My friend Phyllis Cowans submitted the following question: ” God is telling me to seek cover in this season. How do I go about seeking spiritual covering?”
As I write this post, parts of southeast Texas are underwater as a result of Tropical Depression Imelda, which caused catastrophic flooding. Fires ravage and reduce the Amazon rainforest to ashes. The US economic divide is as stark as the political divide. Our world faces mounting natural and spiritual threats. This comes as no surprise to believers. The enemy’s time is running out, so he feverishly targets our lives, families, homes, health, and walk with God.
Yet, the people of God can be assured of His protection. Deuteronomy 33:12 says that we dwell in safety by Him, and He shelters us all day long. Psalm 91 is one of my favorite passages. According to Psalm 91:4, God covers us with His feathers, and we can take refuge under His wings. We do not have to fear these turbulent times when we are under God’s covering.
Debate About Spiritual Covering
There is much debate about the topic of spiritual covering, even among Christians. Some ministries advocate paying for spiritual covering. Some say that there is no need for additional spiritual covering if Christ is in our lives. Others say that women must be kept in their place and made to wear veils, keep silent in the church, and obey their husbands. Still others simply want to bring leaders together for fellowship, mentoring, and outreach.
In general, the muddled message out there seems to be, If you believe the right revelations, join the right group and do the right things (especially with money), you’ll be spiritually covered. But how does God define spiritual covering?
Christ Covers Us
When we receive Christ, we receive His protection, as depicted in the Passover (Exodus 12:21-27).
When the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt, a spirit of death was released against the firstborn of the land. The Israelites’ only protection was a spotless lamb’s shed blood on the doorposts of their dwellings. All who had the blood on their doorpost lived.
Today, Christ is our Passover Lamb (see 1 Cor. 5:7). His blood secures us. This is the glorious work of the cross in our lives and the inheritance of every believer.
The amazing story of Rahab the harlot from Jericho (Joshua 2) demonstrates the blood’s protecting power. Rahab knew that Israel would win against her own lost city. So she requested and received protection during the invasion. A red cord hanging from her window, which represents the blood of Christ, was the key to her protection. Though Jericho was destroyed, Rahab and her family lived because of the provision of the red cord.
These examples of Christ’s provision reveal that spiritual protection for God’s people depends completely upon proper positioning. Even though a promise of safety was given, no one was safe unless they were in place.
If the Israelites left their homes during Passover, if Rahab were anywhere but behind the crimson cord, they would not have been covered. This is also true of Noah and his family during the flood.
Position is essential. David said in Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” No umbrella is useful in a rainstorm unless we are under it!
Today, we must know how and where to come under the full protection of Christ’s sacrifice. Our faith in Christ saves us, but we must cooperate with His provision to receive everything else. When we resist God’s direction, He is not under any obligation to protect us. However, He will guard those who are surrendered and in place.
Two Ways God Covers Us
Christ makes God’s protection available, but we receive this protection through two systems He has set up.
Prayer. The Bible encourages us to intercede constantly and use the shield of faith to thwart Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6:16,18). A prayer shield offers covering over our lives as believers. We are instructed to continually pray for one another, our nation and our leaders. Prayer activates angels (Psalm 34:7), builds a hedge of protection around us (Job 1:5,9-11) and seals the gaps through which our spiritual enemy tries to gain access to our lives (Ezekiel 22:30). When we pray, we can move forward without the devil continually knocking us off track.
Divinely appointed relationships. According to Isaiah 4:5-6: “The Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering … for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.”
The covering over every home describes family relationships. The covering over every assembly describes the local church.
We experience God’s covering when we are rightly connected in our families and churches. Those relationships are the joints that supply us ( Ephesians 4:16). Right relationships are vital to our safety (1 Corinthians 11:11-12; Ephesians 5:21-25; Hebrews 10:24-25; 13:17).
The love, care, and accountability I enjoy as part of a believing family, praying local church, dedicated friends and ministries is an invaluable part of my growth and purpose. It is good to stay covered, connected, and balanced.
Some Signs of a Good Spiritual Covering
A spiritual covering offers added protection for our lives. Consider the following when connecting with a local church, denomination or ministerial fellowship.
1. CHRISTIAN CHARACTER – Though no one is perfect, any leaders we connect with should exhibit morality, integrity, the fruit of the Spirit, and solid character.
2. BALANCED, SCRIPTURAL TEACHING – In a good spiritual covering, the message is balanced and scriptural. There is not an overemphasis on giving money. Church leaders with genuine character do not exploit their flocks.
3. THE APPROVAL OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – We mostly earn our reputations. Ministries that are approved by the wider body of Christ indicate that we can connect with confidence.
4. GROWTH AND A GOOD TRACK RECORD Spiritual authority becomes more credible with time and experience. Look for proven longevity and tested maturity of a corporate covering.
5. GUIDANCE FROM HOLY SPIRIT God sets us into our place in the body ( 1 Corinthians 12:8), We should seek His assigned coverings for us. Let Him lead you in discovering true fellowship and protection.
Hope this helps. I would love to hear your feedback about spiritual covering.
Some parts of this post were adapted from the Charisma article “Understanding the Covering of God” by David Cannistraci: https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/1617-gods-got-you-covered