One of the themes that is repeated throughout the Bible is God’s longing to shelter us. God knows that this world is filled with evil and danger for all who are outside of God’s protection. Hear the heart of God in the words of Jesus:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)
God loves you and if you have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then you are under His protection. However that protection is not always guaranteed. Psalm 91 teaches us that we have a part to play:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. … And under His wings you shall take refuge; (Psalm 91:1 – 4)
‘He who dwells in the secret place…’ What does that mean? Jesus speaks about it differently when He says ‘Abide in me and I in you.’ So I quickly want to suggest three ways that we abide in Jesus.
- The first is simple, simple to say anyway, if we want to abide in Jesus and therefore be sheltered, we need to keep ourselves pure, don’t sin.
- The second and third way possibly need a Biblical explanation. Abiding in Jesus is to follow only Jesus and go only where He leads you. Remember the Golden Calf incident in the wilderness. After the sin of the people, God told Moses He’d get them to the promised land but wouldn’t go with them, and Moses said, unless you go with us do not send us out from here. Abiding is like that. Only go when God goes with you. Abiding in Jesus is to follow Him and His ways and stay on the path.
- Thirdly we must not test God. Jesus was the example here. Satan tempted Jesus, and even used scripture to try and tempt Jesus to glorify Himself before people. But Jesus refused to do this, declaring it would be putting God to the test. There are many things on offer to us that seem good and right and might even seem Biblical. How can we tell the difference? By examining our heart. What is my motive, to glorify myself, or to glorify Jesus.
Abide in Jesus: keeping ourselves pure, following God faithfully, having a heart to glorify only Jesus. These things will keep us in the shelter of the Most High God who is our strength and our refuge.