“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide…”
When I hear the word Abide, I remember a hymn we used to sing in church when I was a child.
“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.”
(Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1847; Music: William H. Monk, 1861)
Abide is not a word we use today unless we are studying scripture. Jesus gave some wonderful insight in John 15:4:
“Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
In this scripture and in the hymn, the word seems to indicate an invitation to stay. Let’s see what it means in Psalm 91:
ABIDE is Strong’s #3885 and it is a primitive root. In Hebrew the word ABIDE looks like this: .
ABIDE is defined as to stop (usually over night), to stay permanently, lie all night, (cause to) lodge (all night, in, -ing, this night), remain, or tarry.
And when we look at the separate letters we discover more…
To ABIDE then, is to permanently stay under God’s instruction and Authority, moving forward as He directs. When we do, God connects us with heaven, and manifests His life in us and through us on earth.
Remember we discovered that “He who dwells,” is one who moves in permanently – trusting in God and obeying Him. When he does, he will experience the activation of God’s hand of power, His Holy Spirit, consuming with His fire all that destroys or tries to invade or keep us from His house. Well, to ABIDE promises even more. It promises that He will teach us, you and I, how to overcome our enemies by His power, and how to keep them from invading our lives.
Let’s look at John 15:4-6 again:
“Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is cast out as a branch and is withered;
and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
To abide, like the word “dwell,” requires staying put in order to receive the full impact of the secret place.
The Lord once gave me a vision of myself, carrying a canteen. While carrying it, I had to search for water every time I ran out. Then He showed me a well of living water. When I asked Him what was the significance of these pictures, the explanation that came to mind was this:
We can go from teaching to teaching, anointed conference to anointed conference in search of water to keep our canteens filled, or we can settle down in the secret place, spend time with Him and allow Him to uncap a well of living water that will never go dry. All it requires is to make Him our priority and time with Him first place in our daily plans. In order to remain fruitful, we must stay close to living water.
In the same chapter of John, Jesus went on to say, “if you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7) When we ask for whatever we need, if it is in line with His will and His character, He will answer.
The thing we most often need in times of trial is to know He is with us, and to know His perspective on our situation. Rather than asking, “Why is this happening to me?” the better question is, “From Your vantage point Lord, what is going on here and how can I to cooperate with You to bring about Your will?”
He wants to share truth with us. It may come in a quick fix, but it will more likely come as a process that will unfold step by step as we continue asking, willingly listening, and applying His counsel.
We live in a world where the media is bombarding us with prognostications of danger and fear. We have the choice to listen to them and jump on the worry and panic train, or we can go to the secret place of the Most High and learn to abide, trusting in His instruction and counsel in peace. It is our choice.
Psalm 131:2 is another picture of this abiding: “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Our soul includes our mind, our will and our emotions… When seen through Hebrew eyes, it also includes our body. In abiding we will find soul peace.
Years ago He whispered to me:
~ Journal Notes ~
“Abide in Me. Rest in Me. Run to Me when tension and fear rise up. Run and let Me hide you in My presence. I am not a god that is far off. In Me you live and move and have your being. Peace, health, joy…rest, power, love—all are found in Me. I am your Good Shepherd. I am the Captain of the hosts.
“Turn your eyes in My direction and I will hide you. I will feed you with the finest of wheat and honey from the rock. You are Mine.
“Abiding in Me is that complete surrender place where I am your supply for all things. What I say you will say. What I do, you will do. Constant submission in love to Me. I am your Redeemer, the Restorer of the breach. Look to Me and live, or you can trust in yourself and watch havoc work its way into your life and your home.
“I am leading you to a place of dwelling in Me that you’ve dreamed of. It is here waiting for you. Trust Me to get you there. Keep your eyes on Me. Don’t let go of My words to you.”
May each of us more fully dwell and ABIDE in the secret place of the Most High. Wisdom, peace, and life await. The secret place is full of promises as we are soon discover.
We are to abide Under the Shadow