I have recently been wrecked by Psalm 91 and separately, the role of our Father God as our Strong Defender. I strongly encourage you to soak in Psalm 91, particularly in The Passion Translation. On a brief side note - this translation has been my recent obsession!!! I highly recommend you download the BibleGateway App and dig in! Not only has the author taken particular care to translate each word with integrity to the literal meaning of the word in the original Hebrew or Greek, but the passion with which it is communicated sluff’s off the stale familiarity and indifference many of us feel when reading these highly emotional and passionate words from Heaven. Let the Word of God shock you again, as these words did the original hearers! (FYI - Currently only Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs is available in the Old Testament, but the entire New Testament is available in this translation!)
Before diving into the depth and promise found in Psalm 91, I want to identify four themes to keep in mind and take a firm hold of!!! These are for you and your family and I know they will greatly minister to you!!!
> God as my Deliverer & Defender
This is the FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH on which ALL VICTORY and TESTIMONY is based!!! This reality of relationship between you and Your Father God is a life-changing mystery and deep well of renewal that every day you can search out to new depths and heights. This is EVERYTHING. When you are in relationship with this all-powerful, exceedingly kind, overwhelmingly merciful, incredibly loving God who has adopted you into His family and is now your Father and you realize how FOR YOU He is... WOW. This is the #1 game changer. You have the entire arsenal of Heaven at your disposal, because your Daddy is the King. Are you smiling yet?! Nothing is an issue anymore when you grasp the reality of Who God is and Whose you are. Your reality becomes the same as the Israelite captives faced with the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). Your complete confidence is in the Lord not simply because He will defend you, but because you know that even if you get thrown in the Fire, you know you are gonna come out unscathed because He goes with you and holds your hand even through the darkest valley. Your trust is complete in Him. You KNOW His faithfulness!!!
> Demonic Accusation & Attack Crushed
This is an area where many believers feel ill-equipped and out-numbered. Maybe the idea of demons and strategic demonic attack seems too scary or too far-out for you to want to think about, but let me assure you, not only is this a very real area of battle you face daily, but you are also very equipped, protected and in fact, hold the upper hand in the most important ways!!! You may see demonic strategy played out in your life or family in the form of debilitating fear, overwhelming anxiety or depression, nightmares or night terrors (in you or your children), repeated physical injuries or just “weird coincidence” of bad events... whatever the manifestation, you don’t have to put up with ANY OF IT and the Promises of God powerfully apply to your unique life & situation!!! The Word of God is your penetrating weapon and you are equipped with everything you need!
> Resounding Victory over Pestilence & Plague
This is the unseen microbial world of bacterium, viruses, cancer, disease... all the unseen agents of sickness we so often feel 1) fearful of and 2) ill-equipped against. Beloved, is this realm outside our Fathers dominion?! Of course NOT! I am whole-heartedly encouraged by Psalm 91 and and the numerous accounts where the psalmist mentions our deliverance from the ‘perilous pestilence’ and the declaration, ‘No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;’ (vs.10).
> Angelic Assistance & Protection in my Home & Family
If it were not enough, that you sit enthroned in the divine protection and covering of God Most High, He has also commissioned His angels to protect you! These angels keep watch around your children, strongly support your husband, and keep your family from being ensnared by the wicked ‘traps’ of the enemy. I find it very comforting to remember how the children the Lord has given me, are ultimately HIS children! It brings peace to my heart to know that He cares for their needs and wellbeing even more than I do! If it helps you, I even think of it in this way: I am Gods daughter, so my children are like His grandchildren (in a way, haha). If any of you have witnessed the extravagant care of most grandparents, you know that they don’t just meet the child’s needs (food, clothing, safety, etc.) but they are lavish in their love! For example: buying your child the toy they don’t need but really want, sending special care packages with all their favorite goodies “just because”, taking them on special one-on-one dates for pizza and ice cream, kissing, tickling, cuddling them until the love practically gushes outt of your child!!! This is how our Father God takes care of His children (and grandchildren 😉)! Check out my blog, faith like a child, where I share one of the many stories where Father God was lavish with my son!
LETS DIVE IN!!! Grab you hot tea, Bible, notebook, pencils and highlighter (or if your like me, your orange colored pencil!) and find a cozy spot to meet with Jesus :D
1) “When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai,”
You, as His child and heir, are enthroned under the shadow of God as a prince or princess. When you rest in His covering, it is not in fearful debasement - but as a poised, redeemed heir with authority bestowed upon you by Father God.
