Welcome to Welling, for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. The Enfolding is our series.

We are about to conclude what we began with enfolder and the enfolded, now with the enfolded and enfolder, verses 1 and 2 and verses 14 to 16. In the middle, we looked at God’s unbelievable strategies just under the first verses and just before the final verses– his prevention and his protection, his covering and his carrying along with a secret sauce of you making God his refuge is yours. You are a refugee.

Making God our dwelling place, our hiding place, our secret place, our private place, whereas 9 was at You have made the Lord my refuge, even the most high your dwelling place. That’s the transfer. Of the [INAUDIBLE] own experience to you.

And in some way, this particular series is the transfer of my experience in its crucible form to you. I’ve got four more treatments to go. And I’m hoping that this series finishes out in my presentation recording, even though you’ll hear it much later and perhaps even after my life, for the sake of the God who is shadow and shelter and sanctuary and stronghold. The last verses– we call them a divine speech, a divine oracle, where God’s revelation is communicated through the psalmist here and other places whose priests and prophets. In exhortation and example, an inspiration for our relationship with him.

This is a promise set of verses. Listen to how it reads in God’s commitments to you, which is based on some conditions that you and I already meet, how he embraces you even as you have embraced him. It simply reads: “Because he loves me says, the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

As far as our response to him, the enfolded, there are three conditions already met by the psalmist. Looks all the way back to verses 1 and 2, but here it is– because he loves me.

In other versions of the Bible, especially our languages, the Bible is much stronger than just a simple love. It is a devoted love, which, of course, comes from God’s devoted love to us. This is an enactment of the first commandment. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, going back to the Shema of Israel Deuteronomy 6.

With your heart, soul, and strength, and all its implications, God is first love. God is real love. God is full love. It was the question that the Lord Jesus asked the apostle Peter after his denial post-Resurrection in a private conversation. Simon, son of John, do you love me? That’s all is necessary.

Do you love me? Because he loves me, the second condition we meet is because he acknowledges my name. Acknowledging God’s name– that’s already been revealed in the first couple of verses. The four names for God, most high Almighty, Lord, Yahweh, God, El Elyon. That Yahweh name of God is captured by the Lord Jesus in special privilege to us as believers.

In a powerful statement unique among the Christian faith and against all religions, where everybody is clamoring and seeking to know the name of God, Jesus says, John 16:23 and 24, very, very, truly, truly, surely, surely I say to you– this is the same kind of a statement that the Old Testament prophet made, where the prophet said, thus says the Lord. The Lord himself here speaks. He did not have to claim to another source of authority. I say to you, if you shall ask the father anything, he will give it to you in my name.

Here is the uniqueness of the faith. Until now, you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy made full would be the result of that asking. What a promise, that we can use the name of God. We acknowledge his name.

We love him. We know him by his name. And then we call him. We call on him.

It’s prayer word, isn’t it? Call on me in trouble is what he says. To call on him, we gather the metaphors of the shadow in the shelter, the sanctuary the stronghold. We gather those names of verses 1 and 2, those four names for God I just mentioned. And we call on him in trouble.

Here are some daily prayers that I want to share with you in calling on him in trouble. First of all, I ask for his personal presence, not a passive presence but an active presence, not a distanced presence and social distancing but a nearness, face-to-face name, privileged calling.

These promises I will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13 has these wonderful, wonderful promises. And for those who are fulfilling the Great Commission, I will be with you till the end of the age. It’s a constant repeated promise of the entire theology of the Old Testament, the personal presence, active accompaniment, and acceptance with assistance. So I pray for a personal presence.

I also pray for his total protection. Earlier in one of these series, you may have heard what I pray for in terms of his protection in harm and danger, in grief and pain, in sickness and ailment. This is a Psalm which could have been a promise to somebody great sickness needing healing, in wickedness and evil that is all around us, in the face of temptation and sin that God will protect us, me. And, finally, that he protect me from Satan and my very self because in myself, flesh, it was nothing that pleases God unless he renews it, transforms me.

And he needs to protect me from my very self. And he needs to protect others from myself. So I pray for personal presence. I pray for his total protection.

I also pray for his global provision. You may have heard me say I pray for a spice of life, pray for spiritual provision in my inner man with fortitude that God’s spirit will fill me with character issues of love and joy and peace, the fruit of his spirit, of patience, and kindness, and goodness, and faithfulness, and endurance, and self-control, that he’ll fill me for the tasks that he’s given to me, including the task of presenting this talk. Peace, spice, peace, sense of physical protection, right now for eradication of cancer. If he’s not already cured it, healing energy.

Intellectual provision of ideas not only in preparation but in decisions I’ve got, in creativity that I need. C stands for capital, human capital. Those around me of competence. Of financial capital that’s needed, of social, reputational capital that’s needed, favor that God would give to me among his people and more.

E stands for emotional resources– resolve, initiative, forgiveness. You love him. You know him. You call on him.

Those are the conditions to meet. In our final session, we’ll talk about his responses, his unconditional loyal commitment to you. We rest on the sovereign Savior who enfolds us. He secures our well-being.