Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Psalms 91:1 – 2 (NIV) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
You will notice that I am in spending extra time this week in the 91st Psalm. There is a reason for that: it was my mom’s favorite Psalm, and it has special value to me.
Now, bear with me as my imagination runs wild.
In my wildest dreams I could never expect this to really happen, but I can pretend. Bill Gates, the founder and CEO of Microsoft, has been searching the internet for a place to drop five million dollars to a charity. He happens across our web site at www.calvaryeauclaire.org and sees the pictures of our building and becomes enamored with the outreach of our church. He authorizes a check, and three days later, by certified mail with a return receipt requested, the staff and I open up a personal letter from Mr. Gates with the check enclosed. After we get done jumping and shouting, we fall to our knees in prayer as we weep before the Lord for His provision. We then take the check, this promise of resources, and place it in the safe, where it will stay as a memorial of God’s goodness.
Wait a minute…stop the dream…it’s become idiotic. Wouldn’t we take the check to the bank and deposit the funds to our church account? Of course we would. We never get a dime of that money unless the promise is cashed in. We believe the issuer is able to fulfill his promise, and he wouldn’t have written the check if he didn’t want to fulfill his promise, so we cash the check and enjoy the benefits of the promise.
I am convinced we have just as foolishly not cashed in some of the promises of God. When I read the 91st Psalm, I find myself saying I believe them, but not cashing them in. I put them in a safe place in my heart to remind me of God’s goodness, but I never enjoy the benefits of the promise today. I have allowed my circumstances to dictate the validity of the promise, which in turn causes doubt about the Author of the promise.
Can you relate? Here’s a test. Read the following promises from today’s Psalm, and evaluate your first response to them…
- He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Are you resting?
- Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Are you trusting Him for your daily protection? Do you thank Him for all you did NOT encounter today that could have happen had He not been your protector?
- He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Do you feel safe and secure and comforted, walking in peace and not fear?
- If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. OK, did you just try to explain this promise away, or do you truly believe God’s promise? Do you understand that no human circumstance can be called a disaster. Why? Because nothing can separate us from His love, and everything that happens allows God to draw us deeper into His heart?
- For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Are you aware of God’s ministering servants called angels whom He has commanded to guard our lives?
WOW! What a check we have received. But no check is valid unless it is signed by the one who makes the promise of payment. Fortunately for us, God Himself has signed this check…
“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.”
Twelve years ago I watched as my mom spent the last portion of this promise she had cashed early on in her life. She is now dwelling permanently in the presence of the Benefactor. While here on this earth, she lived lavishly as she spent every spiritual penny of this Psalm. It was the theme of her life. She could have simply read it, seen the signature, and then put it in a safe place as a memorial of God’s goodness. But that would have been to live a life of doubt. She lived a life of faith – faith in the One who wrote the check, that He could pay it and that He wanted to pay it now. She was living the lavish lifestyle of a spiritually wealthy person.
Isn’t it time you cashed some of God’s checks?