Finding Shelter in the Upcoming Storm

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust’” (Psalm 91:1-2).

Recently we had tornado sirens go off on two different occasions. We live near the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Kansas is known for tornado alley, the place where tornadoes are most frequent. We are familiar with storms and when the alarm sounds, everyone runs down their basement to escape from the possible destruction. Tornadoes often lay bare everything in its path, leaving a trail of chaos and debris.

The nature of an alarm is rude. It doesn’t care about your ambitions or desires. It’s inconvenient and interrupts your most cherished plans. Think about the rude interruption early in the morning from your alarm clock when you are deep in restful sleep. Your alarm has one unwavering aim – to wake you up!

God has alarms as well. He wants to wake us up to eternal life and all that goes with it. His alarms are disrupting our plans, causing us to feel quite unsettled. When there is a lot of flying debris from the end-time storm, He wants us to find our escape in the shelter of His wings.

Whether we realize it or not, we are entering a storm in the nations. America is encountering a very uncertain future. Rumors everywhere say we are facing a soon collapse in our economy. Along with that are the breakdown of the family, the rising crime rates, unusual stormy weather patterns, and the rise of ISIS. Uncertainty and fear is all around us. Walls are breaking down, perversion is increasing, and a sex storm has been released worldwide on a wide scale. Luke 21:26 warns that before the coming of the Lord, men’s hearts will faint from fear. We feel the tremors. The devil divides and conquers, and is out to destroy families. Matthew 24:6-8 tells us that there will be earthquakes, wars, and famines at the end of the age.

What is a person to do in light of all of these things? Is there a way we can find shelter in the upcoming storm?

The Power of Psalm 91

“‘Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation’” (Psalm 91:14-16).

Most of us have read Psalm 91 many times. It’s a chapter we should memorize because there is an expressed blessing if we dwell, abide, and set our hearts on God in the secret place. We must shut the door to all the distractions and pray to the Father. He will reward us openly when we do. When we set our love on Him, we will be fruitful. We are in a season where it is of paramount importance that we seek shelter in dwelling in that place. We must learn to take refuge in Jesus and sever all other alliances that distract us from clinging to Him.

In order to receive the promises of Psalm 91, we must find God in the eye of the storm. God will hide us in the secret place of His presence. Luke 21 speaks of the storms on earth. There is protection and we can prosper in the midst of the storm, but we must find our confidence in God. He does seven things for us when we abide in the secret place. He delivers, sets us on high, answers when we call, is with us in trouble, and honors, satisfies, and shows us His salvation.

We lived for years on a missionary ship. Our ship built in 1914 would face gale force winds, and I would hear the ship creak and groan as it chopped through those high waves. I often felt seasick, and I couldn’t swim. Our cabin was right in the middle of the ship and I could imagine it breaking right in two. My natural tendency was to fear and I would think, “What if this happens or that?”

Often I would find peace and consolation in the eye of the storm by changing my focus. I would put on my earphones, go out on deck, and play worship music. I would face those stormy seas head-on by looking at the horizon and worshipping God. Before long, the clouds in my own mind and heart would clear, I would see light on the horizon, and my perspective would change. I saw the greatness of God and realized He was in control of it all. We were on God’s mission and He would carry it out through us. There was no reason to fear. A great transaction occurred. I exchanged the fear of the devil for the peace of God.

God wants our faith and hope in Him to abound at this time. He is going to bring a great revival in the midst of the storm. As darkness increases, the light of His truth will flourish. When you begin to fear, go into your closet, and set your eyes on the Father. Put on God’s earphones instead of Satan’s, and with eyes steadfast on the horizon of His truth, worship Him with all your heart. Move past luke-warm living into full dedication without compromise. This will be the joyful place to live.

Psalm 91 is a call to the church to dwell in the secret place. In trouble He hides us. Psalm 46 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We must get connected and into the place of intimacy. There is a holy elevator up into the heavenly place. Learn to sing and praise God in the midst of the storm.

God has a job for you to do. You are on an end-time mission with the King of all Kings. Memorize, read, and dwell on Psalm 91 over and over again. Abide, sing, slow down, and connect with Him. This is the only way forward. God has so much for us. Don’t forget that He has already won the battle at the Cross. He is your dwelling place.

What kept me living on that ship in the midst of storms and seasickness? We lived in tight quarters with 300 people from 40 nations where there was no escape. The pressures were relentless as we travelled from nation to nation. Where could we find shelter in the midst of the storm? It was through abiding in God’s love in the center of His will and experiencing the joy of being in the harvest. The inconveniences didn’t take away the joy of souls being saved and lives being changed. God was moving in an incredible way. Even to this day, many look back at that time as one of their greatest highlights.

You and I have the opportunity to draw close to God, move pass our own discomfort, and enter into His mission at the end of the age. The harvest will surpass anything we have seen in days past. Let’s hold tightly to God, draw into the secret place, and rejoice in what He does in these days. We can live victoriously and find shelter during this upcoming storm when we make the Lord our refuge. He is our perpetual dwelling place in the crisis and we can live under the shadow of His wings.

