This Psalm has been a strength for many believers who turn to the Bible looking for answers during this trying and unknown time. The psalmist even foresaw times like the one in which the world is experiencing now. Twice he spoke of being protected from the pestilence – the “deadly pestilence” and “the pestilence that stalks in the darkness.” Once he speaks of the “plague that destroys at midday.”
But the opening verse is the key for our focus: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Dwelling in the LORD brings rest.
Paul tells us that “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:8). And from our perspective with God, we see Him at work in all situations. He will never allow the enemy to win the battle. Jesus has been given “all authority” not only in heaven but also “on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Let us pray for all those who will turn to the Lord during this worldwide “pestilence/plague.” Let us become the believers who put our trust in Him, trusting that even this will be turned for our good as we trust in Him.
I’ve been impressed again as I was reading in the early chapters of Joshua how often God talked to Joshua about what He was “giving” Israel, even though they still had to fight for it.
When they approached Jericho, God said, “I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” When they got over the debaucle at Ai and were going up under God’s anointing, again He said, “I have delivered Ai into your hands.”
Interesting. A past tense verb for a future event. But when God speaks, it’s as good as done, even though there may be many battles before its completion. I like this.
Since He promised that Israel “will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days,” it is as good as done, even though we may not see it with our natural eyes for a few years.
When He speaks of that corridor between ancient Assyria and Egypt along with Israel becoming a blessing upon the earth, it is done though we have yet to see it. When God speaks, it’s as good as done.
Stand firmly on His promises.
Thousands of us are entering or have entered into a time of fasting and prayer in these opening days of 2019. In all my years in the Nashville area, and in other cities, I have never known the body of believers to be so united for such a time of corporately seeking the Lord together with prayer and with fasting.
Fasting is not the easiest thing we have ever done, so why are we fasting and what do we expect from this time? As I was sitting and pondering this, here are some of the things that are motivating me:
- First of all, Jesus expected His followers to connect to God through fasting and prayer. He did not say, “If you fast,” but “When you fast,” and told His accusers that when the bridegroom left, His disciples would fast (See Matthew 6:16 and 9:16).
- I/we need a more complete surrender of ourselves to Jesus, and this manner of full-body praying (that’s what I call it) helps us in that surrender. We humble ourselves through fasting (Psalm 35:13).
- There are areas of our lives where we are not gaining the victory. When this happened to the disciples, Jesus said, “This kind comes out only through prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29 NKJV).
- Because we are desperate to see a greater move of God in our region and in our world.
- Asking for instructions and God’s provisions for the days ahead (Ezra 8:21)
- For healing (Isaiah 58:3-9)
- When we need God’s intervention for a particular crisis (2 Chronicles 20)
- As a way of joining across all lines as we seek to answer the prayer of Jesus in becoming one before the Father, so that the world will know that Jesus is the Sent One from the Father (John 17:20-21).
Let’s join our hearts together during these days and encourage each other as we devote meal times and other times to be before the Lord, expecting Him to work in astonishing ways in our own personal lives and in the lives of those around us.