I Am Covered



"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler."

-Psalms 91:1-4

I am a new mom. And, with being a new mom come new worries. Things I never even thought twice about before are now big issues to consider. Life is larger now, and life is scarier. I have been plagued with these worries and fears since last fall. One Thursday evening, as I was preparing another Friday morning Psalm study for the blog, I was particularly consumed with worry about the unknowns in life, which now included this new little creature. In His loving and gentle way, God brought to my mind Psalms 91, a psalm of protection. Psalm 91 is not a promise that nothing bad will ever befall us, but it is a promise of God's presence through everything we encounter. Since that night, God has continued to remind me in big and small ways that He is protecting me and my child - that, as a believer in Christ, He covers me.

Covering someone is such a beautiful image of unconditional love, compassion and sacrifice. To cover (cakak) means "to hedge, fence about, to block, overshadow, to lay over, to entwine as a screen, to protect, to join together, to defend" (Strong's H5526). Think of God's covering in terms of the shell of an animal. The shell (God's presence) protects the animal (believers) from attacks and harmful substances so that the animal can continue to move forward in life. The shell takes the beating of life, absorbs the punches. This is how God's presence acts for Christians. The shell doesn't remove the actual danger or harmful substance, but it guards the animal against it so that it can continue through life unharmed. This same word - cakak - is used by David again in Psalms 139, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb" (emphasis added). As a baby is completely enveloped and protected in the mother's womb and body, so God completely envelopes and protects us. As the baby is completely surrounded by amniotic fluid to cushion any outside blows or falls, so God cushions us from the blows of life and times when we are weary and fall under pressure or temptation. He is simultaneously our defense and safe place.

As Christians, we are promised God's covering, but we oftentimes don't operate out of this place of refuge. Worry, fear and anxiety overwhelm us. Satan assaults our mind with these subtle attacks. He knows just when to trigger a fear or anxiety that we may wrestle with and that will leave us hopeless, helpless and defeated. Much of our struggles in life are a battle of the mind. If Satan can obtain a foothold in our minds, our thinking will determine our outlooks, beliefs, words, actions and habits. This is why Proverbs 4 says to guard our hearts (minds/wills/emotions) above all else because this is the battleground. Let's look at three ways we can protect our minds and walk in the refuge of God's covering.

 

1) Fix Our Eyes on Jesus

If Satan can get us to take our eyes off of Jesus, he knows we can't stand long on our own. We are instructed to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus if we want to run the race of life well (Hebrews 12:1-3). An athlete is always trained to keep his eyes on the goal, the prize. If he gets distracted and takes his eyes off the goal, he may trip up and never win the victory. Our goal is Jesus and eternity in heaven with Him. Let's strive toward that goal and fix our eyes and thoughts on Jesus. When we filter everything through Jesus and begin to see life through His eyes, we will see there is nothing to fear and no reason to be worried or anxious.

2) Rebuke Satan

When Satan assaults our minds, threatening to steal our hope and joy, let's fight back. Let's not be so easily knocked over and defeated. How do we fight back? The same way Jesus fought back when He was tempted in the desert - with the Word of God (Matthew 4). The Word of God is described as the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17). It is a weapon; use it. It is our job to fill our minds with Scripture that will combat and foil Satan's schemes. When a thought enters our minds that is not in accordance with God's Word, we need to take it captive and replace it with Scripture (2 Corinthians 10:5). Scripture memorization is key here. If we can memorize song lyrics and movie quotes and other things that are important to us, then we can memorize God's Word. No excuses!

3) Abide in Jesus

I love the word abide, such rich imagery. Webster defines it as "to remain continually, to endure, to remain steadfast and faithful." The Holy Spirit dwells inside every believer, but not every believer abides with Jesus. Let's take an unhappy marriage, for example. The two spouses live together under the same roof and have vowed to never leave one another. They dwell together, but if they don't talk and communicate then there is no intimacy, joy or freedom in that relationship. Every healthy and thriving relationship requires communication with the other person. Without this vital component, the relationship will grow stale and practically nonexistent. The same is true of our walk with Jesus. He dwells in us because His Word promises that when we believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior, He lives inside us (John 14:23). He will never leave or forsake us (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, John 10:28-30, Hebrews 13:5). Jesus has done what He has promised and it is our part to choose to abide in Him continually. How do we do this? Through reading His Word and praying. His Word is His love letter to us, full of promises and encouragement for our spiritual walk and well-being. Read the user manual! Prayer is a two-way line of communication. Petitioning God with our requests and pouring out our hearts to Him in brokenness is one part of prayer. The other part of prayer is being still and listening to His voice. Relationships in which one person dominates the conversation are not life-giving. This is a huge area in which God has been challenging me for a while, both in my spiritual walk with Him and in my relationships with other people. Still a work in progress....

 

God is still teaching me so much regarding His covering, and I am still in awe of how He constantly reminds me of His presence, His grace, His love, and His covering. My church recently released a new cd called Songs of the People, and there is a phenomenal song called You Cover Me that I know will encourage you and bring you to your knees (available on iTunes).

Thank God that He covers over us to protect us and provide a refuge for our souls. He is our defense and our safe place. Rest in Him today - you are covered.

#Godspresence #newmom #worry #fear #anxiety

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