Week Three, Day Three
God revealed himself as El Shadday, God Almighty, to Abram and told him of the everlasting covenant he was establishing with him and with his descendants. Until the time of Moses, when another divine name was revealed, the patriarchs considered El Shadday the covenant name of God. When we pray to El Shadday, we invoke the name of the one for whom nothing is impossible.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." (Genesis 17:1-2)
PRAYING THE NAME
He who 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.". . .
"Because he loves me,"says the LORD,"I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (Psalm 91:1-2, 14)
Reflect On: Psalm 91
Praise God: Because he is a refuge from all storms.
Offer Thanks: For God's sheltering care.
Confess: Any habit of worry that keeps you from depending on the Almighty.
Ask God: To increase your trust in him in the days and months to come.
Several years ago I was going through a difficult time. It was an in-between season, a waiting time in which I both longed for change and dreaded its arrival. For more than sixteen years, I had worked for the same company and lived in the same town. I enjoyed my work, but it had become far too predictable. I didn't want to solve the same problems, jump through the same hoops, achieve the same goals year after year. I needed a fresh challenge, a place to develop new skills, an opportunity to broaden my horizons.
But I didn't know exactly what I was looking for. And I was painfully aware that a new job would mean a new city, new friends, a new church, and a new home. Whenever I thought about the future, I drew a blank.
One night I woke up with the thought crystal clear in my head: "You are in the desert right now. You are in the wilderness." Strangely, the words comforted me. I had been so anxious and confused about the future that I wondered whether I was even on God's radar. Now it seemed as if God was assuring me that he knew where I was, even if I didn't. That experience helped pinpoint my location on a spiritual map.
I knew that in the Bible the desert often represented a place of transition and testing. It was where God's people were challenged to obey and to trust God to lead them into the land of promise. I wanted to be patient with the process, to learn what it meant to rest in the shadow of the Almighty, as Psalm 91 puts it. After waking up that night, I felt calmer. It seemed easier to believe that God would help me through my transition. The months that followed proved me right.
I have since found that Psalm 91 is one of those bread-and-butter psalms that I keep coming back to whenever I need to feed on God's Word. Try it for yourself. Read it through once and then call to mind a period in your life in which you experienced God's care and protection. Perhaps it was in the aftermath of a bad business deal, a serious illness, a near accident, a troubled relationship, or a difficult time of transition. Though you may not have known it then, you see now that Almighty God was a refuge in the midst of your personal desert. He sustained you and fed you. He sheltered you in the wilderness. Thank him for his powerful protection. Tell him that you want to make a habit of resting in his shadow. Then read Psalm 91 again, this time as a promise of future protection. This is a powerful psalm to pray before you go to bed each night.
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.