Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

This passage is Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV). In the last article I talked about verse 1, dwelling in the shelter of El Elyon, the Most High God, and abiding in the “shadow” of El Shaddai, God Almighty. In the NIV Version the word “rest” is used instead of abide.

Resting in His shelter, His shadow, is a choice. It is not automatic. When we choose to follow Jesus, we aren’t magically transported to resting in His shadow. You see, resting is something we all need to learn. We are too accustomed to striving, and pacing, and figuring things out, and planning, and being ready, etc. Resting takes practice, and work.

Does that sound strange? I’m not talking about sitting and “veg’ing” in front of the TV. I’m not even talking about sleep. Rest is an entirely different animal, if you will.  So, I decided to look up the word translated “rest” or “abide” in the original Hebrew. I’m not a Hebrew scholar, but these are the websites I use,  http://blueletterbible.org and http://biblehub.com.

What surprised me is that the Hebrew word is luwn. It can mean

  • to lodge, pass the night, or
  • to abide, remain.

Both of these could give the idea of rest. So, that makes sense. But the second meaning is “to grumble, complain, murmur.” This word, or at least a form of it, is used when talking about how the Israelites murmured in the desert throughout the books of Exodus and Numbers. What in the world does murmuring have to do with rest!?!

Merriam Webster dictionary defines “murmur” as a half-suppressed or muttered complaint. So why would that word be used here in Psalm 91?

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest (abide, murmur) in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

The second verse helps us understand this. It begins with I will say. Instead of murmuring our problem, our fears, our complaints, and so on, we can walk around “muttering” that “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. He is my Deliverer. He is my Salvation. He is my Provider. He is my Shepherd.”

Is that the normal kind of muttering that we do? I don’t think so. We mutter – in our conversations, in our thoughts, even in our dreams – about whatever problem(s) we have going at the time. Why am I so tired? How can I get everything done that needs doing? How am I going to pay for that repair bill? The world is falling apart. People can be so mean to one another. The world is a scary place. Where can I be safe?

We should never underestimate the power of the spoken word. Jesus didn’t. When He was asleep in the boat and the disciples woke Him up terrified that they would drown, He didn’t just think the storm should calm down. No. He said to the storm, “Be still.” When He healed a disease, He spoke to it and commanded it to be gone, or be healed. He spoke.

We are created in the image of Almighty God. When He created light, He spoke, “Let there be light.” When He created, He said. Genesis 1 is full of “He said” statements. There is creative power in our words… for good or bad! Just because we cannot command universes to be created, doesn’t mean that our words are powerless. Speak His promises. Speak what He says is true.

Disclaimer:  We cannot just get our wants met by speaking them into existence.  This is not “name it, claim it” theology.  “I’m claiming that I’m going to have a new Mercedes – by next Tuesday!  Unless God has specifically told you that you should have a Mercedes, probably not going to happen.  Our words should agree with the Word of God. 

“The Lord is my refuge and my strength.” It doesn’t say “feel it.” It says “say it.” Our feelings may be all over the place. But it says to say it… to declare it to be true. Basically, our words should agree with what God says, no matter what the situation looks like.

In Luke’s gospel, chapter 11, he records,

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name…

I heard it said once, that you cannot say one thing and think another. Try it. Count to 10 in your head, and recite the alphabet out loud. Did you try it? Can’t do it!
In the same way, we cannot worry and stew about something in unbelief, and speak God’s promises at the same time. Maybe that is why we are to “murmur and mutter” His promises. This is a key to real rest.

Here are some murmurings for you to start with.

  • The Lord is my shepherd. He is leading me. He is talking to me. His sheep hear His voice. I am one of His sheep. I can hear His voice. (John 10)
  • Because of what Jesus did for me, there is no condemnation for me anymore. I am a new creation in Jesus. The old has passed away; the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17, Rom 8:1)
  • The Lord is my refuge, my fortress, my safe place. He is my trustworthy God. (Psalm 91:2)
  • I am God’s child. I am no longer identified as “the person who messed up so badly” or “the person who failed miserably.” I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, is proud of me, who is holding me… just the way I am… while He changes me from the inside out to be more like Jesus.

In James, chapter 3, the tongue is compared to the rudder of a ship – small, but has the power to turn a great ship. Let’s user our rudder – our tongues – to turn our hearts and our lives towards God, and into His rest.

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2 thoughts on “I Will Say

  1. Terry, this is exactly the confirmation I needed this morning. Papa God is having me be much more international with my mutterings. I love what u write.

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