Follow the ark, it may lead you through some unusual places, but the ultimate destination is the glorious city of God. So you and me, we are justing passing through. Our citizenship is in heaven. As we travel through new and uncertain terrain, you can be sure of this one thing, God Himself is our QUIET HABITATION.