Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 91:1’

The secret place is our hiding place

August 1, 2017

Psalm 119--114

In Psalm 119:114 (AMP) we find the Verse of the Day for August 1, 2017:

You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word…

The verse is rendered thusly in the New Living Translation:

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.

Another expression of this place of intimacy is the term “secret place” which is most notably used in the Book of Psalms. While the term generally refers to a physical location, it most often expresses a state of an intimate relationship with God. Verse 5 of my favorite Psalm puts it this way in the New King James:

Psalm 27:5

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 31:20 reiterates the same message in the New King James:

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

“The secret place” is a place of intimacy, the place of sublime fellowship of the highest degree. Where do we find this connection with the Father?  In “the secret place”–in the most holy place–“the holy of holies”–where the presence of God abides–God’s habitation, God’s dwelling place.” The lyrics to a love song by Oleta Adams also reveal God‘s desire for us to meet Him in “the secret place”: “. . . I don’t care how you get there, get there if you can. .  .” Where is ‘there’?  ‘There’ is the secret place.” Most amazingly, “You can get there from here.”

We recognize that “the secret place” is precisely that–a place that is secret–between you and God. The secret place is not the marketplace, not the workplace.  Secrets are revealed in “the secret place”–no strangers can enter “the secret place.” Psalm 91:1 in the Amplified Bible reminds us

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].

This verse also brings to mind a teaching entitled “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” the inspiration for the following which uses Psalm 91:1 in the New King James Version as its introductory verse.

 Our Dwelling Transformed

  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

  Psalm 91:1

 

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

We continue to learn that everything has its own price.

As we pursue the ultimate goal, we offer our lives

Of service presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, we prepare our dwelling place.

To attract you, Lord, we provide a pleasing ambiance:

Our songs of love flow from the depths of our inner space,

A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.

Our desire is to please you in all we say and do,

As we are transformed by the renewing of our mind,

Striving to understand that You alone make all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

Our dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As we offer all that we are and ever hope to be.

This entire discussion brings great comfort and strength to remind us: “You are my hiding place,” offered by Selah:

In the midst of trying times that ever seek to hinder our progress, we conclude with this prayer:

As children run to safety in their father’s arms,

So we too, run to you, our shelter from life’s storms.

Lord, we long to dwell with you in the secret place,

Our buckler, our shield, deliverer, our fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to our prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish us

And protect us and deliver us from evil.

 

Secure and at rest in the shadow of the Almighty

June 21, 2017

               Psalm 91:1 expresses the deepest yearning of our heart.

Since 2007 a World Economic Forum survey of about 750 experts has identified some of the mostly likely threats confronting the world. In the initial years of the survey, economic risks dominated the responses, but for the past two years, geopolitical, environmental and societal threats have risen to the top, particularly the threat of “large terrorist attacks.” The overriding the threat of massive terrorist attacks preoccupies the mind of countless individuals across the globe. Despite these threats, as believers we are comforted and strengthened by the words of the Psalmist who reassures us that we should have no fear when we abide in the presence of God Almighty. The Verse of the Day for June 21, 2014 reinforces this message:

Psalm 91:1 (AMP):

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].

In light of the seemingly endless list of global crises that arise, the entire psalm is especially meaningful:

Psalm 91 (AMP)

Security of the One Who Trusts in the LORD.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].
2
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”
3
For He will save you from the trap of the fowler,
And from the deadly pestilence.
4
He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.
5
You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6
Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.
7
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But danger will not come near you.
8
You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].
9
Because you have made the LORD, [who is] my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
11
For He will command His angels in regard to you,
To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12
They will lift you up in their hands,
So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.
13
You will tread upon the lion and cobra;
The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14
“Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;
I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].
15
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And I will let him see My salvation.”

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind a teaching entitled “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and it inspired the following which uses Psalm 91:1 as its introductory verse.

Our Dwelling Transformed

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,
We continue to learn that everything has its own price.
As we pursue the ultimate goal, we offer our lives
Of service presented as a living sacrifice.
With clean hands and a pure heart, we prepare our dwelling place.
To attract you, Lord, we provide a pleasing ambiance:
Our songs of love flow from the depths of our inner space,
A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.
Our desire is to please you in all we say and do,
As we are transformed by the renewing of our mind,
Striving to understand that You alone make all things new.
As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find
Our dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,
As we offer all that we are and ever hope to be.

