He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
– Psalm 91:1
When I read this verse, I think about Elisabeth Elliot’s book talking about her husband, Jim Elliott and his other brothers in Christ, Nate Saint and Ed McCully and Peter Fleming and Roger Youderian, who were speared to death trying to reach a unreached people group with the gospel. Why would Elisabeth Elliot title a book about her martyred husband Shadow of the Almighty? If God was almighty, then why did her husband die?
Psalm 91:1 Is a Promise of Ultimate Deliverance
That is the secret that Elisabeth Elliot knew, Jim Elliot knew, that when you dwell in the shelter of the most high, it does not mean you will not face suffering or you will not face death. What it means is that you have shelter, that you have refuge from final and ultimate death, final and ultimate defeat, that when you are in the shelter of the most high and abiding in the shadow of the Almighty, you don’t even have to worry about death itself because it is gain.
This was Jim Elliot’s motto in life, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Oh, do you realize how freeing this is for every follower of Jesus, that we don’t ever have to be afraid of anything in this world, not even death in this world when we are dwelling in the shelter of the most high and we’re abiding in the shadow of the Almighty? Just look at your life today through that lens.
If you are trusting in Jesus, you are abiding in the shadow. You’re living in the shadow of the Almighty God, the God who has come to us and conquered sin and death for us, who has guaranteed our resurrection from the dead, who has granted us eternal life, that nothing in this world can ever take from us. What comfort. What refuge. Did you see why Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say to the Lord my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1 Challenges Us to Radical Trust in God
I don’t know what you might be tempted to fear today, to fear in your life, but I just want to encourage you based on Psalm 91. You have nothing to fear when you are dwelling in the shelter of the most high. When you are abiding in the shadow of the Almighty, you have nothing to fear in this world. Oh, God, we praise you as the Almighty. We praise you as the most high God. There is no one higher than you. Lord, there is no one greater than you. There is no one more powerful than you. You have all power, all authority, all might in all the universe. We praise you for your omnipotence. Oh, God, we praise you for your sovereignty over all things. God, we rest in you today. We find our shelter in you. We love abiding in your shadow.
God, I pray specifically over any or all fears we might have that people listening to this right now might have, God, that you would remove fear and that you would replace fear with faith in the Psalm 91:2, saying to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” God, I pray for each of us today that we would see our lives in the shadow of the Almighty, that we would realize we are dwelling, living at every moment in the shelter of the most high, God.
Praying for the Khasonke People
Oh, God, help us to live with humility and power that comes from the strength, hope, joy, peace, that nothing in this world can shake, that nothing in this world can take away from us. I know, God, we pray today that you would show your might on behalf of the Khasonke people of Senegal, it’s unreached people group, Muslim people group in Senegal and in other countries in West Africa. God, we pray that you would show your might to them, cause the gospel of salvation from sin and death to spread.
We pray to the Khasonke people of Senegal. God, we pray that churches we planted among the Khasonke people, we pray that you would bless Christians there, missionaries who are working there. Show your might on their behalf just as you did through Jim and Elisabeth Elliot and the others they worked alongside. And that tribe, it was reached with the gospel through their giving their lives, including those five men literally losing their lives, how you brought about salvation there. God, we pray that you bring about salvation among the Khasonke people of Senegal, that they might dwell in the shelter of you, the most high, God, that they might abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
God, we pray that for them even as we rest in this reality in our lives. Help us to live today in the shadow of the Almighty. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. I should add, if you’ve never read Shadow of the Almighty, I would highly encourage it. It’s one of my definitely top 10, maybe top five books that have impacted my life, just the story of Jim Elliot. I would highly encourage it, Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot about Jim Elliot.