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOP-KC)
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

5 Benefits of a Silent Retreat with God

“Silence in prayer is often not something we orchestrate; rather, it is a gift that can come upon us quite unexpectedly. Instead of rushing to fill the gap, we learn to embrace the gift as the better part of our time of prayer.” Quotes by Wesley and Stacey Campbell

In learning about prayer, silence. contemplation is a special dimension that very few of us have fully grasped. Most of us are not skilled in beholding God. One of the reasons for this is because we have been influenced by the noise and busyness of our present-day life style. And in the midst of a whirlwind of activity that we have so often misunderstood as important or necessary, we have missed the beauty and necessity of learning the discipline of silence before God. We so often miss out on the life of contemplation, one of beholding the beauty of Jesus.

Recently my husband and I went on a short spiritual retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We sat in a beautiful cottage called “The Refuge” situated alongside the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, with a steady stream of water cascading over the rocks just a few feet from our front door. We walked into this retreat home and to our amazement, it was filled with worship music and Bible verses on every wall; “Be Still and Know that I am God,” “The Lord is Our Refuge” and many more were everywhere. It was a breathtaking layout with everything pointing to silence and rest in God’s presence.

The weather was rainy most of the week but even in spite of the rain, that cottage was a place of refuge for us. They told us it had been raining for days! But we were nestled inside that quiet place with five days of endless time to behold God and His mighty works. The mountains were majestic in stature, and when the rain stopped, we were able to drive to the very heights and see life with a mountaintop view of God’s handiwork.

During those days I sat silently before God and would just behold His beauty and the attractiveness of that retreat place alongside those gorgeous mountains. I realized afresh how wonderful and necessary it is to be quiet before God in silent meditation. I needed it. As we enter into the end of the age, we must be quiet before God, find Him as our refuge, and rise up to the heights and see life from His viewpoint.

I encourage you to take time to be silent before God. I do this on a regular basis in my home and find that it adds a wonderful dimension to my prayer life. The Colorado retreat reinforced deeply to me the importance of beholding God in silent meditation. Most of us are very busy, but we all can narrow down our lives to what is most important.

The Bible says that we must be still in order to know God. Silence is a necessary art if we want to really know God. It is a gift from God. So if God is quieting down your activity or stopping you in some way, perhaps He wants you to learn this important discipline. God is wooing you to Himself. He is removing all the barriers of true communion with His spirit. This is a gift to you so embrace it with all your heart.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

“In silent contemplation, a supernatural drawing occurs. Having come to the end of words, we simply stare in silence at the person of God. One of the most apt, and most beautiful, descriptions of the essence of contemplation that I have heard comes from a simple farmer: ‘Think of the wonderful description given by that unlettered farm laborer at Ars who used to remain for hours in stillness and silence gazing at the tabernacle and when the Cure d’Ars asked him what he did there, simply replied: I LOOK AT HIM, AND HE LOOKS AT ME.’”

The Benefits of Silent Contemplation in Prayer

“From time to time you will begin to touch the state of inward silence. What shall be your response to such an experience? But what shall you do? Nothing! Simply yield to the inward drawing. Yield to the wooing of your spirit. Your spirit is drawing you deeper within.”

There are so many benefits of retreating before God in silent contemplation. Here are some of them:

  • God fights on our behalf when we are silent – We are too weak to fight our enemies ourselves. We will be wounded, but in times of temptation if we remain in faith in God’s presence, He will give us His strength.“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14).
  • We find God in a deeper dimension – In silent prayer, we develop the art of looking at God.“’You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
  • We grow in the art of meditating on Scripture – Exodus 34:6-7 is filled with the divine attributes of God. I encourage you to meditate on these verses for a long period of time.”And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin’” (Exodus 34:6-7a).
  • We learn to shut out external activity – We learn the art of external simplicity and inwardly learn to dwell in God’s presence.“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
  • We learn to meditate on God’s nature – It is good to start with meditating on one aspect of God’s nature in a single verse of Scripture. For example, meditate on God’s holiness adorning His house for endless days as found in the following verse:“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord” (Psalm 93:5).
  • We grow in our love relationship with God – We learn to live out the first commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength.“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

I pray that each one of us will learn the secret of silent contemplation and have personal retreats with God. This is where we take the time to commune with God heart-to-heart and spirit-to-spirit. It will not happen by chance, but we must give time for this and understand its’ value. We should do this regularly for shorter times, and occasionally for longer retreats.

We are in a time when we must find our refuge in God and see the world from His vantage point. Intimacy and stillness before the Lord is going to be key to living a successful and joyful life in this hour. It’s time to realize that it’s all about a wedding at the end of the age and we are Jesus’ Bride. You are the Bride of Christ. This is a day of preparation and transition into what really matters for eternity. We must lean upon our beloved in all that we do. We are not complete until we find our center in God. Our fruitfulness will come from this place. I am challenged by St. Francis and his example of silent devotion before God.

“With face turned to heaven, and hands and eyes lifted to God, in complete surrender and with the warmest of devotion, he prayed, saying: ‘My god, my All’ These words he groaned out to God, with copious tears again and again with solemn devotion until dawn: ‘My God, my All’ – and no more.”

Carefully spend time in God’s presence with the following worship music. I have lots of worship music on my new website designed for intercessors as well.

Who is this? – Ruth Fazel
Intercessors Arise International

“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him… when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord… Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abounds” (Psalm 4:3-7).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOP-KC)
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org