Esther Mui offers this moving Christian Scripture Praise Worship song based on Psalm 91:

God’s dwelling place

September 6, 2016

John 14--23

Verse of the Day for September 6, 2016 is taken from John 14:23 in the Message Bible:

“Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.

Here is the verse in the King James Version:

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Both translations include the conditional clause “if anyone” or “if any man,” followed by the verb “love.” If an individual loves Jesus Christ, he will adhere to the words that the Lord speaks. If those conditions are met, that individual who meets those conditions will be graced with the very presence of God, the Father and Jesus Christ, His son. John 14:23 establishes the conditions which, if met, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part.

As we continue to reflect upon the Verse of the Day, a parallel verse also comes to mind, as we begin to focus on Revelation 3:20 (Amplified Bible):

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.

A number of years ago I recall hearing a message “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and I was inspired to write the following poem:

A Dwelling Transformed

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 Psalm 91:1

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

We continue to learn that everything has its own price,

As we pursue the ultimate goal, a set apart life:

Joint heirs with Christ, presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, we prepare a dwelling place.

To attract the Lord, we provide a pleasing ambiance:

As our songs of love flow from the depths of our inner space,

Our habitation designed and arrayed for God’s entrance.

To walk by the spirit of life, we are driven to pursue.

We dance to brand new music, softly playing in our mind,

And strive to understand that God alone makes all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

A dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As we offer all that we are and ever hope to be.

The poem reflects the innermost desire of many fellow believers who are earnestly seeking to situate themselves to be in position for the next “move of God,” yearning for a fresh visitation from the Lord. While to bask in His glorious presence would bring with it unspeakable joy, the deepest yearning of our heart is to experience an unprecedented visitation that goes on without interruption, a move of God extending indefinitely.  Francis Frangipane reiterates this point, “Let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God.”  Indeed, we long to see times of visitation transformed into times of habitation.

Imagine this scenario—you have a good friend who sometimes comes by to visit. You would like to have that individual come by more often, so you prepare a special place for your friend to stay. In a similar way, the Shunamite woman and her husband prepared a special abode for Elijah, who visited them periodically. You know what your close acquaintance likes and doesn’t like, so you have what he/she likes, so you custom-design an appointed the place to suit your visitor.

It is no different with God. We endeavor to provide the perfect atmosphere, the ideal conditions that will welcome Him so that He shows up often and stays long. In fact, our ultimate desire is to turn a visitation into a habitation, but how is this accomplished?

When God makes visiting a habit, then visitation becomes habitation. God visits so often and enjoys Himself so much that His visits become more and more frequent, and He stays longer and longer until His visits are a habit, and He decides to abide. Our heart’s deepest yearning for intimacy is expressed in this poem:

Times of Visitation

As you once visited Abraham, our father,

and sent angelic hosts to reinforce your pledge,

in these times of barrenness and seeming defeat,

where are the times of visitation set for us?

We offer our hearts, places prepared for you to meet.

As you sojourn, may you find in our lives a place

so prepared for you to come with friendly intent

that on each occasion where you show up

that your ultimate purpose is most apparent.

As you clearly reveal your promise to fulfill

your will, receive our obedience as sacrifice,

and favor shall be our portion as faithful sons.

May you find us yielded vessels, clean and fitted

for the glory of your presence that you might pour

blessings without measure to overflow and flood

our souls, as we commune with you in perfect peace.

May we never squander times of visitation

but shut the door in face of the enemy,

as we open wide the portals of our spirit

and transform our hearts into your habitation.

Esther Mui offers a tender rendering of Psalm 91 with its reference to God’s dwelling place

He who dwells in the secret place

June 21, 2016

Psalm 91--1

The Verse of the Day for June 21, 2016 is taken from Psalm 91:1 (AMP):

[Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.] He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].

This Psalm of David in its entirety provides great comfort and strength in the midst of the chaotic times in which we presently live:

Psalm 91 (NKJV):

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler 
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

A number of years ago I recall hearing a message “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and I was inspired to write the following poem which uses Psalm 91:1 as its introductory verse.

My Dwelling Transformed

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

I continue to learn that everything has its own price,

As I pursue the ultimate goal, I offer my life:

A first-born son, presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, I prepare a dwelling place.

To attract You, I must provide a pleasing ambiance:

As your songs of love flow from the depths of my inner space,

A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.

To walk by the spirit of life I am driven to pursue.

