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The Shelter of the Most High June 4, 2007

Posted by Joe in Scripture Meditation.
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Lar,
I was reading Psalm 91 this morning. Great stuff of course (particularly considering it is in the Bible!). Anyhow, I wanted to share my notes on the first part of verse 1. It stirred my heart. I pray it does the same for others. Here it goes….

What does it mean to dwell in the shelter of the Most High? Spurgeon puts it wonderfully when he says,

“The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercyseat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercyseat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; they are the courtiers of the Great King, the valiant men who keep watch around the bed of Solomon, the virgin souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Elect out of the elect, they have “attained unto the first three”, and shall walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy. Sitting down in the august presence chamber where shines the mystic light of the Sheckinah, they know what it is to be raised up together, and to be made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies, and of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace like theirs brings with it special immunity. Outer court worshippers little know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. Those who are the Lord’s constant guests shall find that he will never suffer any to be injured within his gates; he has eaten the covenant salt with them, and is pledged for their protection.“

The distinction between the outer courts and The Most Holy Place is vital. For it is true that though one might be in the temple, so to speak, one might still be missing out on the presence of God and thus, the benefits that come from abiding in His presence. It is the call of every Christian to enter into the presence of the Lord. Yet most shy away! Maybe in America today, a primary reason for our fear is our great enslavement to comfort and ease. For deep down we know that if we are to press on into the Most Holy Place, we are bound to become very uncomfortable. We realize it, whether we say it or not, that if we are to truly encounter the Lord of glory, we will be like John who when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet as though dead (Rev. 1). And we don’t want that. We value our comfort more than our walk with God. Sounds harsh, but the truth usually sounds harsh to our flesh.

We are desperate today for a people who will not be content to run around the outer courts of the temple. For it is as if we as a church are busy running around the outer courts convincing ourselves that we have really entered into the presence of God. Some leaders must arise–leaders who, above all other considerations, value and enjoy close fellowship with God, leaders who refuse to settle for anything less than life inside the Most Holy Place. The veil has been torn in two. Jesus has opened the way by the bruising and breaking of His flesh. So how can we dance outside the Most Holy Place and pretend as if we have all that God wants us to enjoy? We must press in. We must pursue. We must not rest until we taste His presence. And this we must seek to do every single day. Every single morning. Indeed, we must seek to make this pursuit the central focus of our lives.

To some it might sound selfish, but that is surely not the case, for it is those who enter in behind the veil, those who dwell in the secret place of the Almighty that enjoy His sweet protection and manifest His sweet and convicting presence to the world. Only they bear the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ. And no matter who we are or what we do, this is our greatest need–the knowledge of Him. And only if this need is met can we powerfully lead others into the experience of the same.

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