“you are hidden in the strength of God Most High”
Your day-to-day existence flows out of your close proximity to your Father God. You don’t have to stand up to fight your own battles because you are hidden in ‘the strength of God Most High’!
2) “He’s the hope that hold me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence.”
You will not worship the lesser idols of fear or anxiety, striving to work things out in your own limited strength... your COMPLETE confidence is in this Man! He holds you in His hands of Hope. You live within Him as your Stronghold so that your thoughts, words, and actions all reflect this reality.
3) “He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse.”
Victory over demonic attack and accusation. In Zechariah 3:1 we see a vision where Joshua, the high-priest, is standing before the throne in filthy garments. Satan was crouching beside him, spewing out accusation and all kinds of filth about Joshua before Father God. Suddenly the Lord silences Satan and rebukes him and commands that Joshua be clothed with new, clean garments - the garments of salvation!! Revelation 12:10-11 describes our victory over ‘the accuser’, Satan, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Furthermore, “‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord” Isaiah 54:17.
4) “His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.”
I picture the Hulk, wrapping his arms around my tiny frame and smile knowing my God and Defender is infinitely bigger and more indestructible than the pretend green superhero.
“You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.”
It’s like our Father’s capacity to defend us is not even in His ‘ability’ or resource as much it is just by His name and nature... just by simply being WHO He is. I picture my kids running behind their dad, hiding behind his legs, when they’re frightened or nervous. They are safe, not merely because their dad could physically beat up any attacker, but because they know their dad is faithful at even protecting their little hearts, speaking peace to their unfounded fears or concerns, “don’t fear, daddy’s here”.
5) “You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night or have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.”
In the NKJV, “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day”. Demonic darkness tries to flourish at nighttime and you may experience fear or anxiety as your mind runs wild with all kinds of terrible imaginations. You may even have a child who wakes regularly with ‘night terrors’... it is in these moments that you have the opportunity to, like Jesus, allow the Sword of the Word of God COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! Declarations pulled out of passages like 1 Peter 5:7, “I will cast ALL my anxiety on You Father because You care for me!” Or “I will not fear, for YOU are with me, Father! Thank You for protecting me, strengthening me, helping me, upholding me with Your righteous right hand!” Isaiah 41:10
6) “Don’t fear a thing! Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you, nor will the powers of evil launched against you.”
I Love the straightforward simplicity of this first exclamation! I find that fear often will try to grip my children or I at night. Married to a musician, there are many evenings where I am home alone with the kids. When fear tries to creep up, I meditate on these words and WHO my Father God is! I sing over my children and reassure them with the Truth in God’s word concerning their fears or concerns! “No spirit except the Holy Spirit is welcome in this house!”
7) “Even in a time of disaster, with thousands being killed , you will remain unscathed and unharmed.”
It is easy to become troubled by all the terrible stories we hear via the news, social media, the radio, etc. Instead of finding my comfort, or the lack thereof, in these sources, I quiet my heart and rest in the shadow of my Father God. I shift my perspective by using my God-given imagination:
> Meditating on Gods throne and the 24/7 worship,
> Thinking about what my angels might look like or what they might be doing in this moment,
> Picturing the Holy Spirit’s presence run like luminous, golden oil, down the walls of my home, dispelling darkness, releasing the sweet, intoxicating smell of frankincense.
This makes an incredible difference in my heart and home! Every day, every hour and moment we have the opportunity to violently take EVERY thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)!
8) “You will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgement, for they will be paid back for what they have done!”
The fight is not my own. I don’t have to fight my own battles, in fact the Lord desires to fight them for me. My victory is not dependent on my faith - rather HIS FAITHFULNESS (vs4)!!! As I mentioned before, my heart has just really been meditating on the Lord as my Defender and one day as I was on YouTube, a song called “Defender” by Rita Springer was recommended on my feed. I gave it a listen and loved it so much that I am including the link below for everyone to watch and be blessed!
9-10) “When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High, our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm. How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?“
I once heard the testimony of a missionary doctor in a third world country. He was ministering among a tribe of people experiencing a deathly dangerous plague of disease. Outsiders and onlookers marveled that the doctor never contracted the deadly disease even as he was immersed in treating those dying with the disease. Finally, out of sheer curiosity, another doctor took a sample of the doctors DNA and a sample of the disease, he introduced the two samples under close observation of a microscope and as soon as the virus touched the cells belonging to the doctor, it died!!! That miraculous story always comes to mind especially during flu season! As I wheel my precious kids through the sneezing, coughing crowds at Walmart, I picture the bacteria and viruses barreling their way toward my family and myself, and instead of contracting the sickness, I picture a Holy Spirit force-field surrounding us like an electric fence, killing and deactivating all disease on contact! We also practice the laying on of hands both in our home and while we are out and about. I think of Ephesians 2:6-7 where Paul describes how “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” - present tense!!! If we are currently seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, we have full access to everything in heaven, and hey! If that’s true - lets agree with Gods heart and bring heaven down here! After all, there is no sickness in heaven - Your Kingdom Come, Lord, on earth just as it is in heaven!