I dance to my own music, softly playing in my mind,

And strive to understand that You alone make all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

My dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As I offer all that I am and ever hope to be.

Esther Mui offers a moving rendition of Psalm 91: My God, In Him I Will Trust:

A dwelling transformed

September 6, 2015

John-14 23

John 14:23 (NLT)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

The Verse of the Day for September 6, 2015 begins with the conditional clause “if a man,” followed by the verb “love.” “If an individual loves Jesus Christ, he will adhere to the words that the Lord speaks. If those conditions are met, that individual who meets those conditions will be graced with the very presence of God, the Father and Jesus Christ, His son. John 14:23 establishes the conditions which, if met, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part.

As I continued to reflect upon the Verse of the Day, a parallel verse also came to mind, as I began to focus on Revelation 3:20 (Amplified Bible):

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.

A number of years ago I recall hearing a message “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and I was inspired to write the following poem:

A Dwelling Transformed

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

 

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

We continue to learn that everything has its own price,

As we pursue the ultimate goal, a set apart life:

Joint heirs with Christ, presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, we prepare a dwelling place.

To attract the Lord, we provide a pleasing ambiance:

As our songs of love flow from the depths of our inner space,

Our habitation designed and arrayed for God’s entrance.

To walk by the spirit of life, we are driven to pursue.

We dance to brand new music, softly playing in our mind,

And strive to understand that God alone makes all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

A dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As we offer all that we are and ever hope to be.

The poem reflects the innermost desire of many fellow believers who are earnestly seeking to situate themselves to be in position for the next “move of God,” yearning for a fresh visitation from the Lord. While to bask in His glorious presence would bring with it unspeakable joy, the deepest yearning of our heart is to experience an unprecedented visitation that goes on without interruption, a move of God extending indefinitely. Francis Frangipane reiterates this point, “Let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God.” Indeed, we long to see times of visitation transformed into times of habitation.

Imagine this scenario—you have a good friend who sometimes comes by to visit. You would like to have that individual come by more often, so you prepare a place for your friend to stay. In a similar way, the Shunamite woman and her husband prepared a special abode for Elijah, who visited them periodically. You know what your close acquaintance likes and doesn’t like, so you have what he/she likes, so you custom-design an appointed the place to suit your visitor.

It is no different with God. We endeavor to provide the perfect atmosphere, the ideal conditions that will welcome Him so that He shows up often and stays long. In fact, our ultimate desire is to turn a visitation into a habitation, but how is this accomplished?

When God makes visiting a habit, then visitation becomes habitation. God visits so often and enjoys Himself so much that His visits become more and more frequent, and He stays longer and longer until His visits are a habit, and He decides to abide. Our heart’s deepest yearning for intimacy is expressed in this poem:

 

Times of Visitation

As you once visited Abraham, our father,

and sent angelic hosts to reinforce your pledge,

in these times of barrenness and seeming defeat,

where are the times of visitation set for us?

We offer our hearts, places prepared for you to meet.

As you sojourn, may you find in our lives a place

so prepared for you to come with friendly intent

that on each occasion where you show up

that your ultimate purpose is most apparent.

As you clearly reveal your promise to fulfill

your will, receive our obedience as sacrifice,

and favor shall be our portion as faithful sons.

May you find us yielded vessels, clean and fitted

for the glory of your presence that you might pour

blessings without measure to overflow and flood

our souls, as we commune with you in perfect peace.

May we never squander times of visitation

but shut the door in face of the enemy,

as we open wide the portals of our spirit

and transform our hearts into your habitation.

Esther Mui offers a tender rendering of Psalm 91 with its reference to God’s dwelling place.

The Secret Place: Place of intimacy

August 1, 2015

Psalm 119--114In Psalm 119:114 (NLT) we find the Verse of the Day for August 1, 2014:

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.

Here is the same verse in the King James Version:

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Another expression of this place of intimacy is the term “secret place” which is most notably used in the Book of Psalms. While the term generally refers to a physical location, it most often expresses a state of an intimate relationship with God. Verse 5 of my favorite Psalm puts it this way in the New King James:

Psalm 27:5

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 31:20 reiterates the same message in the New King James:

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

“The secret place” is a place of intimacy, the place of sublime fellowship of the highest degree. Where do we find this connection with the Father? In “the secret place”–in the most holy place–“the holy of holies”–where the presence of God abides–God’s habitation, God’s dwelling place.” The lyrics to a love song by Brenda Russell express God‘s desire for us to meet Him in “the secret place”: “. . . I don’t care how you get there, get there if you can. . .” Where is ‘there’? ‘There’ is the secret place.” Most amazingly, “You can get there from here.”

