Psalm 91 is a remarkable comfort to anyone that struggles with fear. Believers should walk in total victory, filled with faith. And faith comes from continually hearing the Word of God. Take this Psalm and read it often. Affirm the truths of Psalm 91 daily as a personal guarantee from God for your safety and deliverance from anything the enemy throws at you.
Believers should not be thrown about, and always victims. They should be, as Paul declares, rescued from every evil attack (2 Timothy 4:18). This assurance is confirmed by every line in Psalm 91.
Don’t read Psalm 91 and think you know it. Read it in several translations. Meditate on every truth. Take it personally as God speaking directly to you.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. (Psalm 91:1 AMP)
The word translated “dwell” is rendered in several ways in the NASB including: married, settled, living, and sitting. I like the use of the marriage analogy the best. In a strong and committed marriage, love is always increasing. As two people become more acquainted with each other, they share the same thoughts and understand each other better. Nothing can break that kind of covenant relationship. No enemy could step in and call your spouse a liar, or a thief, because you would know better. In the same manner, you can have complete confidence in God’s Word and grow to love and trust Him to the point that no symptom, no report, no lie of the devil would move you. The enemy could not touch you because you are “fixed and stable under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Jesus called himself the vine, and Believers the branches, meaning an even stronger covenant relationship exists now with your Heavenly Father through Jesus, than existed before his resurrection. You have the Holy Spirit dwelling IN you! But just like any relationship, you must spend time together. If you really want to dwell in that secret place, read, study, and speak the Word. Pray, believe, and receive. Listen for God’s still small voice and follow His direction. Develop an unshakeable trust with the Almighty, your Heavenly Father.
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! (Psalm 91:2 KJV)
I will SAY. Note the importance of speaking or affirming God’s Word. Faith comes from hearing the Word. There is nothing to gain, and a lot to lose, by confessing your fears, worry, complaining, or speaking idle words that produce nothing. Speak God’s Word which is Truth and Life. Plant His incorruptible seed into your heart and renew your mind with His Word. God told Joshua to meditate on the Word night and day and he would be successful and prosperous in all he did (Joshua 1:8). That is the principle here. By continually reminding yourself that “God is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” you will prepare yourself for when temptation comes, or anything that contradicts God’s many promises.
Don’t read this verse, as I did for many years, as simply a nice literary device. God is telling you, “Fear Not! Speak the Truth – My Word IS Truth!” Use the Word as Jesus did during Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. The devil is the father of lies and there is no truth in him. You counter him, and the fear he sows, with God’s Truth. You do this by frequently, and confidently affirming God’s Word. This will build your foundation firmly on the Rock (Jesus), and keep you under the shadow of the Almighty.
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3 NIV)
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:4 NLT)
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 91:5 AMP)
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. (Psalm 91:6 NLT)
Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. (Psalm 91:7 HCSB)
Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked. (Psalm 91:8 AMP)
The first two verses of Psalm 91 lay the foundation for the promise, dwelling in God’s presence and continually confessing your trust in His love and protection. Now notice that the tone of the Psalm changes. The writer now lays out the benefits of placing yourself under God’s protection.
He will deliver you from demonic traps and plagues. His Word (Truth) and faithfulness will be like a shield and a buckler (see also Ephesians 6:10-18 for the NT explanation of your armor). Day or night you are protected from all the enemies’ fiery darts. Not even death can penetrate the protection provided by the blood of Jesus (see also Exodus 12 and Hebrews 13:20-21).
You don’t measure God’s promises by experience, tradition, or observation. You look to the Word and believe and act on His promises. Is it so hard to believe that the Creator of the Universe, your Heavenly Father, the Almighty God, could protect you and guide you? All Believers should only be a spectator to anything evil that comes near, and rejoice as all of the devil’s attacks turn towards your favor. You are more than a conqueror (meaning you enjoy the spoils of victory without taking part in the battle won by Jesus), and you are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority (John 16:33, Romans 8:37, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 2:10).
As a fan of military history, I enjoy the testimonies of men and women of faith in combat. Alvin York was one such man who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during WW1. A devout Christian and a very humble man, York told the commanding officer after the action that earned him such a high honor,
“Sir, it is not man power. A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do.”
During the battle, German machine gunners and soldiers continuously fired at York to no avail. As he reluctantly picked off German soldiers, he continually asked them to surrender to cease the bloodshed. When they finally gave up, York had captured 132 German soldiers and saved his unit from complete annihilation. When you read a story like that, its not so hard to believe the remarkable Biblical victories won by Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Deborah, Jonathan, David, and so many others. A person in a blood covenant with God is invincible. Believers have that through the blood of Jesus.
God did not randomly select York for protection – He does not play favorites. Alvin York was man with God-given talent for shooting, a strong character built by hard work and living according to God’s Word, even to the point of debating with his officers the morality of war for a Christian. Content that a Christian could fight, he did it honorably, with courage, and filled with faith that God would protect him.
