Warning: This is not an easy “word.” So if you don’t like heat, then leave the kitchen now. Justice is being enacted on every level. It has to come about as a kind of reset. It may be in fact the end of things as we have known them, enjoyed them, and taken life as it is for granted.
The perception of this commenter is that the USA, in fact the entire world, is undergoing the judgment of God. We need to look beyond the circumstances, far beyond. What we see we may not like to even consider. There have been fairly localized events throughout history. This is global. But the patterns are here and clearly revealed in Scripture.
Go read the Old Testament. Search history. The pattern doesn’t change. God’s hand in the affairs of men did not stop with the maps section in your Bible right after the Revelation. And seldom does He use the “nice guys” to execute certain aspects of His plan, when it’s time to go out back behind the cosmic woodshed.
Everything is being shaken. 3000 unborn children a day cannot be murdered (USA alone) without the Lord hearing their innocent blood cry out from the earth! That’s only one matter. There are many more, including rampant occultism. And we’re worried about a head cold with an attitude, while this holocaust has gone on for the last nearly 50 years? We should feel threatened. What goes around comes around.
“Babylon” must fall and we have too long been content with her ways. Including her Babylonian-ized religions with Christian facades which utter not a sound of warning, but are often compromised and complicit, and in fact in bed with her. Some of that goes back a long way. Some of it is “new.” So it’s comeuppance time for all.
You can “name it, claim it, and frame it in Jesus’ name” all you want, but you’re not going to manipulate Him Who must come as righteous judge. Nor is there going to be any escape. “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives. Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you do not experience discipline like everyone else, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.” Hebrews 12:6-8.
Take that to heart. Seldom is it taught or preached, this tough side of God’s love.
Where must our sights be set, then, who call on the name of the Lord?
“At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven as well.’ The words, ‘Once more,’ signify the removal of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that the unshakable may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God ACCEPTABLY with REVERENCE and AWE.” Hebrews 12:26-28.
By the way, What ever happened to REVERENCE and AWE in worship? Too many “worship settings” are more like rock concerts with people walking in with their water bottles, drinks, and even snacks, spilling, dropping, chattering and chatting away, ready to be “uplifted” by bootie shaking hit tunes. Where’s the fear of the Lord – which is the beginning of wisdom – in THAT?! Where’s the heart prepared to receive the King of Kings? Maybe it’s time to meet Jesus with the whip, Who turns the tables on everything, instead of the feel good “entertain me and gimme what I want” Jesus!
As the old song says, “There’s a whole lot of shaking going on…” Pretty soon it’s going to be His shaking, and no one will be spared.
“After this I saw another angel descending from heaven with great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory. And he cried out in a mighty voice: ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a lair for demons and a haunt for every unclean spirit, every unclean bird, and every detestable beast. All the nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her immorality. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from the extravagance of her luxury.’” Revelation 18:1-3.
The times call for repentance, humility, and surrender of heart, mind, soul, and body to the Almighty. All of life in fact! He didn’t create us, redeem us, and recreate us in Christ, after we rebelled and fell, to have us live to ourselves. It’s time to grow up in our understanding.
We may do well to seize the opportunity that has been oddly presented us, in the form of a shut down of everything, for all our wheel spinning and time wasting to be better directed into prayer and meditation on the Word of God, and living according to it. “But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” Like 11:28.
Psalm 91: 2 (AMPC) “I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!”
It is helpful to picture this dwelling place – as revealed in verse 1 – as a refuge or a fortress. Think about the pictures you have seen of ancient castles, hewn from the very mountain in which they are set. These to be sure can be called strongholds! Often on one side is a sheer cliff that drops hundreds of feet straight into the ocean. The sea crashes against this “wall” in all its great force and fury relentlessly, but in futility, for it cannot penetrate what is on the other side of that wall. Nor can any invading force arriving by ship even hope to enter and overtake. Those who arrive to attack will likely not survive their own efforts.
