Today is Thursday, September 8, 2017, and I have a lot on my mind. If you live anywhere in Florida you probably have a lot on your mind too- things like HURRICANES!!!
Hurricane Harvey hit at the end of August, and here we are with another hurricane on our heels- due to arrive on 9-11 of all days (at least here in Central Florida).
A few days ago I was having a great time in Colorado. I didn’t have too many worries, until I checked the news. Then, the panic started to set in. I wasn’t going to be home with much time to prepare for the hurricane. From what I’d heard, the shelves were already empty of needed supplies. Gas was running low. Time was running out. I felt myself getting sick to my stomach. I didn’t sleep well. I began to feel hopeless.
At the height of my panic, I just happened to be on my way to Red Rocks Stadium in Colorado for a Chris Tomlin concert. My husband surprised me with tickets for my birthday and it was supposed to be a great day.
When I arrived at Red Rocks amphitheater, it was a long, arduous climb to the stadium. If you’ve ever been to Colorado you know the elevation is already high. When you have to climb steps at this altitude it takes a toll on you. As I climbed I could feel myself getting faint. As I walked upward I kept thinking about the hurricane and what I was going to do if it hit my area.
Somehow I made it to the top of that huge hill. I handed my ticket to the entrance attendant. Then, after walking away from the attendant a woman walked up to me and gave me a card that said “91.1” on it. It was a card advertising a radio station- station 91.1. But, it was in that instant I remembered something extraordinary- something that I neglected the whole time I’d been worrying. “PSALM 91,” I said to myself. I forgot all about PSALM 91.
If you have never read PSALM 91 before you may be wondering, “what’s the big deal?” Well, the Bible is full of great chapters and verses, but when it comes to prayers of protection, PSALM 91 covers it all. Here’s an excerpt from PSALM 91:
“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.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
If you read this part of Psalm 91, you will see it says that if we dwell with God, then we will rest in his shadow. We are protected from harm, much like a mother duck protecting her chicks under her feathers. We are protected from the schemes of the enemy (fowler’s snare), and even deadly sicknesses and diseases.
Here’s a few more verses:
“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday…. 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. 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…… ‘Because he loves me’, says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.'”
Psalm 91 Meaning: The Promises of God
Did you get all that? It basically says that all we have to do is call upon the Lord when we are in trouble- whether it be a sickness, a fearful event, and anytime a disaster is upon us! Hmm, I think that would include things like hurricanes!!! It says if we love the Lord, he remembers us, and rescues us. We only have to ask and believe he will do it.
Real Life stories of God’s Shield of Protection
I have personal experience with this Psalm. I believe this Psalm saved my life back in 2012- actually, it was the Lord who saved me, but I prayed part of this Psalm, and my friend prayed it for me as well.
In 2012 I went on a horseback excursion at Bryce Canyon, Utah. The horse I was riding on was supposed to take me down into a steep canyon. He was trained to walk along the edge of the path and to keep walking until he got to the end of the trail- which was way down at the bottom of the canyon. Needless to say, my job was to sit on his back and trust that he would keep his feet steadily on the path. Any slip of his foot and there would be a big problem. One slip and it would be easy to fall down into the canyon.
As I rode on “Whiskey” (yes, that was my horse’s name), I had an uneasy feeling. Something wasn’t right. I could see the horse was agitated and he kept throwing his head backward. About 10 minutes into the ride I had a vision. Now, I have never had a vision in my life, and I haven’t had one since, but I am here to tell you this was a vivid, specific vision! In the vision I saw the horse’s hoof hitting a rock and then tripping violently over it. I saw my body fly over the horse and land on the ground. Then, I saw the horse fall on me!
That vision scared the you know what out of me! I immediately assumed it was fear so I tried to ignore it and go about the business of riding the horse. But, then I saw the vision AGAIN! Same thing, same sequence. At that point, I figured it was some sort of warning. At that time, I didn’t have Psalm 91 memorized so the only thing I could think of is the part where it says, “Give your angels charge over me.” So, I just started praying for God to place angels around me and the horse. I prayed it for the rest of the journey down into the canyon.
When I got to the bottom of the canyon without a hitch, I was relieved. The horse hadn’t done anything I pictured in the vision so I relaxed. A few seconds later, to my shock, the horse did exactly what I had pictured. He ran like lightning and his hoof hit a rock. I saw it with my own eyes!!! Then, he tripped and I felt my body flying over him. At that point I was sure I was a goner and I braced for the impact with the hard, rocky soil.
I hit with a thud, but it was a “light thud.” Honestly, it felt like I was shielded from the hard ground. I was relieved for a second, but only a second because the next thing I knew, the horse was falling down on me. His 2000 pound body was on its way to crushing me. In my head I said, “Well, the fall didn’t kill me, but this horse will.”
The horse came down right on my leg and part of my waist. I braced for the pain. As I felt the heavy pressure of the horse’s body something strange happened- the horse lifted off of me. One minute he was about to crush me, and the next he was up on his feet.
