“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” – Psalm 91:1-2 (NASB)
I was pausing in His presence today, and I found myself unable to get past verse 2 of Psalm 91. My heart was arrested by the truth of God’s burning, passionate love for us and how utterly worthy He is for us to just abide in everything He is.
Abiding, in this context, means to rest into something and to stay there permanently (Strong’s h3885). His “shadow” here refers to His protection (h6738), so I was first drawn to the thought of permanently resting into His protective arms.
The word “dwell” absolutely blew me away as well, as it means not just to remain somewhere but also to stay in a place because of marriage (h3427). He showed me that the Father’s covenant of love with us allows us to remain under His protection.
The fortress mentioned in verse 2 (h4686) refers to a stronghold or a place of defense. Now if you’re like me, it’s quite easy to get caught on a rabbit trail of definitions and word research! Without going too far off track, I’ll share a bit more research on the word “stronghold” because I feel it is important to build the context of what the Lord was speaking to me.
Google defines a stronghold as “a place that has been fortified so as to protect against attack.” Other places in the Bible, a stronghold is defined as a lofty or inaccessible place of great safety.
Here’s what the Lord spoke to my Spirit in regards to these first two verses in Psalm 91 and Him being our stronghold. I know it will bless you.
He showed me that the idea of running to Him as a stronghold is so much deeper than we even know. It’s not a mode of behavior modification, nor is the idea of finding safety in Him a bribe to get us to pause in His presence. It’s simply WHO HE IS. And He is worthy of ALL of us.
I began to see that He is worthy of ALL OF MY HEART, not just the wounded parts. He is worthy of ALL MY AFFECTIONS, ALL OF THE TIME, not just when I feel afraid and run to Him for security. Dwelling or abiding in His shadow goes beyond finding a shelter for our own benefit.
Of course, we are protected and fortified by His love, but I believe that the real breakthrough in our lives comes not from utilizing Psalm 91 only when we are feeling fear and looking for security. The breakthrough comes in the DWELLING, in the “marriage” off all that we are to all that He is.
In the full acceptance of His covenant of love that leads us to great intimacy.
THE HEART OF THE FATHER is a lofty and inaccessible place that goes beyond safety and a momentary freedom from feelings of fear. His HEART and HIS BURNING LOVE is where we can go high and remain permanently. That place in His heart transcends anything on the earth, and it goes far beyond the temporary emotions or provision of physical needs.
His burning heart of love is the reason that we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
His love for us, and our being tucked away deep into His heart (under the shadow of His wings), is our greatest refuge and fortress. It’s what we were created for. He alone is our lofty and inaccessible place – He is not a formula for driving out feelings of fear. He is where we’re made to abide and remain, and everything we need is found there, in the shadow of who He is.
May we all sit permanently in the New Covenant of LOVE that Jesus died to give us, which grants us a greater level of intimacy than we could have ever imagined. May we learn to abide in that place and receive all the safety, security and rest that we have been created to live in!
— Mandy Woodhouse