Slumber Party

Psalm 27: 4

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple.

It is no wonder that David desired to spend every day at God’s place. It is the place of perfect peace, perfect healing, of joy and rest. Of course, there is also the privilege of beholding the beauty of our Lord and savior and the magnificent splendor of our Father.

We know David’s son, Solomon asked for wisdom, and received it, by the way. David’s wish was to hang out with God. They are both terrific requests. Solomon knew he needed the wisdom of God if he was to rule God’s people. Do you see, though, what made David’s relationship with Yahweh so unique and special? His grand desire was to abide with the Father. It’s no wonder Yahweh said of David that he was a man after His own heart. He really was. David pursued God relentlessly.

That is only part of the story, however. Once David entered God’s place, he came to know fullness. I imagine he felt complete in God’s presence and that fullness and sense of being complete was something he could take with him to the battlefield, to the throne and into the rest of his life. Outside the Father’s presence, I think we all feel a bit incomplete. Once David experienced God’s house, there was never anything that could eclipse the feeling he received there. Pure joy lit his features as he gazed upon the glory of the Father and songs erupted from his heart.

Perhaps I sense an answer here to another interesting note about David and his writing. David was the one Old Testament writer who sounds like a New Testament believer. He wrote as if he knew Jesus. And now, I think I know why. He was hanging out at Jesus’ dad’s house. I think David met Jesus. He wrote about the Holy Spirit too so I guess that is what comes from hanging out with Dad. But then, that is exactly what Psalm 25 taught us. The private place is “where they sit near him and receive the revelation.” You may want to go back and reread Monday’s Word of the Day to let all of this sink in and meld together. There is a theme running through these psalms and they all lead us to the private place with Yahweh, His home, our abode. We, like David, can seek to spend time there with Father, Son and Spirit. There is no want or desire in our hearts (Psalm 23) when we are in the Father’s house. We are filled and have perfect peace in every area of our lives. Aspire to live with Dad. Seek, above all else, time in His home. It’s the image of comfort and He is the perfect host. But don’t just visit. Take your bedroll and move in. He has plenty of room for all and provision for a life time.

Preserved

Psalm 31: 23 – 24

O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.

This verse reminds me of Psalm 23 where it reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” What an amazing statement. God will sustain you, protect you and preserve you no matter what kind of situation you walk through. He will be with you even in your darkest day. He is not going anywhere without you. So even though you walk through some scary times and places, you can have confidence. You are secure in his care. Be strong, take courage, you are not alone. You have an attentive father who also happens to be the most powerful being in the universe as your right hand guard. Take heart. You are okay.

Shepherd of Compassion

Isaiah 49: 10

They will not hunger or thirst, neither will the scorching heat or sun strike them down for he who has compassion on them will lead them, and will guide them to springs of water.

What a wonderful promise and image. Father God has compassion on us and knows our needs. Jesus’ life was characterized by his great compassion. Their love for us compels them to care for us just as Jesus analogized about the sheep and the sheep herder. He told us, as recited in John 10, that he is the good shepherd and that the shepherd lays down his life in defense of the sheep. Will he who has defended us even unto his own death, now not lead us to fresh water? Will he not provide and care for us?  

Psalm 23 so clearly demonstrates the acts of a shepherd caring for his sheep. He will not allow anything to happen to us and he will meet all of our needs. He will lead us through the times of trouble just as described as the valley of death in Psalm 23. Do not fear your enemies or tortures. Our shepherd is well able to defeat them all.

There’s a Hole In the Bucket

Haggai 1: 6 -7

You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes. Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!”

There are few of us who have not lived through a time when it seemed like we couldn’t get ahead no matter what we did. The answer to that problem is that we must look more closely at the condition of our lives.

In this story the prophet Haggai is speaking to the Jews. They have returned to their land after 70 years of Babylonian captivity and have begun rebuilding their lives. However, they have left the temple in disrepair. God is telling them that there is a hole in their lives which needs filling. Verse 4 reads, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house [the house of the Lord] lies desolate?” I can well imagine that these people were praying themselves blue in the face all the while not realizing that by their own actions, or rather their neglect, they were effectively loosing locust among their harvest. I think the same is true of us so perhaps we should consider our ways.

We know that the devil is a thief. What I am finding is that we open the door and invite him to come in and steal from us. Of course, we do not realize we are doing it but that is why God says, “Wait. Stop for a moment and consider your ways.” If you are being robbed of health are there ways you are cooperating with the devil? What about finances? I wrote a devotional recently entitled, It Works, the point of which is that giving actually does create financial well-being. Although I have written on the topic numerous times over the years still people struggle with their finances when they shouldn’t. But I look at their lives and patterns and see that they are not doing those things which God said would cause them to prosper. “Consider your ways!” Give and it shall be given to you. It isn’t complicated but it requires you to do something affirmative.

The Bible teaches us to guard our hearts for from it flow the issues of life. (Proverb 4: 23). The God’s Word translation reads this way, “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. ” But we soak our precious hearts in television shows, music, and movies that traumatize it and then we immerse it in hours of negative news broadcasts. Of course you are challenged. Your heart cannot bear up under that and if you think it can, you are fooling yourself. I don’t mean to be harsh I just want you to have everything that you want and need and everything that Jesus died to give you but we cannot pollute our homes, minds and hearts and still receive fresh, clean water.

Look at your home. Does more enter into it that is of the light or of the dark? Don’t tell me how that TV show really isn’t that bad. I’m not your boss but God is saying, “Consider your ways!” He is only saying this to you because He wants to get blessing to you but you are blocking the way. He only wanted you to give so that He could bless you. He wanted the Jews to rebuild the temple because it was depriving them of their blessing. 

What is it that you want out of life? What does God say about how to acquire it? He has spoken to every issue. Now ask yourself this, “How can I cooperate with God so that my needs and desires are fulfilled?” God isn’t holding back on you. He wants to fill you to overflowing (Psalm 23). He just needs a little cooperation from us. I pray that God speak to your heart today and show you ways that you can plug up the holes in your life.