“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.’“
Pain is hard, death is harder still. Jesus told his disciples in his last days on earth that they would have tribulation in this world, but that they could be of good cheer in light of this truth because he had overcome the world. The second Adam victoriously crushed Satan under the weight of the cross coupled with the stone that was rolled away from his grave on the 3rd day. In doing this Jesus conquered sin and death for everyone who will trust in him. But in doing this so much more happened as well. While he hanged on the cross the veil of the temple was torn in two and the way into the presence of God Almighty was opened for all who will come to him in faith, believing that he is.
This access opens more completely the shelter under the shadow of the wings of the Most High. David prays in confidence in Psalm 91 believing in the coming Messiah and thus knows he finds shelter in the presence of God. In the OT only the high priest actually ever went into the holy of holies where God’s presence fiercely burned between the cherubim over the mercy seat. But now the priesthood of all believers is on full display. No longer do believers need a priest or a pastor to be their intercessor and advocate before God. Oh, all of us need an intercessor and an advocate, don’t get me wrong. But Jesus perfectly fulfills those roles now. Jesus is the living way into the presence of the Father and all who enter do so in Jesus name and through faith in Jesus alone.
But what happens in the shelter of the Most High? Many things happen for the believer there. We find peace and rest. We find comfort in the midst of hardship and suffering. We find fellowship with God himself that is indescribable and unattainable in any other way. But back to my first sentence: pain is hard, death is harder still. I would submit that it is also in the shelter of God’s presence that we believers go to die. We go into God’s presence to die a thousand, no, a million deaths. In the shelter of God’s presence is where all of my lesser dreams go to die and God dreams come alive. In the shelter of the Most High is where all of my wants and wills perish, while the wants and will of God take on life and vibrancy. In the shelter of the Almighty is where my ‘self’ goes to be ground to ashes and dust and Christ is raised to sit on the throne of my heart. You get the picture. In the shelter of the Almighty is where I find renewed strength and fervency to trust God and live beyond my weak and pointless dreams for this life and am set and reset on living for what God dreams for me.
And what exactly does God dream for me? Well, in some ways that’s a day-by-day journey of discovery, BUT it always entails a higher degree of glory for the Savior and Lord to whom I’ve surrendered my life. Jesus will always be at the heart and center of God’s dreams for me and for you. But if you truly want to dream bigger, better, higher, more glorious dreams you’ve got to dare to enter into the shelter of the Most High and…….DIE to lesser things…DIE to lesser dreams. Will you? Will I? It won’t be painless. It won’t be easy. It will be worth it.
A Prayer to Pray:
Oh merciful Father, what a shelter you are! A shelter of rest. A shelter of peace. A shelter of comfort. A shelter of new and greater and higher dreams. Father, thank you for sending your holy Son, Jesus to be crucified and risen again in order that a new and living way into your presence would be opened for all who come through faith in his name. I come today in the precious name of my wonderful and matchless Savior and I humbly ask that in the shelter of your presence you will slay every lesser dream that lives in me and constantly bring to life the higher dreams of your heart for me, for my family, for your church, and for this world. Bring to life in my heart the dreams for the glory of Jesus through the spread of the gospel and new life born alive in the souls of people.
Lord Jesus, thank you for laying down your life and becoming my intercessor and my advocate, for making a new and living way into the shadow of the Most Holy. Thank you that all of the riches of glory are found in you and that today and every day, I am in you and you are in me and therefore I lack nothing. Lord, crucify the flesh in me, which is still prone to wander, and help me to appropriate every weapon you’ve supplied and to wield it with skill in the battle against sin waged on the turf of my heart.
Holy Spirit, you are an ever present and active agent at work in my life. You bring power and clarity and guidance and focus to me in the midst of my weakness, confusion, foolishness, and folly. I cannot fight without your active presence, without being foolish, without fighting in the futility of my own mind. Help my heart to be in humble submission today and always. I am a prideful man and O how I need to put off that pride and put on the humility of Jesus. Spirit, I cannot do this without you. I humbly submit today.
Lord, slay every dream that I dream that is not your dream and bring to life your high and holy calling in my heart. I dwell in the shelter of the Most High and I abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I trust you Lord. Where else could I run for refuge but in the God whom I trust. Amen!
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