11) God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm.”
I LOVE this!!! When my son was only TWO years old, my husband was putting him to bed one night and briefly mentioned that angels would be all around him. Immediately, our previously sleepy son JUMPED UP with a sudden burst of excitement and began describing the angels he had seen flying all around our house, laughing, playing with him and then coming up and hugging me (mommy) throughout the day! My jaw about hit the floor and my heart about melted out of my chest when Michael came out and told me all our son had said. I felt the Holy Spirit kiss me and whisper to my heart, “that’s how precious you and your family are to me”...
12) If you walk into a trap, they’ll [the angels] be there for you and keep you from stumbling.”
God has stationed angels around you and they will help you - whether you find yourself facing a seriously appetizing temptation which would gratify the flesh or whether you’re re a pregnant momma walking through the slippery parking lot during a Missouri ice storm!
13) You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet!”
Do you know you’ve been redeemed from the curse of sin and death!?! When Eve entered into a covenant with sin and death, she received a curse which all of humanity has had to endure ever since... UNTIL THE CROSS!!! When Jesus broke the power of sin and death by the shedding of his precious blood, a NEW COVENANT was established and therefore the old covenant was annulled. When you enter into a covenant with Jesus, think of it as signing up for car insurance, you know your car is now insured in case you were to ever get in an accident. But lets say you didn’t read the contract, and you had NO IDEA that with this “Jesus brand car insurance” not only will you be covered if your car gets totaled but it also covers weekly car washes, free detailing, and for some reason this kind of insurance covers complimentary back massages, weekly pedicures and facials at a fancy spa. It also includes a $700 grocery stipend that you can use to buy groceries for yourself and others... oh and this kind of insurance includes quarterly week-long stays at an impressive network of elite resorts. Umm yes please!!! The only problem is that if you never read the contract or talk with your provider, you would never know and therefore never utilize all these incredible “perks”. This is often how we live as Christians. Many people know they have the “Heaven insurance” but they fail to tap into all these incredible gifts or “perks” that are available to us TODAY! Psalm 91:13 directly correlates to the curse in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” When Eve entered into the covenant with sin and death, God recognized that from now on, there would be all out war between Satan and the human race. But NOW, through the blood of Jesus, not only do we get to crush demons all day ‘ery day! But Jesus has already defeated sin and death so when Satan tries to retaliate by a little bite on our heel - we get to recklessly declare “O Death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory?”!!! 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. Through the blood of Jesus, we get to walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling them ALL under our feet!!!
14) For here is what the Lord has spoken to me: ‘Because you have delighted in me as my great lover, I will greatly protect you. I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.”
I ADORE this beautiful declaration straight from the heart of the Father, over those who have simply said “Yes”... He is SO EXTRAVAGANT in His love for us.
15) “I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.”
I think about another beautiful song of David, Psalm 23, particularly verses 4-5, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” In both Psalms, the Lord prepares a FEAST for us in the middle of the battle!!! We are welcomed to feast on the Lords goodness especially in times of trouble, He shifts our perspective and even our reality with His lavish response when we are attacked! We feast on His goodness, not merely in times of blessing - but also in seasons of mourning, loss or misfortune.
16) “You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”
This “full life” is one in which you have lived in the Shadow of the Most High God, trusted Him deeply and allowed Heavens reality to infiltrate every arena of your existence. Not assuming you know more, not allowing unbelief to define your circumstances, rather allowing Faith to rise, the Word of God shape and renew you, discipline your mind, words, and expectations with the promises and truths found in scripture!!!!
So now its your turn... I hope that through this Bible Study, the Lord spoke to you intimately about your own season of life and I encourage you to whip out your journal and write down His gems of encouragement, promise, or areas He wants to impact you and your family!
I would love to hear from you! Were there others themes, not mentioned here, that you found particularly compelling or revelatory? Which verses stood out to you? Did you enjoy this translation of the Bible as much as I did? What are some fun ways you use your imagination with God?!