By Michelle Wallace
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand].Psalm 91: 1 Amp.
Sometimes there is a disconnect when we pray. We pray as if we are here on the earth and God is somewhere above the clouds. While it’s true that God lives in the heaven of heavens, 2 Corinthians 6:16 says of believers that God lives in us and He walks among us. He is not distant or removed.
My Bible study teacher is a bit like an Old Testament prophet at times. God has given her some unique illustrations to demonstrate a point. One day she set up a makeshift tent (a tabernacle of sorts) inside the sanctuary. She brought one candle and went inside the tent as the Lord instructed. She explained that the Lord was teaching her about quieting her soul and spending time alone with Him. The candle was to represent her focus on one thing—the Lord. While fellowship with the Lord often does include pouring our hearts out before Him over the people and the struggles in our lives, this was an exercise to focus solely on Him, in adoration, in worship, and love—to know Him and to be known.
So, she climbed inside the tent with her candle and began to fellowship with God. Soon, her mind began to wander and she realized she was thinking about her husband. Next, she began to focus on a struggle surrounding her children. Before she knew it, there were several people in the tent with her and the Lord. She made the point that it is difficult to spend quiet time with God.
I was on a leadership retreat in Virginia Beach when the Lord began to deal with me on the very same matter. Michelle, Michelle, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” (Luke 10: 41-42) You see, I tend to be easily distracted. “Okay, Lord,” I said, “it’s just me and You!” With candle in hand, I climbed inside my imaginary tent and began to worship. Things seemed to be going pretty well until I heard someone standing outside the door. My mind began to wander and soon my husband was standing in the tent next to me. In just a moment my son and my daughter were consuming my thoughts.
I shook my head frantically. “Father, only one thing is needed,” I said. I looked at my imaginary candle and set my mind and my heart on God alone. I’m not sure how long our fellowship lasted; time in the secret place with the Most High is precious. Unfortunately, while I could have remained longer, worries of this life began to creep back in. Rather than trust that everything would be taken care of back home, I began to focus on the fact that my son had a football game after school. I wondered if my husband was eating well while I was away. And, I began to think of all of you—how this might make a good message. I looked around once more, amazed to see thousands of people. “Lord,” I said, a little sad and disheartened, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger tent.”
Are the things of this world and the troubles of this life an obstacle to your time with the Lord? Would you believe that God not only wants us to have time set apart for quietness of our soul, but that we would experience life with the assurance of His presence? Loved one, if you are in Christ, He is in you. He is there while you sleep, when you rise in the morning, in your home, at your office. He is literally there with you! He knows your concerns and He cares for you.
My pastor likes to remind us that God is always there, and we’re the ones who have a tendency to leave. The Amplified version of Psalm 91: 1 is powerful! “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.” In other words, he will not be moved!
It’s easy to read Psalm 91; it’s another thing to live it. Verse one says when you dwell in the secret place, there may be chaos around, but you will have rest. God will protect you, cover you with his feathers, and keep you under his wings. He will be your faithful shield and barricade. You will have no fear. If you make the Most High your dwelling, the Lord who is our mighty refuge, He will protect you. No disaster will come near your tent!
The heavens are teeming with angels doing battle on your behalf. If our eyes could be open to see them. Can you imagine? God is sending them out, giving them charge over you! “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” He promises when you call, He will answer, be with you in trouble, deliver and honor you! It’s almost too much to take in, but the Lord continues. “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Oh Father, take us by the hand, lead us to the secret place. We long to dwell with you!
It is my fervent prayer that Psalm 91 becomes reality for you; that you will know and believe that the Lord is your refuge. Father, I pray as the waves crash all around that our focus will remain on you. Thank you for the promise of your presence and thank you for your peace. Your love is amazing. It’s more than I can comprehend!
This article originally appeared in our November 2010 edition.