I took a long walk today before the snow came; before our governor announced a stay-at-home advisory for the next few weeks. In this time of worldwide sickness and pervasive fear, it was good to get out of the house, to reflect on God’s beautiful creation, and to focus on Him.
As I walked, I listened to a beautiful worship song from Bethel Music called “The Blessing.” (Listen to it here.) This song was released just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and never has a song been more timely! The lyrics are scriptures which contain the priestly Aaronic blessing over Israel in Numbers 6:24:
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you
The Lord be gracious unto you
and give you peace.
Worship is key for me in times of trial; it feeds my spirit and strengthens my “inner man.” Just as a dear friend sent this song to me as a blessing, I encourage you to receive this song as God’s blessing over you as well. He is truly FOR YOU!
Most people turn to familiar scriptures in times like these: Psalm 23, Psalm 91, John 14, 2 Corinthians 4:3-10. We pray these scriptures and receive a measure of strength from them every time they are read.
Yet this morning as I prayed, I encountered Psalm 91 in an entirely different way.
THE SHADOW OF HIS WINGS
In the Spirit, I both saw and felt the hand of the Lord come and rest on me. His was a hand of comfort and power: firm yet gentle, whose strength I could not conquer, but whose purpose was to settle me as it rested upon me.
The Lord spoke and reminded me that He is my comforter. (See John 14) Any anxiety I had dissipated in His wonderful Presence, and I felt as if I could breathe deeply again.
After this, I became aware of a powerful manifestation of the Presence of God that began to increase and surround me completely as I sat quietly with Him.
I had the sensation of being thoroughly “wrapped” in the Presence of God, like a blanket surrounding me. This was not the type of glorious outpouring that would fill a room, but a very personal, powerful embrace around my body.
He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. -Psalm 91:4
I saw that glory was streaming down from heaven all around me as if I were caught in a funnel or a light-beam between heaven and earth. This radiant, golden glory brought deep rest to my spirit, soul, and body. It engulfed me in a stillness so thick that I did not move from His peaceful Presence for over an hour, I think.
Dear friends, I have never experienced such deep rest and peace like this before! Such a tremendous rest, even while I was fully awake... It was beyond description.
I then heard the Lord say that this was what it meant to live “under the shadow of His wings,” as in Psalm 91. He was allowing me to physically experience Psalm 91 as I encountered Him.
I felt as though I were hidden in the cleft of the Rock, completely wrapped up within His love and protection, safely inside of His Word, His love, and His power.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!” ~Psalm 91:1-2
Throughout this time, I was also aware of what seemed like an impenetrable fortress around me. I could see in the Spirit that while I myself was wrapped securely in His Presence, there was another “layer” or impermeable structure of some kind around me in the Spirit, which no enemy could penetrate. He became a shelter.
While I usually pray or write during my quiet times, there was no need or desire to write or speak; I was completely absorbed with Him.
I knew that I was completely hidden IN HIM; no one except the Lord Himself knew where I was at that moment. All the promises of Ephesians came alive in my spirit; IN HIM we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. IN HIM we are seated far above all rule and power and principalities. IN HIM we are safe.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. ~Psalm 91:5-6
Even as the weighty glory began to slowly and gradually lift, I was still totally saturated with His Presence, and He continued speaking to me. The sound of His voice is like no other!
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My Name. ~Psalm 91:14
Friends, God’s peace and protection are real and tangible in the Spirit. I believe the Lord allowed me to experience the reality of Psalm 91, in part, to share with you.
In times of trial, we need to know how very FOR US God is! It is so easy to doubt His love and question His protection. I know, because I have doubted, too.
Yet to be IN CHRIST, to dwell in the secret place of His Presence, is such a powerful place spiritually. No foe can snatch you from the kind of glory-covering He wraps around His beloved ones! Christ is the fullness of God incarnate, filling everything in every way.
As you walk through times of isolation, fear, sickness, and uncertainty, let the truths of Psalm 91 be your covering. Pray these verses over yourself, believing - as many in our military have - that they are very real places of peace and protection during life’s storms. I can assure you there is no better place to be!
I am praying for each of you and would love to hear from any readers who need specific prayers. Please contact me here.
God bless you!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.