Home With God
Make God at home within your heart. The key to this kind of relationship is fear, obedience, respect, love and awe.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Well, I trust so. I’m glad to be back with you. I do these broadcasts early in the morning, because so many of you hear the broadcast in the early morning hours, and I like to feel the way you feel, when you start the day. Well, one thing you don’t need, is somebody shouting at you or scolding you. You need a little encouragement. Because most of us, when we wake up, we say, “Oh, God, do I have to get up today?” [chuckle] And He says, “Yes, you do.” [laughter] So we’re back together again, you and I, in this precious fellowship of a few moments, in which we spend walking around in the garden of God’s Word.
We finished the Book of Mark and my heart turned toward the Psalms for a day or two, a little interlude here, before we start another book of the Bible. I’m looking today at Psalm 91. We probably won’t finish it today, but we’ll start.
“He that dwelleth 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. Surely, He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fouler and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings, shalt thou trust. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.'” We’ll stop there for a moment, then we go on, as we come past the verses.
First off, you need to know that there is a place, a relationship that you can, indeed must, sustain, if you’re to have any real peace in a turbulent world, and the key to it is found in this word ‘dwell.’ It is parallel, I think, to the word that our Lord Jesus used, that’s translated ‘abide.’ He said, “Abide in Me and I in you. If ye abide in Me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you”. Abide in Me.
He says, “As the branch has to abide in the vines, so you need to abide in me, so you can bear fruit. Dwelling, that Christ…” Paul says in Ephesians, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Be at home in,” that means make His home in. Greek verb ‘oikeios,’ be at home, make your home there. Now, that’s the idea, “Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.” That means make God at home in your heart, so that you and He are living together, so to speak, in this old topsy-turvy world. The secret place of the Most High.
Now, that word ‘secret’ refers me, as I recall, back to another Psalm. Let me look it up. I don’t have reference, at this point to a concordance, but just to my memory. And I’m gonna see if it’s correct. I’m turning the pages here over to Psalm 25. And he says here, “The secret of the Lord… ” Verse 14, right, I got it, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him and He will show them His covenant. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High.”
What is the key to being perfectly at home with God, so that you’re dwelling in what the psalmist here calls the ‘secret place?’ If you believe what Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” Now, the Bible word ‘fear’ doesn’t mean craven terror. It means filial respect, and love, and awe, all mixed together to result in obedience. That is a Cook-ism definition, but I think it’s pretty close to the truth. Not craven, shrinking terror, not that kind of fear. But the fear of the Lord is a combination of respect, and love, and awe that results in obedience. “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. Alright, if that be so, then it says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place.” If you have given your heart, and your life, and your will to God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are going to feel at home with God, and He with you.
Now, Jesus, our Lord, said the very same thing. He said, “If a man love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” There you have it. “If any man will love me, he will keep my Word. And my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,” this is John Chapter 14, Verse 23, “And make our abode,” be at home, in other words, with Him. Make the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, and start obeying God, and you’re going to know the secret of God. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. The feeling of at-home-ness with God. Most people are afraid of God. They’re scared to death of any mention of God outside of church, or in church, sometimes, for that matter. You can feel at home with God. One of the nicest compliments that I’ve gotten, was given to me by a young lady who, as I read her character, looking at her face, had a rebellious streak in her. But she said to me after a service, she said, “You know, you make me feel comfortable with God.”
Well, now, that’s what we’re after, a life that is yielded to the will of God, so that you’re not running from Him, but instead you are running to Him, and obeying Him, because you love Him. Secret place. Now, it says, “You’ll abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Now, of course, much of the language of the Bible is figurative, picture language. Does God Almighty cast a shadow? Not really. But this is the metaphorical way to describe for our poor human minds, what God might be like. I have a little rundown of the verses that speak of the shadow, divine overshadowing. The verse from which we get our hymn, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” Exodus 33:22, “It shall come to pass,” God said to Moses, “While my Glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by.” God shadowing Moses as His Glory passed by. No man can see God and live, and the Bible says, “No man hath seen God at any time.” We cannot in our human finite abilities stand to look upon God. You gaze upon the sun with an unsheltered eye and you’ll be blind.
Think, think if you will of the million times more bright Glory of God, the shadow of God covering you, protecting you. “I will cover thee with my hand.” Then the shadow in time of trouble, “Be merciful unto me, oh, God, for my soul trusteth in thee,” this is Psalm 57. “Yea, in the shadow of thy wings, will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpassed.” Does God have wings? No, this is picture language. The shadow of thy wings. God hovering, so to speak, hovering over the believer, to protect, and to take care, in the midst of troubles. The shadow that’s a refuge from the storm, Isaiah 25:4, “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy, in His distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat when the blast of the terrible, is as a storm against the wall.” Refuge, a shadow from the heat. Then there’s the shadow of His hand, Isaiah 51:16, “I have put my words in thy mouth, I’ve covered thee in the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the Earth, and say unto Zion, ‘Thou art my people.’ ”
And then, of course, our Lord Jesus used that same descriptive language, as He cried over Jerusalem, “Oh, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” Shadow, now, what is the point of it? The presence of God protects your life, as the shadow cuts off the heat that would assail you, as the shadow of covering wings protects the little baby birds, so God’s presence protects you. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High.” If God feels at home in your heart, and you’re at home with Him, because you love Him, and obey Him, there will be that presence that makes all the difference in the world. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to go through the trials, you will. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution,” the Bible says.
The Lord Jesus said, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” That is to say, the presence of your living Lord, dwelling in your life by the Holy Spirit, makes you a victor in the circumstances and brings you through, not a victim, but a victor. His shadow makes the difference. Beautiful truth. Now, Verse Two, 91 Psalm, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress. My God, in Him, will I trust.’ ” Take that verse backwards. You start with the fact of Almighty God. When I was serving as president of the college, I used to tell the students, often and often, “We don’t reason up to God, we start with God.” Here, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and a good understanding of all they that love thy law.” We start with God. “My God, in Him, will I trust.”
If you want to rearrange your life, so that it makes sense, start getting right with God at every level, start with God in every situation. Pray before you plan. Pray before you decide. Pray before you act. Start with God. “My God, in Him, will I trust.” Well, then what happens? Then you say, “He’s my refuge and my fortress.” A refuge is a place where you hide, because you can’t protect yourself. A fortress is a place where you resist, because you can protect yourself. And in each case, beloved God is what you need. My God is my refuge. He’s the place where I hide. He’s the person to whom I run when I can’t cope. He’s my refuge, but my God is also my fortress. The enemy can’t get in. He can’t overcome me. I can defend myself against “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Shakespeare put it, because God is my God. He is my fortress. Great truth there. Start with God. You are protected and you will be victorious.
Dear Father, today, may we learn to hide in Thee, with the faith that begets obedience and love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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