You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city.
I. A Shelter For Us
The Lord is a shelter for His people. When we abide in worship we appropriate His protective power for our lives. I recently had a dream where all kinds of dangerous activity was taking place all around me. I then saw myself climb inside this protective place of worship in His Presence. It was the bunker of worship.
A bunker is a defensive military fortification designed to protect people or valued materials from falling bombs or other attacks. Bunkers are mostly below ground, compared to blockhouses which are mostly above ground.? (Wikipedia)
For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
It was much like a storm shelter that could not be penetrated. Although I was in the midst of battles, gunfire and deadly things flying in the air, I was not affected because I was inside this worship bunker.
II. Holy Ecstasy
In another part of this dream I saw a glimpse of an worship album that I had done in the past, holy ecstasy. The basic meaning of “holy” in the Hebrew is to be consecrated, separate, dedicated as saints to God. As well, we know that holy pertains to the nature of God, His substance and the very core sum of Who He is. A simple definition of the word “ecstasy” is as a state of very great happiness and extreme delight. If we look deeper into the meaning of ecstasy there is much more. Here is another extended definition of this word:
Ecstasy is a subjective experience of total involvement of the subject, with an object of his or her awareness. Total involvement with an object of interest is not an ordinary experience because of being aware of other objects, thus ecstasy is an example of an altered state of consciousness characterized by diminished awareness of other objects or the total lack of the awareness of surroundings and everything around the object. (Wikipedia)
To be caught up in a trance would be one example of this kind of ecstatic experience. Someone that most religious circles praise for great doctrinal letters had this form of ecstatic experience take place, the apostle Paul.
Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance (g1611: ecstasis) and saw Him saying to me, Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.
Here is the Greek definition:
ekstasis; from 1839; a displacement of the mind, i. e. bewilderment, ecstasy, +be amazed, amazement, astonishment, trance.
Obviously this is the more extreme example of ecstasy. God wants us to experience the reality of joy in His Presence continually, not for a one-time event. If we read the letters of Paul we will notice that the joy of God was very much integral in his life. Putting this in the context of our relationship with God, an element of rapture and total abandonment to His wonder and awesomeness is communicated here. It reminds me of a song that churches have sung for decades, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and the things of this world will grow strangely dim.? A pair of words in the Wikipedia definition above is diminished awareness. It is not that we are unaware of what is going on around us. But it is the state of being more aware of God, His desire, His plans and the things that He values being exalted in our hearts and minds. Although, we should be desirous that God would take us into greater encounters, such as trances, as it is the Biblical norm.
III. The Stronghold of the Spirit
There is a place that we can create in the spirit where we are not affected by what is going on around us. As we are surrendered to His Holy Spirit, He creates a holy stronghold for our minds. God has provided this shelter called worship that we can get into at any time. This is where our eyes are upon Him, our mind is focused on Who He is and the sufficiency of His power. As we live in the shelter of His Presence, He becomes the center of our desires. There is safety in a life of intimate worship with God.
Are you being overwhelmed by all the noise, battles and events surrounding your life? Try climbing into the shelter of worship. Catch the reality of Who God is, experiencing the holy ecstasy of joy in His Presence.