How to Receive God’s Promised Protection — Psalms 91

Psalms 91 reveals what believers in the Lord need to do to receive and remain under His protection. Does this mean nothing “bad” will ever happen to believers? No. But we do know that all things that will ever happen to believers will work for their good and the good of others (see Romans 8:28-30).

We also know how Jesus and the first apostles and many true Christians who have followed them have suffered and died for Jesus and their faith in Him. Looking back upon their lives, we know that they suffered physically, but those who followed Jesus did not die—Jesus came for them and they left their physical bodies behind and they went to live with Jesus, their resurrected Lord and Savior. In John 14:3, Jesus promised His followers, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Someday, believers in Jesus will receive resurrected and glorified bodies and live upon a new earth. The good news of Jesus is good news for us too, if we follow Him.

Remembering all the truths listed above, it is also true that in this world the followers of Jesus will be saved from many dangers. Throughout history, some have been miraculously saved from all the dangers listed in Psalm 91. Jesus still saves many from accidents, diseases, and physical death at times. Many will live a longer life because they are now a new creation through faith in Jesus: Jesus has changed the direction of their lives.

Let’s look at six things we can do to receive the assurance of God’s protection every day of our lives here and hereafter.

First (Psalms 91:1), we need to live and abide in God’s shelter and under His covering. To “abide” means we need to “remain” under the care and protection of Jesus Christ. Jesus offered this care and protection to the residents of Jerusalem. In Matthew 23:37, Jesus declared, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Because they were unwilling to come and remain under the protection of Jesus, their city and temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The devil tempted Jesus to step outside His Father’s protection when he tempted Jesus to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple; and then when he tempted Jesus to bow down and worship him, but Jesus followed the Bible’s teachings and His Father’s commands and refused to step outside of His Father’s protection. Later, Jesus willingly gave up His life to obey His Father and to save us from our sins; then, Jesus defeated the devil, conquered death, and rose from the dead. We need to be careful that we do not make wrong choices or begin a rebellious pattern of life and step outside the Lord’s protection.

Second (Psalms 91:2), we need to trust in God. As Psalm 91 recounts, we will face many dangers in this life, but in the face of them all, we need to keep trusting God and His promises and pray that the Lord will help us remain under His protection. The Lord Jesus will never forsake us. We can trust Jesus to help us stay within His sheepfold and not wander away from Him.

Third (Psalms 91:9), we need to make the Lord our refuge, safe haven, shelter, dwelling-place, and sanctuary. If a dubious or dangerous situation appears before us or sneaks up behind us, we need to run to Jesus for help and protection. If we are living and abiding in God’s shelter and under His covering, we do not have far to run, because we are already within the refuge the Lord has provided. Still, the Lord wants us to remain in communication with Him as we read the Bible to hear from Him and pray to tell Him our concerns and needs. In some situations, we will find ourselves in almost constant prayer for the Lord to give us the spiritual resources we need to persevere in our faith in Him and bear a good witness as did (and do) His disciples.

Fourth (Psalms 91:14), we need to love the Lord and hold fast to the Lord in love. We need to love the Lord Jesus more than ourselves, more than our lives, more than anyone or anything else. We hold fast to the Lord in love when we obey His commandments. In John 15:10, Jesus promised, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.” When we obey Jesus’ commandments, we are less likely to walk into and find ourselves in places of spiritual danger and/or sometimes physical danger.

Fifth (Psalms 91:14), we need to know His Name. The Name Jesus means Savior. We need to know Jesus as our Savior. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the King. We need to know Jesus as our King, and also the King of kings and Lord of lords, who has the purpose, the power, and the presence to help us through any difficulty and danger—especially every spiritual danger. We need to not only know His Name, but we also need to know Jesus personally. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus preached, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” In Matthew 7:23, we learn from Jesus that He will tell the workers of lawlessness, “'I never knew you; depart from me”

Sixth (Psalms 91:15), we need to call on the Lord or pray at all times. If we call on the Lord, He has promised to answer us. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent, self-satisfied, or self-righteous, and forget our total dependence on the Lord for all things in every situation. We need to live as people of prayer so we will know Him and know what we can expect from Him in times of trouble and trial.

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