Monday, October 13, 2008

A Soldier's Psalm

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

I discovered the most incredible book a few days ago. I had been searching for “a Word” from God to help me maintain peace of mind, as I witness the economic crisis around the world, in the midst of our battle for Johnny’s health and remaining positive about what the future holds for us all. There is an “inspirational book” rack at our local Publix grocery store. The last couple of stops I made there I twirled the rack and perused a few books but none was just the right one.

Then I “stumbled” upon the book “Psalm 91 – God’s Shield of Protection” by Peggy Joyce Ruth a few days ago. It just jumped out at me. It was an odd choice for me because it was full of true war stories by actual military veterans and that normally wouldn’t attract me. I’m all about ideas presented in warm fluffy, feel good ways. This book was all about true grit.

But as I thumbed through the pages, I was fascinated how the author went through Psalm 91 verse by verse and explained how this was the only place in the bible that contained ALL of God’s promises to us put together in a sacred covenant. It is an absolute guarantee of divine protection in the form of a spiritual contract from God to each of us regarding our health, healing, rescue, deliverance, safety, protection and provision.

As Peggy tells us in the book, “nothing in this world can be relied upon as confidently as God’s promises when we believe them, refuse to waver, and decide to make His Word our final authority for every area of our lives.” Within the verses God tells us the key to releasing the power of those promises to us, through speaking His Word out loud and believing with all our heart that His promises are true.

But here is what really hooked me. I discovered that Psalm 91 has been called “A Soldiers Psalm” because it has been tested again and again in many wars, with many faithful soldiers, who experienced miracle after miracle in deadly battle situations, while Psalm 91 was being prayed over them, by relatives or by the soldiers themselves crying out to God. Pretty cool huh?

As I devoured the words in this book it truly lifted me up more and more as I realized – we are all soldiers in one way or another fighting our personal battles in different ways. It is all about life and death. It is all about whether or not we triumph in the ultimate victory of realizing GOD HAS OUR BACK! When we submit our lives and full control to His will as His subjects in His kingdom, He pours out His power and might to guard us and provide for us.. And all we have to do is ask.

Today is the United States Navy’s 233rd birthday. My father is a retired Navy Commander and today he toasted all members who have served. I would like to “click his glass” tonight and dedicate this Psalm to the US Navy, to Naval Commander Laurence Paul Bowdren, retired MSC, to all his friends and members who have served in the US Navy, and to all our countrymen who haved served in any armed forces, in any capacity, while showing their love of our country in performing their duties, to protect us all. May God continue His divine protection over each you.

Here is the Psalm in its entirety. I encourage you all to print this out and recite it out loud every day. The best part of it is, that it protects not just you but your whole family:

Psalm 91
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."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
He will 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 will I satisfy him and show him My salvation."

God bless all of you for your cares and prayers and cards and calls and concern over Johnny and Scarlett and me as we trod the road towards victory. I wish for each of you, the courage to trust God and to believe in all His promises as you journey towards your own victory in all things.

Beautiful Blessings!


1 comment:

Kit Crews said...

God Afternoon johnny, Rene and Scarlett;

Please forgive my delinquency in writing. I assure you that you have been in our prayers on an ongoing basis.
My heart was truly touched by the earlier pictures of you and Scarlett dancing, Johnny. It reminded me of dances with my daughters (one of which Scarlett memorialized) and how special our little girls are and how privileged we are to be called their fathers. We are both fortunate to have daughters with sweet loving spirits.
I was interested to learn that you are a Seminole fan. Bobby Bowden has had a great run in Tallahassee. I love college football (Go Vols, it may be a long year) and I have two experiences with Florida State football. The first was when Florida State travelled to Notre Dame for the #1 vs #2 battle. A fellow tennis umpire and Seminole fan got two tickets from the Notre Dame tennis coach and as long as I agreed to be a Seminole fan that day he offered to take me. I know the result wasn't right but what a great game in a great environment. My only other experience was the 1998 BCS championship game between Florida State and Tennessee. We didn't go but were sure glued to the television for another great game. We don't need to discuss the result, though it may have been different if your starting QB hadn't been injured. Nothing quite like college football is there?

Keep up the fight, Johnny, there is much to fight for. We'll keep lifting you, Rene and Scarlett in prayer trusting God on your behalf.

"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57

In His Love,

Kit Crews