“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will 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 will I satisfy him and show him my salvation”.
The verses above constitute the end of Psalms 91. Most of us who have been in the Lord for some time may better recognize the beginning of Psalms 91 which declares; “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” My hope in this mediation is to encourage you to learn and better know the whole of Psalm 91. I pray you “dwell with Him” (first verses) and “love Him” (last verses) and, as a result, expect many wonderful things to happen (middle verses) as promised by the Lord by way of the Psalmist, King David.
The word “dwell” means to abide, continue, remain. Jesus uses this word often in the Gospels to remind us of the effect of abiding in Him. We will look at many of those verses in the coming weeks; but, for now, let’s dive into John 15:9-11: “As the Father has loved me so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s command and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Some translations use the word full instead of complete. I like that. If we remain or literally dwell in the Lord, we will have the fullness of joy. I want that! I don’t want little joy; I want the fullness of joy.
Back to Psalms 91. If we dwell and get so close that we are “in His shadow” it will not be hard to love Him. If we love Him, it will not be hard to follow (obey) so that we may remain in His shadow. Dwelling with Him (first verses) makes effectual love (last verses), and even greater love, possible. The more value we see in the treasure, the more we are willing to give up for that treasure and are even driven to pursue that treasure. The effect of abiding continually in and with Him is that we see Him as the greatest treasure and pursue Him even more diligently. He becomes the greatest of all treasures as we pursue Him in our hearts and minds. In other words, the more we abide, the more aware we become of His greatness. It is the law of increasing returns; the more we abide, the more we experience His greatness, the more of that experience (His effectual love) we desire and the more we long to abide!
The effect or result of this dwelling and loving produces an ever-compounding increase of blessings that defy our imaginations. Here are but a few of those blessings from those middle verses of Psalm 91:
Rest, refuge, fortress, ramparts or walled cities, freedom from snares and deadly pestilence, protection or covering, shielding, freedom from fear, harm, plagues, disasters, protection and guarded by angels, protection from stumbling by lifting you up and finally causing you to triumph over those things that would attack you. All of these (and so many more) are the rewards of those who abide in and love Him according to the Psalm 91:2-13 (the middle verses). Now I know, in His mercy many of those things are bestowed upon you just because it is His nature to bless His children. But, why settle for a little blessing when you can have the fullness of blessings?
Sometimes I wonder if we miss out on so much of who He is and the fullness of His blessings because we do not pursue Him like we should. We do not walk decidedly in His shadow and, thus, miss out on all that is to be found in that place, near Him. Then, we wonder, “Why is it so hot out here? Why is life so difficult?” Could it be that we have wandered out, away from Him, away from His shadow? I wonder also why I am so quick to just say, “Well, I guess it is just His sovereignty over me that is causing it to be so hot.” When, all along, it is just hotter than it needs to be because I am not dwelling “in the shadow of the Almighty” and loving Him as I should? Something to think about. I hope you do!
Love’s Influence For Everyone who truly wants to abide and love Him more and more.