psalm 91

Writing about the midnight prayer vigils and seeking the sacred in the every moment had me thinking this week about the a certain scripture on security. This chapter always surfaces in my thoughts when the fear that threatens to steal peace approaches.  Recollecting memories of time spent studying His Word provides the arsenal I need in the moment that fear presses close, it prepares my heart for the battle to commence.

His Word is our Tool Box

This is a battle; though the fight is not against flesh and blood and that is why it is harder to check our adversary.  We can’t see the danger, but we can sense it.  Immediately, 2 Timothy1:7 comes to mind, I remember that we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

Ephesians 6:10-18 reveals all the tools available at our disposal to reroute the path meant to take us away from the peace of His presence.  We have the sword of the Spirit which cuts in two every evil plan that was not meant to touch our lives, the helmet of salvation, the shoes of peace, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith and the belt of truth.   And I realized, we’ve been harnessing the shield of faith a lot here, in our home, as we have been facing giants that our lack of faith has built up.  Sometimes though, we’ve let the shield drop and have failed to pick up the sword as we ought.

{Are you here, too?}

{Have you felt yourself giving in when fear presses close?}

We are destined for the security of His Shadow

It’s different for everyone I know, but each of us are wrestling with that ‘something’ that doesn’t allow us to walk in faith easily.  There are those little things, or maybe they are the big things, that are tripping us up. They are hedging us in and holding us back from the freedom that Christ came to give.

We were never meant to live in bondage, but instead we were destined

for the freedom that is found in abiding in the shadow of the Almighty.

Those moments when we our hearts beat fast and the bend of our limbs gives way, those are the moments we can fully experience His power, if we choose to cleave to it. If we choose to turn towards that still quiet voice speaking, whispering close.

You see, I am learning, slower than I would actually like to, that as I run into the tower of strength His shelter provides, there is no division between my location and His. As I am IN Christ, situated directly within the shadow of His presence, the cloak of fear doesn’t have the power to control my choices or disrupt my future.

It is so easy to give into the fear when circumstances don’t look like we’d hope.

It is easy to sway with the wind of doubt when change invades our present.

It is easy to give up when we feel like our prayers are not being answered.

And, friends, it is easy to lose faith in the promise we’ve been clinging to when we are brought to the end of ourselves.

Faith in the face of fear always gives wings to hope, seated in the power and fullness of Christ’s sufficiency, that can never be deferred from our future. 

It isn’t just our circumstances and our decisions that are hedged in by this crippling emotion. Fear is a perversion of truth.  Biblical fear is equated with reverent worship and knowledge that a Holy Righteous God exists.  This is healthy holy fear which always leads to wisdom, drawing us up into strength of character and peace of mind to withstand in the evil day.

Fear, as many of us actually see it in our every day exchanges, robs us of precious relationships.  The consequences of actions dictated by fear often lead to poor choices. Our reaction places our trust in an outcome that has not been dictated by God.

When I take my eyes off God,  for even a fraction of a second, I am overwhelmed by the hurt and the evil that is just outside our doors.  News events, loss, death, sickness, sin… they all steal the joy  of the Lord and plant fear in its place. It’s no wonder we are confused by the chaos.

Run to His Word and rest in the Truth.

Let His Word be written on your heart. It is your plumb line of reference and the authority over fear’s reaching arms.

When shadows descend I find myself repeating a long ago memorized song of promise from one of my favorite books. Let’s spend time in David’s Psalm of Security.

He that dwells in the sacred place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust;

His truth shall be my shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor the arrow that flies by day,

Nor for the pestilence that walks in the darkness; nor the destruction that lays waste at noon,

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD, which is your refuge, even the Most High, your habitation;

There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.

For he shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

They will bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and serpent you will trample underfoot.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore 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.

Psalm 91

 

He will cover you with His feathers

These words have filled me with the courage to face so many fearful situations in my life. David’s battle song has been a faith builder, but I am not speaking as though I am ignorant of the  reality of our daily struggle to choose faith over fear.

The reality is that scary things will show up in our lives. The beauty is that we don’t have to give in to the fear that threatens to take away the peace that Jesus promised was ours.   We know this because that which is in you has overcome the world, including the spirit of fear.(John4:4)

The stronghold of fear is a sieve that allows for loss, but faith’s creed calls us to stand strong, unsifted by the winds that blow.

Living under the control of fear has consequences that we can’t always measure.

  • Fear has often robbed me of the blessing living In Christ provides.
  • Fear has tainted relationships by actions that are not ruled by love.
  • Fear has crippled me from stepping out in faith because I doubted the outcome.
  • Fear limited the harvest that I can expect because I don’t take the risk.

However, each circumstance of fear in my past doesn’t have to be a consequence which molds my future. I am choosing the bold grace thing, but I am also longing to choose this bold faith thing, too.  You know, the live by faith, not by sight creed  that we are called to?

Can I ask:

What is it that causes your heart to beat a little faster?

Where are you finding your knees buckling when fear-thoughts invade your present?

This battle with fear, it is one I need to give to God, but we are getting there.. He and I.  He’s still teaching me that He is fully in control and I can trust Him with everything.  The stolen moments when fear comes close, if I listen I hear His firm gentle voice calling me to trust, beckoning me to pray, reminding me to speak His promises, urging me to believe He is there.

My prayer for you today is that you would no longer submit to the fear that is holding you back.  Fear of others thoughts, the what-if’s, the balance in the bank account, the test results, the job security, your 401K, your health, the children, tomorrow, etc..

 My hope is that you will step a little closer to faith today, put on the garment of praise as you confidently stand strong against the habit of fear, and abide deep in the shadow of His righteous refuge.  I pray you will even feel the flutter of angels’ wings as the ones who were sent to guard you continue to complete their mission.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the way that you spread a covering of safety over your own. Praise You for Your mercy extended to us in our moments of fear, and for the promises of hope and redemption we find in your Word. Encircle us with the belt of truth, Your Word that declares the rights and promises of Your children. Strengthen us to lift the shield of faith, quenching every fiery dart that attempts to ruin. Gird our hands to wield the Sword of Truth that we would cut in two every attack of the enemy.  Quicken Your Holy Spirit within our hearts so that at the moment we feel tempted to give in to fear, we would be encouraged by your grace and peace.  Bring us close to your heart that we would know nothing separates us from your love. Thank you for the angels you set over us to keep us and guard us. We are grateful.

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

 

 

Be encouraged and be lifted up and remember that we have been given the means to overcome through Christ.

 

May all your journeys be blessed by His grace,

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