We recognize that “the secret place” is precisely that–a place that is secret–between you and God. The secret place is not the marketplace, not the workplace. Secrets are revealed in “the secret place”–no strangers can enter “the secret place.” Psalm 91:1 in the Amplified Bible reminds us

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].

When I think of this special place of intimacy with God, I recall a discussion regarding intimacy with God where Bible teacher, Graham Cooke, made a number of statements that arrested my attention:

“Every man who has walked powerfully with God has learned to deeply worship God.”

“The most important part of ministry is not in power but intimacy.”

“If you’re not walking in intimacy, you can walk into unconscious idolatry.”

“Intimacy is the most important part of your life.”

“If you only understood just how much God loves you and longs for intimacy.”

Psalm 27, a psalm of David, makes reference to intimacy with God, and the poem “Intimacy,” a Psalm of Lonnell, expresses a similar yearning:

Intimacy

You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me

from trouble; you shall compass me about

with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

Flood my blood with love and remove all fear.

Fulfill this yielded vessel, clothe me and

Draw me nearer, closer than breath or tear.

Share with me the intimacy you planned

For man to cherish and enjoy before

You fashioned earth or gave to man his form.

Whisper divine secrets hidden in store

Within your heart, my shelter from life’s storm.

Fill my ears with words of peace that shall bring

Forth my lifelong song in your melody

That I may vocalize your will and sing

In one accord, in perfect harmony.

More intimate than friend or kin or wife

Is close-knit love God weaves within my life.

This entire discussion brings to mind a song of great comfort and strength to remind us: “You are my hiding place,” offered by Selah:

 

Psalm 91:1–My dwelling transformed

June 21, 2014

Forestwander.com

The Verse of the Day for June 21, 2014 is taken from Psalm 91:1 (KJV):

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

A number of years ago I recall hearing a message “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and I was inspired to write the following poem which uses Psalm 91:1 as its introductory verse.

 My Dwelling Transformed

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

 

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

I continue to learn that everything has its own price,

As I pursue the ultimate goal, I offer my life:

A first-born son, presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, I prepare a dwelling place.

To attract You, I must provide a pleasing ambiance:

As your songs of love flow from the depths of my inner space,

A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.

To walk by the spirit of life I am driven to pursue.

I dance to my own music, softly playing in my mind,

And strive to understand that You alone make all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

My dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As I offer all that I am and ever hope to be.

 

After completing the poem, I thought of Yolanda Adams, who offers a version of the traditional hymn sung so often during my childhood and beyond, as she asks, “Is Your All on the Altar?”

Many fellow believers are earnestly seeking to situate themselves to be in position for the next “move of God,” yearning for a fresh visitation from the Lord. While to bask in His glorious presence would bring with it unspeakable joy, the innermost yearning of my heart is to experience an unprecedented visitation that goes on without interruption, a move of God extending indefinitely. Francis Frangipane reiterates this point, “Let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God.” Three years ago while driving about town, I noticed a billboard on a neighborhood church with this message: “2011: Make this a year of transformation.” Even though three years have passed, the exhortation applies to the current year and to every year for that matter. The poem “My Dwelling Transformed” expresses my desire to see times of visitation transformed into times of habitation.

Imagine this scenario—You have a good friend who sometimes comes by to visit. You would like to have that individual come by more often, so you prepare a place for them to stay when they’re in town. In a similar way, the Shunamite woman and her husband prepared a special abode for Elijah, who visited them periodically. You know what your close acquaintance likes and doesn’t like, so you have what he/she likes, so you custom-design and appointed the place to suit your visitor.

It is no different with God. We endeavor to provide the perfect atmosphere, the ideal conditions that will welcome Him so that He shows up often and stays long. In fact, our ultimate desire is to turn a visitation into a habitation, but how is this accomplished?

When God makes visiting a habit, then visitation becomes habitation. God visits so often and enjoys Himself so much that His visits become more and more frequent, and He stays longer and longer until His visits are a habit, and He decides to abide. Our heart’s deepest yearning for intimacy is expressed in this poem:

Times of Visitation

As you once visited Abraham, our father,

and sent angelic hosts to reinforce your pledge,

in these times of barrenness and seeming defeat,

where are the times of visitation set for us?