And if the first 8 verses of Psalm 91 weren’t enough, here is another short summary of the previous verses. IF the Lord is your dwelling place, NO evil, NO plague, and NO calamity will come near you. A companion to this verse is Proverbs 12:21, No harm befalls the righteous. Righteous means in right standing with God. If Jesus is your Lord, you have been made righteous by faith in him! (Romans 5)
People question why some Christians suffer, and of course Job is given as an example. God prospered Job IMMENSELY. He is described in Job 1 as being blameless, a man of integrity, having a reverential awe of God (fear – which is a poor translation based on modern use of that word), and that he avoided evil. Doesn’t that sound like someone that is dwelling in the secret place? So far, so good for Job.
Satan’s complaint was that God had placed a hedge of protection around Job and prospered everything he did (Job 1:10) – that also sounds like someone dwelling in the secret place. And then comes some of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Satan tells God to remove the hedge, and Job would reject Him. God did NOT remove that wall of protection. It was Job that brought that hedge down. How? Fear, worry, and unbelief (Job 3:25-26, see also Ecclesiastes 10:8). Job brought down the hedge and allowed the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and only the mercy of God prevented the devil from taking his life (Job 2:6). Job was making sacrifices constantly in fear, afraid of the very things that Satan brought upon him. Fear is the opposite of faith, and its a dangerous spiritual force that opens the door for the enemy.
After a couple chapters of foolish talk, Job has a brief flash of wisdom in Job 6:23-24 – “Deliver me from the enemy’s hand… teach me to hold my tongue.” Its a revelation that winds its way throughout the Bible – as a human born on this planet, made in the image of God (a speaking Spirit), and with the freedom to choose your own words – life and death (Blessing & cursing) are controlled by what you say (Deuteronomy 30:11-20, Proverbs 12:13, 13:2-3, 18:21, 21:23, Matthew 12:34-37, 17:20, 21:21, Mark 11:23 – just to list a few). Now, the importance of Psalm 91:2 becomes even clearer with an understanding of the importance of words.
You stay in that secret place by talking the Word which builds your faith. You avoid fear, worry, and idle talk that opens the door for the adversary. You confidently proclaim, “The Lord is my refuge, the Most High is my dwelling place. No evil shall befall me, nor any plague or calamity comes near my home!” Remember, you have NOT been given a spirit of fear, instead you have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Start believing today that God has your back!
For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. (Psalm 91:11 AMP)
They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:12 AMP)
God has given Believers very powerful spiritual beings called angels to assist and protect. Paul writes in Hebrews that they are ministering spirits to serve those that are heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Remember, salvation is not only a spiritual condition, but it also means preservation and deliverance from the enemy while on earth.
In Psalm 103:20, you find – Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Who is speaking God’s Word today? Jesus is sitting on his throne next to the Father in Heaven. The angels are responding to God’s Word being spoken in faith by Believers here on earth. They are responding to faith-filled prayers. They can’t do anything with words of fear or unbelief. But if you are speaking boldly, like the three Hebrew boys facing death in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), they proclaimed, “Our God will save us,” and not a hair was burned and they did not even smell like smoke! When the king looked into the fire, that had just before killed the soldiers that tossed them into the fiery pit, he remarked that he saw a fourth supernatural being walking with the three boys. This was not presumption. They had built their lives around serving God and believing that God would protect them. And they had God’s Word on it – Isaiah 43:2.
Angels are not to be worshiped, that is for God alone. You are a child of God with Jesus as your only mediator and High Priest. You can boldly enter the throne room at any time (Ephesians 3:12, Colossians 2:18, Hebrews 4:16). Angels are servants. God created them to look after His children. Recognize their presence by thanking God for them. Speak the Word of God boldly and expect them to do their job which includes to defend and preserve you. You are precious to God and He wants you safe, and joyfully fulfilling your mission in life.
It is interesting to note that just like in the Garden of Eden when Satan twists God’s Word to tempt Eve, the devil misquotes Psalm 91:11-12 in the wilderness to tempt Jesus, telling him to jump off the highest point of the Temple because the angels will save him (Matthew 4:5-7, Luke 4:9-12). Jesus responded to this temptation by accurately quoting the Word. Satan often twists the Word in an attempt to introduce fear or unbelief. This is why it is so important to know the Word and study it continually. Then when temptation comes, you will have an answer from God’s Word.
See also Hebrews 1 & Hebrews 2 for more on Angels and your place in Jesus.
You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. (Psalm 91:13 AMP)
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. (Psalm 91:14 AMP)
In the Old Testament, there was the Blessing and the curse. As long as the Jews kept the Law, they enjoyed the Blessing. When they turned away from God, the curse, which is everything the devil can throw at you – sickness, poverty, strife, theft, and death came on them. Under the New Covenant, Believers have been redeemed from the curse (Deuteronomy 28 & Deuteronomy 30, Galatians 3 & Galatians 4).