As soon as the horse was clear of my body, I jumped up full of energy and also began screaming frantically! I don’t know if I was happy or mad or completely freaked out. But, I knew a miracle had just taken place. The people behind me who saw the accident happen were very surprised and they kept saying, “You were very lucky.”
No, I wasn’t lucky. I had divine intervention. I was sure of that.
Later on, after the horse ride, I started walking toward the car. I wanted to get out of that place as soon as I could. But, something made me think about my phone. I had turned my phone off the night before because I couldn’t find the charger. I wanted to save all the charge it still had until I found the charger . But something said to check my messages.
I looked at my messages. I had a message from a friend of mine. It said, “Angela, are you ok? The Lord told me you were in trouble. Please call me so I know you are ok.” I immediately called her. She said the night before she sensed the Lord telling her I was going to be in trouble and it was life or death. She felt she should pray Psalm 91 for me. She didn’t know where I was or what I was doing, she just knew I’d be in trouble. So, she prayed Psalm 91 and specifically prayed for the Lord to give his angels charge over me! She said she tried to call me the night before but I didn’t answer the phone. (That’s because I had turned it off)
I was speechless when she told me this. How could she have known? Also, we both prayed for the angels to be given charge over me. Psalm 91.
Some people may say its coincidence. I say it’s GOD. He is supernatural and so is his word.
Corrie Ten Boom and Psalm 91
Corrie Ten Boom was an amazing woman who believed in the power of God’s word. She lived it every day of her life. She spoke it and she lived it. In her book, The Hiding Place, she tells about how she, along with her family, hid Jewish people during World War 2. A savage war was raging in Europe and the Jews were being killed and sent to concentration camps. Though Corrie and her family were not Jewish, they hid Jewish people behind a fake wall in their home. Hundreds of lives were saved until one day when they were caught. Their punishment for hiding Jews was to be sent to concentration camps themselves.
Corrie spent a long time in several concentration camps, as well as her sister. Her father unfortunately died ten days after the family was arrested. Corrie’s sister eventually died as well. Corrie writes about her experience in the book. The conditions and treatment she endured were unfathomable. Yet, throughout the book she refers to Jesus as her “hiding place”. She says that the Lord sets her high on a rock, and shelters her under his tabernacle. She references Psalm 91 as she refers to God’s hiding place for his people.
God is our Hiding Place: God is our Psalm 91
As you read her story you realize that even though she faced horrible conditions, so many of her prayers for protection were answered time and time again. God sheltered her throughout her stay, and she depended on him to see her through. In fact, in December of 1944 Corrie was suddenly released from the concentration camp on “a technicality.” To this day, no one knows why she was released. But what they do know is about a month later, after her release, all women her age were killed. God got her out in the nick of time.
What I find fascinating is that Corrie Ten Boom passed away on her 91 st birthday. Did you catch that number? The 91. Corrie Ten Boom, who sheltered and protected Jewish people from the Hell of World War 2, died at age 91- The same number of the Psalm she whole heartedly believed in. She believed she could call out to God for shelter and protection and she was right. He stepped in every time. What’s also interesting to me is that she was born and died on the same date- APRIL 15. If you aren’t familiar with dates, April 15 is also the date Titanic sank. Though Corrie didn’t die the same year as Titanic sank, it still rings a bell with me. This wonderful woman relied on God’s shelter – his Psalm 91- to keep her safe. She sheltered the Jews from their “Titanic” and risked her own life to help them. Jesus says if we want to save our life, then we must lose our life. We must be servants for others, even if it means risking our own lives. We also had a blood moon on APRIL 15, 2014. Perhaps the Lord is reminding us to keep shelter with him, even as the days grow darker.
Before the recent solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 I received a bag of books from a friend of mine for my birthday. She left the bag on my front doorstep. The day before this I had been praying to the Lord. I was worried about the state of our nation. I was concerned for our leaders. I even asked Jesus how I should pray for our leaders. What should I say? What verses should I use? I told the Lord I was scared and I didn’t know what to do about it.
I opened the bag of books. One particular book was on top of the pile. It was a book about the Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. Now I already had the Hiding Place in my own personal collection, but I now had another book written about the Hiding Place called Lessons from the Hiding Place. This particular book was a used book and my friend later told me she bought it used from Amazon. This is why what I found inside was amazing. I opened the book and I found a brochure titled, “How to Pray for Our Leaders.” It listed ways to pray for the President, the nation and leaders. I was shocked because I had just asked God about that. But what I found next was the most amazing. I found a handwritten copy of PSALM 91 inside the book. I couldn’t believe it. It was the Lord’s prayer of protection. I had just asked God how and what to pray and I had my answer!
I asked my friend how the two items got into the book, but she said she didn’t put them inside. That is so cool- but even if she had known I never mentioned PSALM 91 to her, or the fact that I asked God about praying for our leaders.
