How Earnestly Do We Crave God’s Presence?
March 24, 2014
How deeply, how earnestly, how diligently and faithfully, do we crave God’s presence? We should evaluate ourselves on this point because God’s Word tells us that we are to love God above everything and everyone else. (Dt. 5:7 & 6:13-15) We are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30) We are to give up all –all things, all people, and our own life– in order to belong to Him. (Luke 9:23-25 & 14:25-27,33) And we are to show this love consistently / faithfully / till the end. (Mt. 24:12,13 // Heb. 3:12-14 // 1 Peter 4:2 // Rev. 2:4,5) How well are we doing this?
Most people, I believe, have to admit that they are not doing very well concerning this. Instead of loving the Lord’s presence, they love the world’s presence. They love movies, Facebook friends, their career, their hobbies, their idols, and most of all themselves. Oh, some hate themselves, true; but how they cater to their own desires, how they refuse to control their tongues, their thoughts, their attitudes, and their actions, reveals very clearly that they worship themselves, even if it be a love/hate reality.
Ps. 84:10 says, “For a day in Your courts [O LORD] is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Do we feel the same as the psalmist? Can we express the same thing to God? Do we think, “O Lord, even one day near You is better than a thousand days anywhere else, even a thousand days doing those other things that I love to do [–like eat, sleep, ski, golf, shop, fish, etc.].”
And what about our importance, our prestige? I’ve heard that the word here for “doorkeeper” is found nowhere else in Scripture but that we know it refers to a person of the lowest rank. Does this verse ring true in our own hearts? Are we one who has given up all pursuit of worldly recognition that might interfere with our ability to dwell in God’s presence? Have we rejected all our love of anything wicked so that we can love God whole-heartedly? Have we traded in the hangouts of sin and rebels for the company of God?
We are to love God and desire His presence just because He is who He is. He is the compassionate, mighty, Most High King and Creator, our Ransomer and our Shepherd, the One who is always and forever good. We are to desire God because He is God, the one and only God.
Even so, because God is so good, He bestows great favor on those who long to be in His presence and who live in Him. They are ever rejoicing in Him, trusting in Him, and thus receiving protection, honor, strength, refreshment, joy, and all good things from Him. (See whole of Ps. 84) Truly, being with God brings immense reward, both here in this life and in the one to come.
So, how deeply do we really desire God’s presence? Let’s be honest and alter our lives according to the claims we make.