Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place. There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent. - Psalm 91: 9-10 (AMP) Bad things happen to good people; it is just a fact of life. Being saved does not mean that strife ceases or that suddenly you will stop having problems. On the contrary, the attacks of the enemy will probably increase once you start serving in the kingdom. Then what is the Psalmist speaking of in verse 10 of Psalm 91? He is speaking about the assurances we have in Christ Jesus. He is speaking about a changed perspective and a changed mindset. Unfortunately, there are too many Christians who do not walk in the power God has appropriated for them. They do not walk in the promises of God. They do not have that changed perspective and mindset. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2 (KJV) When one lives in the world, they have a worldly perspective. They see things from a worldly point of view. The Bible says the things of God are foolishness to the world. Once saved however, the Bible implores us to not be conformed to this world. The dictionary defines conformed as: To correspond in form or character; be similar. So what God is telling us in this Romans verse is we are no longer to be like the world. We can no longer be similar to the world. We can no longer think as the world thinks. Reason as the world reasons. When people now look at us, they should no longer see the world, but rather, Christ in us. How? By the renewing of our minds! The word renew, simply means to make new again. To wipe the old slate clean and start over. Unfortunately, many Christians drag their past into their new life with Jesus. They allow the enemy to confuse and accuse them. They simply do not get their head around the concept of justification. The glorious salvation of Jesus Christ makes them just as if they had never sinned. That is the transformation Paul writes about in this verse. This is the mindset the Psalmist is writing about in the tenth verse of Psalm 91. Will there still be evil in the lives of Christians? Calamity? Plague? The answer is a resounding yes. In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. – Matthew 5: 45 (NLT) God sends the rain upon the just and the unjust beloved. We are not exempt. As for evil, one needs to only look to the death of the first martyr, Steven, to see that evil can still come against the life of a believer. The Psalmist is not saying that Christians have a blank check from the travails of life, but rather they have a different perspective. The story of Steven illustrates this principle. After giving a powerful speech to the Sanhedrin, Steven was dragged outside and stoned to death. Certainly if you could ask Steven at that time he would tell you that evil and calamity had come against him. Yet as he realized his own death was upon him, for only speaking the truth, here was his perspective: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. - Acts 7: 59-60 (NIV) Amazing! In his darkest hour and his most trying moment, Steven had a different perspective than what the world would have had. There was no malice in his heart. No desire to repay evil with evil. Only forgiveness. Did evil befall Steven? The world will tell you yes but his own words tell us no. From a worldly perspective, Steven faced dire calamity but from the renewed mind, he only saw an opportunity for forgiveness. The world sees things as evil that the Christian sees as opportunity. An opportunity to have faith tested, to be refined, to grow. Illness can strengthen our faith in the Great Physician or it can be viewed upon as the world does, in strictly negative terms. The renewed mind understands that no matter what the situation is and no matter how calamitous or evil it may appear, God is in control. Once you accept that God is in control, what is evil becomes opportunity. How do we get to this place according to the Psalmist? The answer is in verse nine. Because you have made the Lord, the Most High your refuge and your dwelling place. Your refuge to run to when the world comes up against you and your dwelling; where you live. Remember in verse one, he that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. God is seeking a habitation with us, not a casual relationship. Too often Christians dwell with God for an hour and a half on Sundays and then they wonder why they do not walk in power the rest of the week. On Sunday they feel the presence of God move in their lives and by Wednesday, they are falling apart. God is not interested in dating us. The power of God in our life is proportional to the depth of our relationship with Him. Too often as Christians we like to read verse ten but turn our heads away from verse nine. Everyone likes to hear about no plague or evil coming near out tent – but where have we pitched our tent today? Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. – Genesis 13: 12 (KJV) This verse follows the decision of Abram and Lot to separate because their herdsmen were not getting along. Abram trusts God and allows Lot to pick which direction he wanted to go and Lot chose the way looked the best through his worldly lens. But in doing so, he pitched his tent towards the wicked city of Sodom. The next time we come across Lot he is living in Sodom. Where we pitch our tent in crucial for us as believers. If we pitch it towards this world then we will find ourselves conforming to it. We will find ourselves one day living in Sodom. The believer should seek a habitation with God and when we do so, we will find that our faith in who we serve will override any worldly concerns. That is what the Psalmist means in the key verses. Will there still be evil, plague and calamity? Yes as the world understands them but through the eyes of God we will see them as opportunities to grow in Him. To develop our character and strengthen our faith. To become more Christ-like because we are living with Him as He is living in us. Rev. Anthony.