Ken Fish, Founder of Orbis Ministries, is an honors graduate of Princeton University. He has also earned an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary and an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management. Formerly a colleague of John Wimber, the late leader of the Vineyard Movement, Ken brings more than 30 years of academic study and practical experience to ministry.
Hi friends, I'm Ken Fish. I'm the leader of Orbis Ministries and I want to talk to you today about living in the place of abiding. You know, Psalm 91 is a psalm that many people are quoting during this time of difficulty, and it starts out, "He"—or she—"who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty."
Now, this word shelter could mean the tabernacle or the tent, and it's really referring to the time when, well, God's presence dwelt in the mobile tabernacle or tent that was built in the wilderness prior to the building of the temple.
And if you dwell in the shadow or abide in the shadow of the Almighty, there's a promise that God will give refuge and He will deliver us even from deadly pestilence. This is all found in Psalm 91:1-2.
Well, deadly pestilence—that's what we're in the midst of right now. But you know, a lot of people say, "I know what the psalm says, but how do I get there? How do I activate that?"
And so, with that, we need to turn back to what David wrote in Psalm 15. And in Psalm 15 he says, "O Lord, who may abide in your tent?" So, he's going to answer the very question that is asked in Psalm 91. And he says, "Who may dwell on your holy hill?" He goes on and he says, "He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up reproach against his friend in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, and who honors those who fear the Lord. He swears to his own hurt and does not change. He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken."
Well, David talks about these conditions. There's 11 of them, if you counted them as I was reading them. And in a video of this length we can't really go into all of it, but I would encourage you, as you are thinking about these times of difficulty and, "How is it that I can find refuge in the Lord? How can I claim the promises of Psalm 91? How can I live in that place of abiding?"
Go into Psalm 15 and spend some time thinking about it, because these words—integrity, righteousness, and speaking truthfully—they really talk about somebody who is unwavering in their commitment to truth and what is right, and who, actually, is willing to honor the word they've given, even when conditions have changed and it may hurt them to carry out what they once committed to do.
In our day, many people would consider the truth, in their own word, to be fungible and changeable. It goes on and it talks about how we don't actually take pleasure in the things that the unbelieving do. That's what it means when it says, "In whose eyes a reprobate is despised." It's not that we're to despise people, but rather the ways of those who don't follow the Lord.
"He doesn't take a bribe against the innocent. He holds uprightness"—I would encourage you to take time to read this short, five-verse psalm and look at the conditions that are laid out. These are the things that activate Psalm 91—that allow us to dwell in His tent.
And if you find that there are areas of your life where you've come short, well, you know what to do. Get on your knees. Confess those things to the Lord. Don't just acknowledge them, but actually make a commitment to Him that you will change those ways of living, those standards of behavior that have come short of what He calls for in Psalm 15.
And if you will do that, Psalm 91 will come into play, and you will be able to live in the Lord, in the shadow of the Lord's wings. You will abide by His tent, and you will find the protection that you desire in a time of famine, plague, and pestilence.
Father, I thank you that in Your word, You tell us how we can find these promises, and claim them, and live in them. Let us do that faithfully. In Jesus name, amen.