Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Psalm 27:3-5 (New International Version)
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
I was really just fishing around looking for a scripture, a thought or an idea that might inspire me to jot a few words down. Maybe I’d find something to meditate on for a day or two. I didn’t have anything particular in mind. Psalm 27 caught my attention and so here we are.
I was captured by verse four in particular, and specifically the words, “one thing I ask of the Lord”. One thing? If I had to choose just one thing, says the Psalmist, I only ask to dwell in the house of the Lord. That’s it? I don’t think David was saying he wanted to literally sit in church all day. So what was he saying? I think what the guy really wanted, if he could just choose one thing, was to see God in the middle of whatever else was happening. And in this case, it seems that there was an army and a war happening.
But just one thing God, don’t worry about giving me victory, don’t shoot down my enemies, don’t give me another bag of Goliath rocks. If I can be with you, I’ll be fine.
David had a peculiar perspective on the tabernacle or the temple. He really wanted to build one. He was kind of obsessed with the idea of building God a house. It wasn’t in God’s plan for him, so it didn’t happen in his lifetime. But he kept up the commitment by keeping that idea central, God would always have a place to dwell because David really wanted God around. One thing, just be here God. Just stay. Don’t go away God, I’ll build you a house, I’ll make you a temple, I’ll do whatever it takes but I have to have one thing; don’t go away.
I don’t have that perspective all the time. I have a temple heart; my heart is God’s dwelling place. He has my full devotion. I love God. But my mind is often mired in concrete and dust. So my prayers, my one thing prayers; usually become a request list. God help me! God fix this! God change that! God whack so and so in the head!
But David, David said just stay here. Just let me see you and I’ll make it.
Verse five says that if I can just be where you are God, I’m safe. Just by being with God I’m up on a rock above the fray. I need to get this in my head so give me a moment. It isn’t that God pulls me away from my battles. It isn’t that He mows down my troubles on my behalf. It is that if I am next to God; that is all that matters. Just being with Him makes the enormity of everything else smaller. Just getting up on that rock next to God gives the perspective of higher elevation, the stuff below is tiny by comparison. If I am with God; what else really matters? The only thing that can truly kill me is not being with God.
I want to be a temple-dweller. I want to look at my wars and believe that if God just stays close by I’m ok. I dream of the sweet release that I’ll find the moment I really get it. That I don’t have to figure, plot and plan my way to victory. I just need to stand next to God.
So for today God, here’s my list of ways to defeat that army at my door. You can throw it away.
For today I only ask for one thing; just stay.