Jesus is the Head of the Church and you are his body. He has defeated the enemy and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. His victory (as the Head) is your victory (the Body), because where the head is, so is the body. He has delegated his authority, name, and victory to his body (the Church) until he returns (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 1, Colossians 2:15).
Jesus tells Believers that in his name they will cast out demons, heal the sick, and pray in tongues (Mark 16:17-18). Even before his disciples received the Holy Spirit, the 72 came back rejoicing because “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). Their ability was amplified and multiplied after Pentecost when thousands were filled with the Holy Ghost, many more healed, and the possessed set free (Acts 5:16).
God has given you his armor, which includes the breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, belt of truth, Gospel of Peace, and the shield of faith, to stop ALL the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18). He has given you His Word to wield as an offensive weapon. Like the children of Israel in Egypt, Jesus has given you his precious blood as a token of the New Covenant over your life (Exodus 12:13, 1 Peter 1:2, Revelation 12:11). And you have a promise that through the Holy Spirit’s presence, God dwells in you (John 14:15-23, 15:26, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
With so much firepower on your side, how could you fail? God tells you how through the prophet Hosea – My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Study the Word, speak the Word, act on it, live it, meditate on it, and as God instructed Joshua – study the Word day and night, be courageous, and God will be with you (Joshua 1:6-9). When Psalm 91 becomes real in your spirit, when that precious seed is planted and flourishing in your heart, when you have a personal knowledge of God’s love and promises, and an unshakeable confidence in His Word, you will never be afraid of anything!
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15 AMP)
With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation. (Psalm 91:16 AMP)
With each verse in Psalm 91, the promises are building to a wonderful conclusion – in every possible way, God has your back. For every imaginable threat, He has given you His Word that you will be safe. Now in the final two verses, He adds the icing to the cake. He promises to always be with you, to deliver and honor you. In Psalm 139, He assures you that He knows EVERYTHING about you, and charts your path, showing you when to rest. And if that is not good enough, He knew you while you were being created in the womb! If God knows you so completely, there is no reason to fear.
In the New Testament, the same thoughts are expressed in even better language. You have an assurance that God is in you, and He is much greater than anything in the World (1 John 4:4). Instead of God being some distant deity, Believers have an assurance of His indwelling presence. Jesus tells you that if you love him, the Father loves you, and in that love you will have Peace, even in a troubled world (John 14:15-31). Paul writes that if God is for you, who could be against you (Romans 8:31)? And John adds that every child of God has the faith to overcome the world (1 John 5:4).
And if ALL OF THAT weren’t enough, the Psalm closes with a promise of a long and abundant life. Imagine, a life lived until you are well satisfied. Is that too much to believe possible from your Creator, who knit you together in the womb? Why would God not want you to live long, strong, and Blessed, so that you can share His love with others? This is not an isolated promise in the Bible. The patriarchs and many faithful Believers have lived long and productive lives for God. You can see similar promises in Deuteronomy 6:2, 1 Kings 3:14, Psalm 21:4, and especially a long, satisfying life for those that seek and live by God’s Wisdom, which is also referred to as a Tree of Life – Proverbs 3:1-18.
All that salvation is can be summed up in Jesus. And Jesus nicely sums up his purpose for coming in John 10:10 – He came to give you life, in abundance, to the full, till it overflows. The Word (Jesus) is Wisdom, Spirit, Truth, and Life. (Matthew 4:4, 7:24, John 1, 6:63, 20:31, Romans 1:16-17, Colossians 3:16, Revelation 19:13).
Psalm 91 was written for you. Study, speak, and meditate on God’s Promises – they belong to you! When fear attempts a foothold in your life, remember these promises because you have NOT been given a spirit of fear, but instead you have a spirit of power, love, and self discipline in you (2 Timothy 1:7).
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!
Click on the links above to read each verse in 17 different versions. To read the entire Psalm in five popular translations – AMP, KJV, HCSB, NIV, The Message click here:
Additional Psalm 91 Resources
God, Our Great Protector – A lesson plan for children with coloring page – bird covering chick
He Will Command His Angels To Guard You – Children’s coloring page for 91:11 of an angel with verse
No Disaster Will Come Near Your Tent – Children’s coloring page of 91:10 of a tent with verse
Angels Watching Over Me – A children’s sermon on God’s protection provided by angels
The Terribly Scary Storm – Boris Kitty Children’s story God’s Love is bigger than any fear
The Man Who Thoroughly Trusts God – Psalm 91 – An excerpt from the teachings of John Robert Stevens
Psalm 91 – A lengthy exposition by Charles H. Spurgeon
God’s Covenant Of Protection: Psalm 91 – Some testimonies of people believing God’s promises in Psalm 91
Where Was God During 9/11? – My blog post looking at a real life example of God’s protection during dangerous times
Search for Other Christian Web Sites.
Suggested Search Terms: Psalms, Psalm 91, Secret Place of the Most High, angels, refuge and fortress, under His wings, God, Almighty, God’s protection