Living Inside God’s Protection in Psalm 27:1
Dave Cover: This is Christian Meditation for A Bigger Life, I'm Dave Cover. I want to help you with Christian meditation and experience God's presence through biblically guided imagination, where you can draw near to God, and get the stress and anxiety out of your mind, out of your heart, and out of your body, so you can live a bigger life. If your podcast app is set to skip silent sections disable that in your settings on your app always for this podcast. To begin, lie flat on your back if you can. Otherwise, sit comfortably in a chair, uncross your legs and close your eyes, if you can. And, when you're ready, take in a deep breath through your nose into your belly, and feel your belly rise. You may have to use your stomach muscles, if you're not used to this, to intentionally make your belly rise with each intake of breath. And then, when you exhale, focus on releasing the muscles in your body, letting go of effort, and tension. When you're ready to take in another breath, send it deep into your belly, and then hold it for just a minute until it becomes slightly uncomfortable. And then, when you release your breath, say quietly to yourself," Relax," and focus on feeling the muscles in your body soften, and your entire body become heavier. And now, on your next breath, hold it again for just a moment until it becomes slightly uncomfortable. Then, when you release your breath, focus on that feeling right there in your whole body. That feeling of release and letting go of clenched muscles. That feeling right there is what you want to try to focus on throughout this meditation. It's a subtle feeling. It's not a result of any effort. It's actually the sensation of letting go of effort. You're focusing your mind on feeling that subtle sensation of your body relaxing, letting go of tension. With each release of your breath, let go a little bit more, and notice your muscles throughout your entire body softening, and your body becoming heavier, and sinking into the surface that you're on more and more. Feeling your body giving into gravity. Imagine your body like water flowing downstream, letting go. And notice how simple and easy this process really is. Already, you're feeling more relaxed and at ease inside, you are in a solitary place. Maybe not physically, but at least let it be so mentally. This is a quiet place, a quiet time for you to reintegrate, and recalibrate your mind with your body. You're focusing your mind on feeling your body, your entire body head to toe. And reintegrating and recalibrating your mind and body with God's presence with you and in you. Most of our day, we live fragmented from these realities. We live fragmented from our mind's awareness of our body, tension in our body, anxiety, stress, and we live our lives fragmented from the reality of God's presence with us and in us. This is a time for you to reintegrate these realities. This is a time for you to be alone and to be alone with God. So continue to take in deep, slow breaths. Let your mind and body become more still, and quiet with each breath. As you breathe, let your out breath be a little longer than your in breath. Try to focus your mind on feeling your body. You may imagine it as feeling your body from within. As if your mind is going inside your body. And your body feeling heavier, more relaxed. Your mind becoming quieter. Your whole body letting go of clenched tension. Breathing in, feeling more calm and relaxed. Breathing out, feeling yourself letting go of tension and stress. And you're starting to feel a peaceful sense of quiet. A transcendent sense of quiet. So let's feel this reality into specific areas of your body right now. Let's intentionally bring your awareness to the often tension tightening zone of your head. Tightening your head with stress and tension and not being aware of it. Let's become aware of it now. Put your mind's awareness at the top of your head, your scalp. And focus on releasing any tension in your scalp, just letting go. You might be surprised to realize you've been tightening that area. Let it release. And focus your mind on feeling your scalp release, let go. And move that awareness down to the sides of your head, your temples, your ears. Same thing, just letting go of any tension, releasing, softening. Now, your forehead. Letting your forehead release, let go. Now, bring your awareness down to your eyes. The muscles around your eyes, the muscles in your eyelids, the muscles behind your eyes often tighten your eyes when you're stressed. But even unaware of your stress, your muscles behind your eyes can often tighten your eyes, let those go now, release. Let your eyes lie there in their sockets. And now your cheeks, letting go of the tension, the tightness in your cheeks, in your jaw. Letting your bottom teeth separate from your top teeth and letting your jaw release and feeling your tongue, the muscle of your tongue all the way back deep into your throat, let it lie there. Completely release, let go. And notice now, your whole face feeling relaxed, let it drop. Imagine looking over at someone on the flight, on the plane and seeing them sleep and their face is dropped. Let your face do that now. Completely drop. Let go. Release, and feel that in your face, your forehead, your temples, your scalp. And now down the back of your head, release. Let go any tightness in the back of your head. Use your imagination, sometimes it helps just to imagine the back of your head releasing of tension, letting go, loosening and feeling that. Focus on feeling that. Now, down your neck. And now just your whole head again all at once feeling relaxed, heavy, released, letting go. Now, bring your awareness to the often visceral anxiety holding zone of your gut. Focus on releasing any clenched muscles in your gut, in your abdomen, your belly. With each exhale, release, soften. Let go. Now, moving your awareness up to your chest. And now feeling your whole