Have I been abiding?

Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Refuge: Shelter or a place that protects from danger, distress, or calamity; a stronghold that protects by its strength; or a sanctuary that secures safety by its sacredness; any place inaccessible to an enemy.

How often have we recited Psalm 91, declaring it protection over our family and homes? My husband and I have declared it over our house but haven’t felt that protection lately.   

One morning this past week, I was reiterating the declaration based on Psalm 91:1-16

When our household abides under the shadow of El Shaddai, we are hidden under the strength of the most High God.

He’s the hope that holds my household and the stronghold for us. He’s the only God for us and our great confidence.

He will rescue this household from every hidden trap of the enemy. He will protect us from false accusations and any deadly curse.

Stopping here, I thought, I don’t feel that protection from accusations, Lord.

Suddenly, that first line was highlighted to me: when our household abides. I asked myself, have I been abiding? Thinking that I had, I decided to look up the scripture in the King James Version. Then, I look up the action words in this scripture.

Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Dwelleth/dwell: to abide as a permanent resident, or to inhabit for a time, to live in a place, to have a habitation for some time or permanence.

Abide: to be, or exist, to continue, to be, to dwell, rest, continue, stand firm, or be stationary indefinitely.

As I thought about it, I realized that I hadn’t abided under the shadow of the Almighty.

So, how do we abide under El Shaddai? As I pondered this, it doesn’t mean a physical place to stay, but it is our mental state.

After analyzing my mental state, I realized that my anxiousness and stress are due to my thoughts. Mental conversations I have allowed to take space in my mind affected my emotions and ultimately called me out of abiding in PEACE.

These thoughts have been very lofty, towering skyscrapers in a city that grew larger as I continued the one-way street, leading to more heartache. Instead of applying what I know to do: 2 Corinthians 10:4-6.

The New English Translation read this: “for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.

Who accuses? If you are familiar with the Bible’s texts, you would know that the accuser is satan. You would also know that our enemy isn’t people, per se. We find in Ephesians 6:10, the Passion Translation, that we fight against the evil strategies of the accuser. Our hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms.  

As I have said several times in my writings, when we act in a way that is not our everyday behavior, out of character, we need to pull back and see what string the enemy (puppetmaster) has snared us with.  

He uses many different stings of offense, fear, bitterness, jealousy, pride, and so on.

In this particular situation, I can now see that it wasn’t just one string of offense but multiple strings: fear, pride, and assumption. Pulling one after the other, it wasn’t long before I felt exhausted.

My lofty thoughts and assumptions rose above what I have learned in scripture. My flesh wanted vindication, and my heart had turned dark and cold. My flesh wanted to speak, and I could hear the Holy Spirit tell me to stop every time I started. However, I choose to continue talking about this situation to others.

Luckily, the Father kept me from lashing out at the person I was most upset with, which would have complicated the situation.  

Taking the time to look at myself, I realized that the Lord wanted to take me from a place of immaturity to the fullness of maturity. He desires me to walk in total wholeness and free from offense, burdens, and lies to fully and ultimately love as He does.

I am a work in progress and not there yet.

Looking at myself, I realized what I needed to do and went before the Lord to show him my dark, cold heart. As I did, the fire of wrath within me started to die, and my body started to rest.

I could feel the pressure of carrying this offense lift off of me. But as I did, I felt exhausted and noticed that symptoms of infection were taking place in my body.

How can this sickness hit me so quickly, Lord? I asked Him. These words dropped in my heart: I kept telling you to let go of the offense. Your body is still healing, and it takes energy to heal. And you have chosen to use your energy to feed the offense, and your body is tired.

After more days under the refiner’s fire, I realized that my brilliantly created body had tried to communicate with me to rest for months. However, lies tied to my past and pride (mindsets) have kept me from hearing. I am so thankful for His mercy and grace given to me despite my ‘flesh.’        

My soul (mind, actions, emotions) has found peace this morning. I am okay because I am choosing to remember who I am and who HE is to me, my defender.

Walking through this, I know that it isn’t just seeing where I was wrong in my behavior and mindset but humbling myself and confessing my wrong to the Lord. Ask for forgiveness and cut those strings that the puppetmaster has used to alter my actions with The Blood-bought scissors. 

I type this all out, wanting to be honest and genuine with all of you. But to also ask, what about you?

Do you have thoughts and mental conversations that go against the Word of God? We should apply this question in all areas of our lives.

Answering that question requires us to be honest with ourselves and God. It takes stilling ourselves and not just identifying the wrong thinking or fleshy attitudes; we must ask God to forgive us. And we must be diligent not to get entangled in those “strings” again. 

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