The one thing I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. (Ps 27:4 NLT)
Many believers think that if they could work at a church or some other Christian organization, all their problems would be over. Trust me, after being in the ministry for a number of years, I can assure you that’s not the case. Just spending everyday inside the four walls of a church building doesn’t automatically guarantee you that you will feel God’s presence. Anything can become routine and monotonous and the opportunities for the enjoyment of God is not determined by things external, but rather things internal. God does not reside in a building somewhere, waiting for His people to come and visit. God resides in the spirit of every born-again believer and His sanctuary is anyplace that they have chosen to set apart for His glory.
At the time David wrote Psalm 27, he was living in the wilderness of Judea. He had been forced to flee there by his enemy, King Saul. Physically speaking, David was a long ways from the place known as the Tabernacle. Perhaps much like many of us who can remember some good times we enjoyed as a child in Sunday School, David longed for those moments once again. I am sure that he was more than ready to leave the barren wilderness; yet that did not mean that he had to wait to enjoy the presence of God. I have always believed that the Temple David desired was more than a physical location. It was a place in his spirit where he could be in full fellowship with God and be engulfed in His glory.
Many years ago the Westminster Catechism was written in order to help teach believers more about God. The first question of that catechism asked, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer given was – “to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” To bring God glory and to enjoy fellowship with Him is the reason we exist.
How can we do this? The King James Version translates Psalm 27:4 as:
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
Notice first of all that it is a Desire. The kind of spirituality the Westminster Catechism teaches goes far beyond any routine or ritual. It is a satisfaction that comes from knowing that we are a part of that which brings God glory. Regardless of our condition, circumstances or credentials, that is the highest accomplishment any human will ever achieve.
Secondly, notice that it is a Dwelling. “…that I may dwell in the house of the LORD” David wanted to dwell where God dwelt. Someone might say, “but that is heaven” and indeed it is. Heaven is anyplace where God dwells. David’s desire was more than to leave the wilderness and return back to his home. He wanted to make his home in the center of God’s presence. “Oh Lord, my greatest desire is to dwell in You.”
Thirdly, notice that it is Daily. “…all the days of my life” Not just once a week or once in a while; but each and every day. “God, I desire to spend every moment of my life with You.”
Lastly, notice that it is a Delight. “…to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” Many who desire to work in a Christian setting believe that by doing so, they will spend each day completely absorbed in spiritual things. However, as I have already shared with you, that may not be the case. Halos aren’t a part of the benefit package most Christian organizations offer their employees. If someone is not finding happiness in the Lord outside of such a place, they won’t find happiness in the Lord inside such a place. They’ll only bring their miseries with them.
Many find David’s psalms to be inspiring and encouraging; yet what they fail to realize is that most of them were written during times of trouble, loneliness and isolation. The Temple David dwelt in most of his life did not have stain-glass windows. The eastern wall was painted with the sunrise and the western wall with the sunset. The ceiling was as high as the heavens and the carpet underneath was the grass of the fields. Many times David’s altar was a barren rock and his hymnbook contained the songs that came from his heart. Yet with these simple things, David learned how to bring God glory and to enjoy Him forever.
If you’re reading today’s devotional online, check out the video. Lord bless you as you dwell with Him today.