torso area in your front, letting go of all tension in your abdomen, your belly, your chest. And now, around to your back. And feeling your back muscles release. Feeling your back muscles let go and become heavy. Your whole torso now feeling very heavy, completely dropping. Now, bring your mind's awareness to your shoulders, letting your shoulders drop soften. Let go. And now down your arms. Feeling your arms completely release. Your hands letting go like limp noodles. Completely lying there very heavy. Letting go of all effort in your arms. Now, bring your awareness to your pelvic area, letting go of any tension there, feeling relaxed. Now, bring your mind's awareness to your legs. Letting your legs become very heavy. Release, let go, soften. Rest your thighs, your knees, your calves. Imagine your legs being like limp noodles lying there, feeling that heaviness in your legs, your ankles, your feet. You're not gonna feel much tension in your feet. That's not a place where people typically hold tension. But just focus your mind's awareness on feeling your feet, the bottoms of your feet, the tops of your feet, your heels ankles, all 10 toes. Now, bring your awareness back to your whole body, feeling your legs and your arms at the same time. Lying there, relaxed, released. Feeling your feet and hands at the same time. Now, focus on your feet, and your hands, and your head at the same time, relaxed, released. Now, your torso, your legs, your arms, your shoulders, your head, your feet, your whole body. Now, lots of people do this kind of meditation. And all kinds of studies have shown what we have focused on so far is incredibly calming to your central nervous system. But, as Christians, we can take this kind of meditation to a whole new level. We can experience our embodied connection with God right now in this moment. Let's come back to the Psalm we looked at in the last episode, Psalm 27 Verse 1, just one verse." The Lord," Yahweh is translating that into this all capital L- O- R- D God's name, Yahweh, the most often referenced term for God in the entire Hebrew scriptures. It's His name. It was the Hebrew verb for He is. His name was, He is. He is." The LORD is my light and my salvation." So the Hebrew read that as He is, is my light and my salvation." Whom shall I fear? The LORD," He is," The stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" We talked in the last episode about how that word light in the Bible has the idea of life. Light and life, in many ways, are almost synonymous. Not completely. But many times they have the same idea because life comes from light. It's impossible to have life without light. The idea here is that the I am, He is, is my light and my life. There is no light and life outside of Him. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Salvation in the Bible is not the idea of dying and going to heaven. Now, that will be a temporary thing in the future awaiting our resurrection. But salvation in the Bible is the idea of restoration, deliverance, rescue, healing, safety, freedom. The I am is my restoration of my life, my deliverance, my rescue, my healing. And he says, Yahweh, the I am, is the stronghold of my life. The Hebrew word here for stronghold means a fortified place. Often these were fortresses on top of a rocky cliff. The same idea as my rock and my fortress, and my refuge in other Psalms, Yahweh is my stronghold. Yahweh is my fortress my refuge, my safety. So, reading the verse again," The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" The logic of the imagery is that if this is the unseen reality your life is in that Yahweh that He is, the one who's very name is He is, is your light and your salvation, and the stronghold of your life. And He is the source of all existence and the giver of all life. And the One who inhabits eternity. And the One who is 100% present, infinitely everywhere. If He is your light and He is your salvation, and the stronghold of your life, then what is there to actually be afraid of? Of whom shall you be afraid exactly? Well, we all know there are 1000 things actually. But none of them are stronger than He is. None of them are a threat to He is, who is always surrounding you as your light in your life, always surrounding you as your salvation, your restoration. Always surrounding you as the stronghold of your life, your fortress, which means that none of the 1000 things are really in control of things. When difficult things are happening to you, as many difficult things happened to David, who was saying this psalm, writing this psalm, when difficult things are happening to you, the difficult things are not in control of the situation. The One who is the I am, the One whose very name is He is, is your light. And He is in control. He is your salvation, restoration. And He is in control. He is the fortress, the stronghold of your life. And He is in control. The almighty Lord, Lord of heaven and earth is ultimately in power over any threat to you in every moment. There is that phrase," Fear God, and you won't have to fear anything or anyone else." The unseen reality always surrounding your life is that He is, is your light, your life, your salvation, your restoration, your rescuer, your stronghold, and your fortress. The fortress of your life, the stronghold of your life. There is nothing and no one else over you to fear ever in any circumstance. So, take a moment and focus again on your breathing, and imagine this. And feel this reality in your body. He is your light. Feel His light speaking into your body. Speaking light into your life right now, He is your restoration. He is the stronghold of your life. One thing helpful to learn is to pray Yahwehistic type prayers. In other words, you're saying the He is, that you're saying you are to Him. You are my light. You are my life. You are my restoration. You are my salvation. You are the stronghold of my life. You are my fortress. These are great phrases to say