We offer our heart, a place prepared for you to meet.

As you sojourn, may you find in our lives a place

so prepared for you to come with friendly intent

that on each occasion where you show up

that your ultimate purpose is most apparent.

As you clearly reveal your promise to fulfill

your will, receive our obedience as sacrifice,

and favor shall be our portion as faithful sons.

 

May you find us yielded vessels, clean and fitted

for the glory of your presence that you might pour

blessings without measure to overflow and flood

our soul, as we commune with you in perfect peace.

May we never squander times of visitation

but shut the door in face of the enemy,

as we open wide the portals of our spirit

and transform our heart into your habitation.

 

As I concluded these comments, the lyrics from a cherished hymn from childhood days and beyond came to mind:

Abide With Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Abide, O Lord, abide with me.

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge provide a stirring rendition of this hymn which is the musical expression of our heart’s desire:

“My Dwelling Transformed”: He who dwells. . .

January 18, 2011

Psalm 91:1 expresses the deepest yearning of my heart.

After reviewing my notes from last Sunday’s message at church entitled “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” I was inspired to write to following poem:

                  My Dwelling Transformed

   He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

                            Psalm 91:1

 

Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,

I continue to learn that everything has its own price,

As I pursue the ultimate goal, I offer my life:

A first-born son, presented as a living sacrifice.

With clean hands and a pure heart, I prepare a dwelling place.

To attract You, I must provide a pleasing ambiance:

As your songs of love flow from the depths of my inner space,

A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.

To walk by the spirit of life I am driven to pursue.

I dance to my own music, softly playing in my mind,

And strive to understand that You alone make all things new.

As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find

My dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,

As I offer all that I am and ever hope to be.

Don Moen leads this praise and worship rendition of “I Surrender All” to remind me of such a commitment to God.

Many fellow believer are earnestly seeking to situate themselves to be in position for the next “move of God,” yearning for a fresh visitation from the Lord. While to bask in His glorious presence would bring with it unspeakable joy, the innermost yearning of my heart is to experience an unprecedented visitation that goes on without interruption, a move of God extending indefinitely.  Francis Frangipane reiterates this point, “Let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God.”  Today in traveling about town, I noticed a billboard on a neighborhood church with this message: “2011: Make this a year of transformation.” The poem “My Dwelling Transformed” expresses my desire to see times of visitation transformed into times of habitation.

Imagine this scenario—You have a good friend who sometimes comes by to visit. You would like to have that individual come by more often, so you prepare a place for them to stay when they’re in town. In a similar way, the Shunamite woman and her husband prepared a special abode for Elijah, who visited them periodically. You know what your close acquaintance likes and doesn’t like, so you have what he/she likes, place is custom-designed and appointed to suit your visitor.

It is no different with God. We endeavor to provide the perfect atmosphere, the ideal conditions that will welcome Him so that He shows up often and stays long. In fact, our ultimate desire is to turn a visitation into a habitation, but how is this accomplished?

When God makes visiting a habit, then visitation becomes habitation. God visits so often and enjoys Himself so much that His visits become more and more frequent, and He stays longer and longer until His visits are a habit, and He decides to abide. Our heart’s deepest yearning for intimacy is expressed in this poem:

         Times of Visitation

As you once visited Abraham, our father,

and sent angelic hosts to reinforce your pledge,

in these times of barrenness and seeming defeat,

where are the times of visitation set for us?

We offer our heart, a place prepared for you to meet.

As you sojourn, may you find in our lives a place

so prepared for you to come with friendly intent

that on each occasion where you show up

that your ultimate purpose is most apparent.

As you clearly reveal your promise to fulfill

your will, receive our obedience as sacrifice,

and favor shall be our portion as faithful sons.

May you find us yielded vessels, clean and fitted

for the glory of your presence that you might pour

blessings without measure to overflow and flood

our soul, as we commune with you in perfect peace.

May we never squander times of visitation

but shut the door in face of the enemy,

as we open wide the portals of our spirit

and transform our heart into your habitation.

As I concluded these comments, the lyrics from a cherished hymn from childhood days and beyond came to mind:

Abide With Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Abide, O Lord, abide with me.

I discovered this moving rendition of the familiar hymn by the Antrim Mennonite Choir with beautiful accompanying photos.

To abide means to remain, to stay, to take up residence, to dwell