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.
Psa. 67:5,6 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.
I think sometimes we may have a strange idea of praying to the Lord for help. We ask Him for all sorts of things, everything from strength to provision or deliverance from our troubles. What we often fail to see is that God Himself is the answer. He is our strength, He is our provision, and He is our victory. The disciples needed power to reach the world with the overwhelming great commission, they had no idea until Pentecost that God Himself would be there power. Abraham was wondering and asking for provision when he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar, He didn’t know that Jehovah Jireh was the provision as the ram in the bush. Paul faced enemies and challenges everywhere he went while preaching the gospel, suddenly he realized that God Himself was his victory. Just like he said, ” He always leads us in triumph.” Charles Spurgeon teaches how Christ Himself is our all in the following quote.
“Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, he can be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of him in prayer. Go to him often, because he is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to him, tell him all thy wants. Use him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a sun; if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a shield, for he is a sun and shield to his people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use him as a guide, for he will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that he can do all thou wantest.”
So maybe seeking answers and help isn’t the best way to approach God. Look to Him as the help you need. Seek Him and worship Him and you may find all the answers you need.
Psa. 91:15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. Psalm 91:10
We all know we live in a hostile environment. We are attacked from the outside by our enemy the devil, from the inside from our own lusts, and in our day to day life by the spirit of the world that works through the lost people all around us. In my early days as a Christian I was often fixated on this war that we are thrust into the day we are born again. I was what you would call devil conscience and trial conscience for several years. When I experienced a greater infusion of the Holy Spirit a number of years ago I became aware of the supernatural protection that was part of my inheritance. Christ was in me and His anointing was and is upon me. I have an invisible power, kind of like a force field, that is impenetrable by the enemy. Here is how A. B. Simpson describes this blessing available to Christians.
“It is possible to be so filled with the Spirit of Jesus that all the shafts of the enemy glance off our heavenly armor. It is possible to so know the presence of Jesus that all the burrs and thistles which grow on the wayside fail to stick to our heavenly robes. All the noxious vapors of the pit disappear before the warm breath of the Holy Ghost, and we walk with a charmed life even through the valley of the shadow of death. The red-hot iron repels the water that touches it and the fingers that would toy with it. If we have been set aflame by the Holy Spirit, Satan will keep his fingers off us, and the cold water that he pours over us will roll off and leave us unharmed. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not (1 John 5:18).”
Our protection is to stay full of the Holy Spirit. Praying in your heavenly language and associating with Holy Spirit filled people is critical to experience this blessing. No wonder Paul said “be filled with the Spirit”, he knew the importance of daily and continual fillings in order to stay in that untouchable zone of the Holy Spirit. Pastor John Osteen used to always say “a fly won’t land on a hot stove”. Stay in the fire and you too will be untouchable.
Psa. 91:14 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.
Sometimes when I am flying in a plane I wonder about what is going on in the towns and villages below. Flying over East Africa I have wondered about the tribal villages and the challenges those folks would face on a daily basis. What was it like to live in a relatively primitive world just struggling for food and water from day to day? Then there was the urban life of the major cities in America, flying at 35000 feet you wonder what kinds of problems are unfolding in the lives below? Whether you live in a village, the inner city, or on a farm out in the country all of us have drama, normally on a daily basis. Today’s verse can give us another perspective; how to be in the world but unaffected by the chaos that often surrounds us. This verse says that those who know His Name will be set on high. Knowing His Name is describing a real relationship with God. It is not just knowing the magic name or formula to chant, it is talking about a living relationship with a living God. Here’s how McClaren describes this powerful promise.
“We have another great promise… ‘I will set him on high, because he hath known My name.’ That is more than lifting a man up above the reach of the storms of life by means of any external deliverance. There is a better thing than that—namely, that our whole inward life be lived loftily. If it is true of us that we know His name, then our lives are ‘hid with Christ in God,’ and far below our feet will be all the riot of earth and its noise and tumult and change. We shall live serene and uplifted lives on the mount, if we know His name and have bound ourselves to Him, and the troubles and cares and changes and duties and joys of this present will be away down below us, like the lowly cottages in some poor village, seen from the mountain top, the squalor out of sight, the magnitude diminished, the noise and tumult dimmed to a mere murmur that interrupts not the sacred silence of the lofty peak where we dwell with God.”
There may be a riot going on all around you (there probably is). In this place of intimacy, knowing the beauty of His name, we are shielded. The stuff can’t even touch us.