I really believe the Lord was showing me that his word, especially PSALM 91, was a sword of protection against any worry or calamity in our path.
When I think about the number 91 itself, I think of 911 -September 11. That was such a day of infamy and disaster. How and why did it have to happen? What a loss for our nation. But, at the same time, perhaps God is calling out his PSALM 91 to us. He’s saying, “If you will take refuge in me, I will protect you. Stop taking refuge in the world and its belief system. Believe in me. Trust in me- I’m your 911 !”
Did you know that even Satan knows about Psalm 91? Yes, he knows. Take a look at this passage from the Bible. This passage occurs when Jesus is being tested in the wilderness. Jesus has been fasting and praying for 40 days and Satan comes to try to tempt him. From Matthew 4
“Then the devil took him (Jesus) to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Sly old Satan tried to use God’s holy word to trick Jesus! Satan knew God’s word was true and supernatural, but Jesus knew he wasn’t supposed to follow Satan’s commands- he was to follow his Father’s commands. But, the big thing to understand here is that the devil himself is familiar with God’s word. We know from scripture that God’s word is a sword and shield against Satan. He knows it too! Will he try to trip you up? Yes. Will he try to mess with you? Yes, of course he will. But you have something he doesn’t have- you have the supernatural love and protection of a holy God at your fingertips. You just have to take hold of this truth and use it against your enemy. You also have to keep from living in a state of fear. Quote his word and remind yourself you are covered under Jesus’ wings. I need to learn this lesson myself because I forget it from time to time!!!
If you are under a bird’s wings, it is probably dark under there. Similarly, in Psalm 91 it says we dwell in the shadow of the almighty. Isn’t a shadow dark? Isn’t that scary? Actually, when you are in the shadow of God you are under his umbrella of protection. He himself is the light and he hides the darkness. But under his wings you are shielded from the ever present darkness outside his wings. If you go under a tree for shade, you are protected from the harshness of the sun.
Speaking of trees, do you know what Corrie Ten Boom’s last name means? It means tree. What does a tree do? It provides shade and protection from the heat and sun. She was surely a protector for the Jewish people. And have you ever looked at a tree’s branches? They mainly form Y patterns. Why is that significant? Because Jesus Hebrew name is YESHUA. In fact, while he was on Earth he was always called YESHUA. Most of us say Jesus because his name has been translated to english but really his name is YESHUA. That’s what his family and followers called him!!!! Jesus (Yeshua) is called THE BRANCH in the Bible. The Jews and Gentiles are branches on the Olive Tree- Jesus is the caretaker of this olive tree- he is also the tree itself!!! Isn’t that amazing. And like a tree, Yeshua, is our shelter from the harsh heat. He is the shade we need when we are overcome with exhaustion, fear and sickness.
If you are worried about this storm, or anything else in life, just cast your cares on Jesus. Look to his word and pray it over your property and family. Pray Psalm 91 over your house, children, pets, property and anything you are worried about.
Don’t just say it by rote memory. Say it, pray it and mean it. If you aren’t a believer in the power of Jesus, or you don’t know Jesus, then the prayer may not do you much good. There are a lot of people out there who just read a prayer or say it, but don’t really believe the gospel. You have to remember that the key is, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High rests in the shadow of the Almighty.” This means whoever actually believes in him and belongs to him will dwell in his shelter. Just saying a prayer doesn’t mean you dwell in his shadow. Dwelling in his shadow means you belong to Jesus because you have accepted him as your Savior. You look to him to guide and protect your life. You don’t just throw out a memorized prayer and say it without any faith in Jesus or his power. Of course you can turn to Jesus at any time -whether in good times or bad. But you can’t expect to just say a prayer but have absolutely no faith in what it means or have no faith in the one who designed the prayer- Jesus! Scripture is a sword and a weapon against darkness, but we are expected to have faith to back it up. So say it like you mean it and believe what you pray! And if you turn to Jesus and receive him at the heels of a disaster, that is ok. If you cry out in faith in your time of need he will answer. Sometimes this is the very thing that brings people to Christ. At our lowest is sometimes where we finally find him. He will receive you whenever you ask in faith.
Am I saying everything will be fixed by a simple Psalm 91 prayer? No. But what I’m saying is that using God’s word is powerful. It does work. Sometimes bad things can still happen, but sometimes God is just waiting for us to tune into our faith and use his word as a tool to bring it to life! I have seen it with my very own eyes. You need to understand there is an enemy who wants you to live in defeat and worry. But that’s not what God wants. He wants you to live in VICTORY. He wants you to rely on him and use his word to live in that victory.
Next time you are afraid just take it to your heavenly father. You will be amazed by what he will do with fear if you give it to him.
Remember, Psalm 91 shows us the promises of God. There are so many real life stories of God’s shield of protection. Check out Peggy Joyce Ruth’s book, Psalm 91. It’s full of amazing stories.