by Gloria Copeland
The Bible is filled with accounts of supernatural protection for God’s people. It’s no problem for God to bring you out of a fiery furnace or shut the mouth of a lion. He has proven time and again He’s well able to get the job done no matter what the circumstances.
But God’s protection is not automatic. There are things you have to do in order for God to be your refuge. There are choices you have to make.
If you choose to live in sin, you probably won’t live a long and healthy life. If you choose to follow the devil, you will receive the same reward he does. And that’s not something you want.
Instead you desire to be like the person in Psalm 91. He has made the choice to dwell, or abide, in the secret place of the Most High. He makes his abode there in order to receive the protection that Psalm 91 promises. His dependence is on God. And he stays stable and fixed under God’s shadow by being obedient.
The good things of God—the blessings and deliverance from the curse—are only for the obedient. They are not for everybody.
The good things belong to those who do what God says—to those who seek Him.
That reminds me of something the Lord told me several years ago. He said, Separate yourself and you’ll be separated. When you do what you know is right, follow God and separate yourself from evil—you will be separated from evil.
Living on purpose in God is the only safe place to live.
You see, people who are obedient are the ones who will receive the promise of protection. Protection is for the resolute—those who have resolved to walk with God.
I have gleaned some great information about protection and seeking God from a set of books called the Tehillim. It is a special translation of the Psalms with commentaries by Jewish scholars. One commentary in the Tehillim says, “When a person is resolute [determined, sold out, dedicated, single-minded] in his faith and recognizes God’s Presence everywhere, he is protected from all sides.”
That shows just how powerful God’s promise of protection really is!
1. Choose to Speak by Faith
Another important thing to notice about Psalm 91 is that the writer speaks his faith. He declares, “I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!” (verse 2, The Amplified Bible).
Faith has to be in two places—in your heart and in your mouth. First you must agree in your head with what the Word says in order to get it into your heart. Then it has to be in your heart to such a degree that it overflows. That only comes by spending time seeking God and His Word. Then as Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).
Making God the One on whom you depend for your security has to get into your heart to come out of your mouth with power. You have to be able to say in faith, “He is my refuge and my fortress!” You have to trust God for your protection and say so!
When you dwell in the secret place, declare God is your refuge, and lean and rely on Him, this is the result:
For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day (Psalm 91:3-5, The Amplified Bible).
Notice when you know the truth and put your trust in God, “You shall not be afraid.” Fear has to go.
2. Choose to Research God
These are serious days. It’s no time to be sitting on the fence being double-minded. You must decide where you are going to dwell—where you are going to put your trust and dependence.
Your dependence is not going to be on God without spending time with Him and His Word, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. By spending time in the Word, you will become fully persuaded that God is faithful. Assurance comes in your heart that gives peace instead of fear.
It’s good to seek God first thing in the morning. You’ll find you are able to hear a lot in a short time. If for some reason you think you don’t have the time, then try watching less television so you can go to bed earlier and get up earlier. It will be well worth the effort.
Our responsibility in life is to seek God—always. The Hebrew word for seek (doresh) comes from a root word that means “to tread or frequent.” In Hebrew seek means “to ask, diligently inquire, require or search.”
Joshua 1:8 says to meditate in the Word day and night. That means apply it to yourself, think about it, say it.
Rabbi Isidor Zwirn, in his book The Rabbi From Burbank, explained that doresh could be translated “to research.” When I saw that, I thought, That is exactly what it takes to stay in the will of God, to grow in God and to get God involved in all your affairs. It is the best word to describe how we ought to live. We should always be researching God.
That’s what I do in my life.
That’s how I receive messages to preach. I don’t remember ever saying, “I have to preach at this place Sunday, so I’ll put together a sermon.” No, spending time with the Lord in His Word is a vital part of my normal life. As I do this I receive insight and understanding. The revealed Word gets into my heart and when I stand up to minister, it comes out.
We need to continually research the Word to know more about God and His way of doing things. We should always be researching God. Constant victory comes as we do this.
Remember what was necessary to write a term paper? Research! The more the research, the better the paper! I believe if we desire to experience the best in life, then we must spend time researching God.
3. Choose to Trust God’s Protection
David researched God. He knew he could put his trust in Him.
In Psalm 3:3 David said, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me….” The Tehillim reveals that when you look at David’s battle history, he did not find security in any armor or shield. He only found security in God.
This is one reason the six-pointed Star of David, also called the Shield of David, is associated with his life. In God, David saw himself “enveloped, invulnerable from every side”—north, south, east, west, above and below—all six directions. So the six-pointed symbol represents David’s true shield—God.
The Tehillim also says David often repeated this plea, “ ‘Protect me, O God, for in You I take refuge,’ until it enveloped and encircled him like a crown.”
The protection of God is a tangible force. The recognition of this tangible reality, the recognition of the power of God, the recognition of the protection of God “constitutes a dynamic force which fortifies those who possess it and protects them from evil.”
This concept is seen in the Word over and over when it talks about protection. When we walk with God, we are said to be encompassed, encircled, covered and overshadowed by His goodness and protection.
Psalm 25:12-13 in The Living Bible says, “Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within God’s circle of blessing….”
That is such good news!
When the enemy comes, we should be rejoicing because we have a refuge. Psalm 5:11-12 in The Amplified Bible says this:
But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous…as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).
Your circle of blessing goes with you wherever you go. It surrounds you and protects you when God is your refuge.
Psalm 27:1, 5 in The Amplified Bible says, “The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? In the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me….”
God surrounds you and hides you like a tent.
Ephesians 6:13-18 charges us to put on the whole armor of God. As one commentary points out, a shield only partially protects its wearer on three sides, while armor completely surrounds its wearer. The Hebrew word for armor implies circle. You’re completely covered!
Ephesians 6 lists the whole armor of God and verse 17 says, “And take…the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God” (The Amplified Bible).
Psalm 91:4 also says: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
I love what the Tehillim says about the Word: “Torah, which is God’s truth, is a shield and a weapon for those who study it. But casual Torah study is not sufficient.”
That goes back to the importance of researching the Word.
This commentator goes on to say, “The diligent student must treat Torah as precious merchandise.” That is what the Lord taught me to do. The Word is not a casual thing for me. I live by it. When I say that, I don’t mean that I just obey it. I stay alive by the Word of God.
In order for the truth of the Word to become your shield and buckler (armor), you must have more than just a knowledge of what the Word says. You could have the whole Bible memorized and still be living a totally defeated life. The Spirit of God has to reveal the truth to you for you to actually walk in that truth. It takes revelation from the Holy Spirit.
So start digging into the Word like precious treasure. Spend time studying the promises of protection, and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal them as truth in your own life.
Be diligent to declare that the Lord is your refuge.
When you determine to continually dwell in the secret place of the Most High, you will step into God’s circle of blessing and protection.
You can’t see your circle but it’s there. You may not be able to see your angels either, but when you truly walk with God, you never walk alone. You walk surrounded by His protection—above, below, north, south, east and west! See yourself in your divine armor.
Watch Kenneth Copeland speak on The Power of Psalm 91 for Protection and Healing.