throughout the day when you're sensing the need to reintegrate the reality of your life, your mind, your body with the reality of God's presence with you and in. You are my light. You are my salvation. You are the stronghold of my life. Whenever you feel threatened in any way, anxious in any way, whenever you feel tension in your body in any way, whenever you sense an overreaction in you to some social, or work, or family situation, you can say," Lord, you are my light. You are my salvation. You are the stronghold of my life." Or another way to say it is," Lord, You are present and You are in this with me and I can trust You. Lord, You are present. You are in this situation with me. And I can trust You because You are my light, You are my life, You are my restoration, my salvation. You are the stronghold of my life." And you can rest in a calm confidence. You can replace the anxiety with imagining the reality of God's presence in the situation with you. And that God is in this situation in this moment with you 100%. You can replace all your multi- layered insecurities, and the way they manifest themselves in your life, and in your relationships, and in your mind and body with the sense of security that the I am, who created this universe is also 100% with you, and focused on you as your light, and your rescuer, and your fortress. He is the stronghold of your life. Lord, You are present, and You are in this, and I can trust You. So take a deep breath and activate, and use your biblically guided imagination. Feel this imagery into your body right now in this moment. And you can just let go of so much anxiety, and tension, and fear, and insecurity, and anger, and fight or flight central nervous system living because you can rest in God's Lordship over heaven and earth, His power, His presence, His love. And you can release your clenched muscles. You can let go of the tension. And you can let your muscles soften because you're trusting, you're resting." The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" Focus on that feeling right now in your whole body, that promise, that reality. Breathing in God is your light, speaking light into your life. Breathing in God is your salvation. Breathing in the reality that God is the stronghold of your life. And breathing out self- protective reflexes. Breathing out tension and anxiety. Breathing out anger and anger fantasies. You are in the presence of God. God is present. God is in this. And you can trust Him. Thanks for listening to Christian Meditation for A Bigger Life. If you found this podcast helpful, please give us a rating in your podcast app so others can find it more easily. And consider sharing this episode with a friend. Our audio engineer is Diego Haman. Look for a new episode each Tuesday and Thursday morning.
Christians Meditation is entering a solitary place. If not physically, then at least let it be so mentally. This is a quiet time for you to re-integrate and re-calibrate your mind with your body. And re-integrate and re-calibrate your mind and body with God‘s presence with you and in you. This is a time for you to be alone. And to be alone with God. Remember the quote from the apostle Paul in Acts 17:28 – In him you live and move and have your being.
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Psalms 27:1 (NIV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation —
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
The logic of the imagery is that if this is the unseen reality your life is in — that Yahweh is YOUR light and YOUR salvation and the stronghold of YOUR life — then what is there to actually be afraid of? Of whom shall you be afraid exactly? Well, there are 1000 things actually. But none of them are stronger than the I AM, who is always surrounding you as your light/life, your salvation, your stronghold/fortress. Which means that none of them are really in control of things. When difficult things are happening to you, the difficult things are not in control of the situation. The One who is your Light is in control. The One who is your Salvation is in control. The One who is the Stronghold of your life is in control. The Almighty LORD of Heaven and Earth is ultimately in power over any other threat to you. There is that phrase — Fear God and you won’t have to fear anything or anyone else. The unseen reality always surrounding your life is that HE IS is your light — your salvation/healing/rescuer — your stronghold/fortress. There is nothing and no one else over you to fear.
Whenever you feel threatened in any way – anxious in any way – feel tension in your body in any way – whenever you sense an overreaction in you to some social or work or family situation — you can say…
“Lord, YOU ARE present, and you are in this, and I can trust you.“
YOU ARE my light/life. YOU ARE my restoration. YOU ARE the stronghold of my life.
You can rest in a calm confidence. You can replace anxiety with imagining the reality of God‘s presence and that God is in this situation and in this moment with you. You can replace all your multi-layered insecurities and the way they manifest themselves in your life and in your relationships and in your mind and body with the security that the God who created this universe is also 100% with you and focused on you as your light and your rescuer and your fortress. He is the stronghold of your life.
“Lord, you are present, and you are in this, and I can trust you.“
YOU ARE my light/life. YOU ARE my restoration. YOU ARE the stronghold of my life.
You can just let go of so much anxiety and fear and insecurity and anger and fight or flight central nervous system living. Rest in God’s lordship. Power. Presence. Love. Release your clenched muscles. Let go of the tension. Let your muscles soften.
Who can you share this podcast with? If you found this episode helpful, consider sharing it on social media or texting it to a friend you think might benefit from it.
Our audio engineer is Diego Huaman.