“He who dwells in the secret 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.” Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)
These and the following 14 verses speak of a God of protection from all kinds of evil and troublesome times. Many quote the promises of this psalm and others without comprehending that the promises of Psalm 91 are for those who actually dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and place their trust in Him. Much like the opening verse of the 23rd Psalm, where the implied if reveals that the promises to follow are not to be presumed as being for all who simply acknowledge God yet live far from the Shadow of His Covering. The lesson we must not miss is that “If” we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and “If” the Lord is my Shepherd, then His promises are for us.
A key word in Psalm 91:1 is “abide”, it means to live there, not merely visit when times are hard or dangerous; we are to trust in Him always, not only when we must “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”.
If, as you read this, you discover that you are not abiding under His shadow, not dwelling in His secret place, take heart; He is calling to you and I to come and make Him our refuge as we live in and through and by Him.
How can we know if we are “abiding” in Him? If our prayers are mostly for personal help then we are probably not abiding under His shadow. If our prayers lean toward thanking Him for His mercy and grace; that is a sign that we are indeed living in “the secret place”. Not only are we living under His shadow, the Hebrew word for “secret” is saw’thar and it means to hide or conceal; we are hidden and protected from harm when under His shadow.
The promises are fulfilled in our lives as a result of our living (abiding) in Him; our relationship with God is our prayer, our supplication, and our reward. Without that relationship of trust, without our abiding with Him, there can be no meaningful relationship where we find the “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).