Huge walls surround this fortress on its other sides, which themselves are surrounded by craggy mountains and beast filled forests that threaten anyone who might be so audacious as to attempt to storm such a refuge.
A drawbridge is its front door – the only way in. Only those with the King’s permission can enter, coming and going, doing his bidding. Only one path leads to this entrance, a circuitous and narrow way. It is well protected by heavily armed and well trained guards, vigilant day and night as they patrol this path and surveil from its towers. One look at them would make anyone approaching think twice about his reasons for doing so! Unless of course his intention is to surrender himself in full to the King, to once and for all throw himself down before the mercies of the throne.
Spiritually speaking, King and Fortress and Refuge are one for such souls. The WAY to the fortress is through Jesus Christ alone, for any in need of God’s mercy, protection, and healing. Everything necessary is inside, for those who have greatly realized their need, having been assaulted by thieves and robbers (false teachers, the devil, the world system, and the flesh, and more – all adversaries of this fortress and those who seek refuge in Him).
Those who seek asylum in this refuge will never be turned away, for here we have Jesus’ own promise to such souls: “All whom the Father has given (entrusted) to Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out – I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me.” (John 6:37 AMPC)
Life may not seem like such a dwelling place. Even our churches – because of the culture which has assaulted and penetrated all too many of them – may no longer seem like places where it is conducive to finding a spiritual refuge, a place of quiet and reverence, where there is any sort of genuine sense of being “en-fortressed” by the Almighty.
Paradoxically this may have its purpose. Might it be in order for us to better redirect our orientation and intention toward a more prayerful and personal experience of our Lord God as refuge and fortress, in preparation for a time when the outer structures may not be as easily accessible? Or so that we may be as Mary of Bethany who sat at Jesus’ feet to learn of Him, to comprehend and apprehend Him as refuge and fortress – as the Holy Spirit, through His written Word, makes us increasingly aware that, through Christ alone by grace through faith, we now indwell Him and He indwells us? Could it be so that we become intimately acquainted with the Omnipotent yet personal One Who is not bound by walls made by man?
This is He Who “richly and daily supplies me with everything I need to support this body and life. He shields me from all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does out of pure fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.” (Luther’s Small Catechism)
Can it get any better than this?
So we can pray this verse in praise of Him in Whom we live, move, and have our being, You are my refuge! You are my fortress, my God in Whom I trust! All thanks and praise be to You alone for this magnificent reality given to me because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ Who purchased and won me to be Your own! Let me live continually, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, in the awareness of Your life transforming love for me. Amen.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” (Psalm 91:1 AMPC)
What might it mean to dwell in this “place”, the Presence of the One Who is the Person of God Himself? We can only come into this through our Lord Jesus Christ, as we continually trust in Him. We’re shown here that we remain “stable and fixed,” as we “dwell in” – abide, remain, stay put – through abiding faith / trust / confidence in our Lord!
This entire Psalm is chock full of many promises to those who love God and have been brought to faith in Christ. We should take this to heart, “For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20.) Therefore, this is a good Psalm to keep before us in these days of great instability and disinformation and obfuscation, to meditate on it, and to personalize it as a prayer – even commit it to heart.
Remember – We can take the cue from the very beginning – Psalm1:1,2 about where to fix our prayerful thoughts and attention: “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.”
The promise here in Psalm 91:1 is that no foe can withstand the power of Christ (to Whom is given all authority in heaven and on earth, per Matthew 28:18). Often the biggest foe is where we fix our attention. Will it be on this life’s concerns, or riches and wealth, the news, worries, or some other thing? Or instead might we “look up”?! “If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3) Realize that if your new life is hidden with Christ in God, then you can see that you dwell in that “secret place” spiritually, and these promises are yours!
Isn’t it worth knowing what they are? A daily verse by verse prayerful contemplation of Psalm 91 might be a very fruitful place to start, to make His promises your own, if you can see that you are God’s own in Christ Jesus!